Published: 12th July 2022
Foreign medical graduates to protest on July 14, demand release of FMGE answer key
Group of Foreign Medical Graduates will stage a protest at Gautam Nagar, Central Park, New Delhi on July 14 at 6 pm
The Foreign Medical Graduation Examination (FMGE) 2022 June Session was conducted on June 4 by the National Board Of Examinations In Medical Sciences (NBEMS). This is the same license examination, conducted via CBT (computer-based test) mode, attempted by foreign medical graduates (FMG) in order to practice in India. It is held twice a year, in December and June.
When the results were announced for the June session, albeit after delay, it was found that only about 10 per cent of the students had passed the exam, with many students scoring single-digit marks too. Last December, the pass percentage was 25%.
"Some of us scored 0, 4, 7 marks out of 300, which is not possible in screening examination where there is no negative marking," says FMG student Archna Kumari, who pursued her General Physician course from Siberian State Medical University, Russia. As per the exam criteria, the students have to score 150 out of 300 to qualify for the screening exam.
FMGE also happens to be one of the most confidential examinations, points out Mohammad Sageer, Joint Secretary, FMGPA (Foreign Medical Graduates Parents Association). Post-exam, students are not provided with answer keys and are strictly prohibited from sharing the contents of the exam via any form, verbal, written or otherwise. Plus, there is no scope for revaluation as well.
Sageer vehemently asks, "Why there is no transparency?"
Moreover, the FMGE examination fee is Rs 7,080, which is slightly on the higher side, especially when compared to exams like NEET PG, he informs.
A protest is coming up
Naturally, all of this has not gone down well with the students. FMG student Gaurav Kumar, who hails from Muzaffarpur, is now working to mobilise other FMG students for a protest on July 14, at Gautam Nagar, New Delhi at 6 pm.
Additionally, Gaurav highlighted that several coaching institutes like Next MCI Gurukul and Next Learning Centre have extended their support for participating in the protest on July 14. A group created by Gaurav via Telegram, which now has over 1,800 to 1,900 students, are going to protest against the hardships they are facing.
When asked what their demands are, both Archna and Gaurav share, "NBEMS should maintain transparency by releasing question papers and answer keys." Archna added that with the help of the answer key, they will be able to prepare well for the next screening exam. which is in December 2022. Another one of their demands is bringing down the exam fee.
As it's been ten days since the results were declared, when asked if the student had the opportunity to reach out to higher officials, Gaurav said that many students and coaching institutes have emailed the ministry but to no avail.
Gaurav, who pursued his MD Physician course from Asian Medical Institute, Kyrgyzstan, also stressed the point that students know that nothing can be done now, hence, they are only asking for the answer key to identify mistakes and be better prepared for the next screening test.
The student also brought up the point that the results were to be announced on June 30, but the NBEMS informed and then delayed the results to July 2. But the point here is, "This screening exam is conducted via CBT (Computer-Based Test) mode and yet, it took about 28 days for the results to be declared. Whereas, for other pen-paper-based exams, the results are declared much quicker."
Sharing an instance to point toward the errors in the Board's management of results, former FMG Dr Yati Patil shared that back in December 2019, a student scored 86/300 which indicates he failed in the result sheet. But in the pass certificate, the score was mentioned as 183/300.
Furthermore, Patil informed that on May 2, 2022, the Bombay High Court passed an order directing the Board to release the answer key on the website. But to date the answer key is not out yet, he added.
Additionally, Patil stressed on the Board maintaining transparency and informed that a case is already filed regarding the same.