More than 18,000 Indians who have studied medicine in foreign countries have not been able to get registered by the Medical Council of India (MCI), which can make them eligible to practice in their homeland. These students have failed to clear the FMGE (Foreign Medical Graduate Test) test conducted by the MCI through NBE (National Board of Examination), an autonomous body under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
These foreign educated doctors have questioned the screening test, alleging it is not transparent. According to them, this is being done deliberately by the MCI, which is under the grip of a powerful private medical college lobby, to discourage students from going abroad and to force them to enroll themselves within the country by shelling out a hefty amount to private colleges.
The pass percentage of the FMGE test is abysmally low. It was 10.4% in June 2015, and 11.4% in December 2015. In June 2014, only 4.93% students could clear the FMGE test. According to the data available, an average of 77% Indian students who returned with a foreign medical degree in the last 12 years failed to clear the FMGE test. The data says that since 2005, there have been only two instances when more than 50% of all candidates, who appeared for FMGE, cleared it (in September 2005 and March 2008). On one particular instance, only 4% students passed the test.
In most of the sessions in the last 10 years, the percentage of successful candidates was between 20 and 29. According to Dr Raghuram Nayak, an executive member of the All India Foreign Medical Graduates Association, “The test is conducted online but we are not given the question paper or the mark sheet as done in other tests conducted by UPSC. One gets the score immediately after such an online test. But the NBE takes one month,” said Nayak, who finished his medicine course from a college in Ukraine in 2012, but is yet to get registered with the MCI.