4 Attempts To Clear MBBS 1st Prof Exams: NMC GMER 2023

New Delhi, India – The Undergraduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB) of the National Medical Commission (NMC) has stated that MBBS students will be granted four attempts to pass the First Professional MBBS test in the recently issued Graduate Medical Education Regulations (GMER) 2023.

Setting a limit regarding the number of attempts to clear the MBBS examination, NMC has clarified in GMER 2023, “Provided under no circumstances the student shall be allowed more than four (04) attempts for first year (First Professional MBBS) and no student shall be allowed to continue undergraduate medical course after nine (09) years from the date of admission into the course, mentioned the Regulations.”

This is not the first time NMC has placed a time limit for MBBS candidates to pass the first year MBBS test. Previously, NMC announced similar rules in the Graduate Medical Education (Amendment), 2019 regulations.

According to Regulation 7.7 of Regulations on Graduate Medical Education (Amendment), 2019, “No more than four attempts shall be allowed for a candidate to pass the first Professional examination. The total period for successful completion of first Professional course shall not exceed four (4) years. Partial attendance of examination in any subject shall be counted as an attempt.”

Challenge to the NMC rule:

Some of the MBBS students of 2019-2020 batch had approached the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court seeking additional attempts to clear the examination and they had also challenged Regulation 7.7.

The Delhi High Court division bench headed by Delhi Chief Justice Satish Chander and Justice Subramonium Prasad had upheld the Regulation 7.7 of Regulations on Graduate Medical Education (Amendment), 2019 by NMC and denied providing relief to the petitioners, reported Medical Dialogues

While considering the plea, the HC bench of Delhi Chief Justice Satish Chander and Justice Subramonium Prasad had noted that “it is evident that this Court does not have wide ranging powers to review policies under the ground of legitimate expectation. In the case at hand, as already discussed, the Petitioners did not have a legitimate expectation to get infinite opportunities to qualify in the medical examination.”

However, challenging the HC order, last year five specially-abled MBBS Students, who were admitted to various medical colleges in the academic year 2019-20, moved to the Supreme Court and challenged the amendment to Regulations of Graduate Medical Examination 1997 by the National Medical Commission (erstwhile Medical Council of India).

The petitioner students argued that the amended Regulations had been implemented without complying with the provisions of Section 19A of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956. As per the 1956 Act, Copies of the draft regulations and all the subsequent amendments have to be furnished by the Council to the State Governments. It also mandates that before submitting the regulations or amendments to the Union Government for its nod, the Council has to consider the comments of any State Governments received within a duration of three months from the furnishing of copies.

While considering the matter, the Supreme Court bench had slammed the students while expressing its disappointment with the petitioners. CJI had expressed his disappointment with the petitioner students and noted, “We are only cutting corners for education. These are doctors – four times you failed and then you want to appear again. Do your work instead of doing all of this, coming to courts for all this. Nowehere in the world would this be permitted. What kind of doctors are we going to produce?”

NMC Mercy Attempt:

Earlier this year, providing major relief to the MBBS students who could not clear their first professional MBBS examination within the first four attempts according to the rules, NMC allowed a mercy attempt for them as a one-time measure.

This relief was offered to the MBBS students who had been admitted to the medical colleges during the academic year 2019-2020 and who could not clear their first-year MBBS examination within the first four attempts.

The Apex medical commission took this decision in compliance with the direction issued by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 02.05.2023.

Issuing a circular in this regard, NMC Secretary Dr. Pulkesh Kumar mentioned, “In compliance to the direction dated 02.05.2023 issued by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in the above matter, National Medical Commission hereby allow one additional attempt (5th attempt) to such MBBS students who were admitted in medical colleges during the academic year 2019-20 and could not pass their first professional MBBS examination.”

GMER 2023:

The limit for clearing the First-year MBBS examination, has once again been reiterated by the Apex Medical Commission in its recently published Graduate Medical Education Regulations 2023, which was notified in the official Gazette on June 02, 2023.

In Section 21 of the Regulations, NMC UG Board has discussed about the training period and maximum duration for the MBBS course. NMC mentioned, “Every student admitted in accordance with these Regulations, shall undergo training as per the guidelines published by the UGMEB of NMC and displayed on the NMC website from time to time; Provided under no circumstances the student shall be allowed more than four (04) attempts for first year (First Professional MBBS) and no student shall be allowed to continue undergraduate medical course after nine (09) years from the date of admission into the course.”

Following the publication of the GMER 2023 regulations, NMC has also published a new CBME curriculum for the MBBS course. In the recently released curriculum, NMC has clarified that there will be no more supplementary batches for the MBBS course.

In order to ensure this, NMC has announced that the process of conducting supplementary examinations and declaration of results shall be processed within 3-6 weeks from the date of declaration of the results of the main examination for every professional year.

However, if any candidate fails the supplementary examination as well, he/she shall join the batch of the next academic year, NMC has stated.

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