Changes in PG Medical Education Regulations: PG courses to be mandatory in all colleges, pass criteria revised

Changes in PG Medical Education Regulations: PG courses to be mandatory in all colleges, pass criteria revised
Somesh S Menon | Apr 25, 2018 - 8:41 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI, April 25: As per certain important changes introduced by the Medical Council of India (MCI) to the ‘Postgraduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000’, all medical colleges in the country will have to start postgraduate medical courses from 2020-21 onwards, while all newly established medical colleges will have to introduce the same within three years of receiving recognition to start undergraduate courses. The changes were notified by the MCI via a Gazette of India (Extraordinary) notification titled “Postgraduate Medical Education (Amendment) Regulations, 2018”, published on April 5, 2018.

Another important change introduced via the Gazette is regarding the passing criteria for all postgraduate courses, with candidates now required to obtain a minimum of 40% marks in each theory paper and not less than 50% cumulatively in all the four papers for degree examinations and three papers in diploma examination. Earlier, candidates were required to obtain a minimum of 50% marks in ‘Theory’ as well as ‘Practical’ separately.

Keeping with the provisions of the newly enforced ‘Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016’, 5% seats of the annual sanctioned intake capacity in all medical colleges shall be filled up by persons with benchmark disabilities, in place of the earlier proviso which mandated that 3% seats of the annual sanctioned intake capacity be filled by candidates with locomotory disability of lower limbs between 50% to 70%.

Move to increase PG seats

As per changes made to the heading ‘Starting of postgraduate Medical Courses and their recognition’ in the PG Medical Education Regulations, “it shall be incumbent upon Medical Colleges/Medical Institutions to make an application for starting of Post-graduate medical education courses within three years of grant of recognition”. The notification goes on to state that “...above shall be applicable to the scheme submitted from the academic year 2020-21 onwards, in order to provide time to the existing colleges to apply”.

With the current medical scenario in India facing an acute shortage of specialist doctors, it is understood that the decision to introduce the above rule was taken in order to add around 10,000 post-graduate seats within the next four years, keeping with Union Health Minister JP Nadda’s vision for the country to have about 1,32,083 specialist doctors by then. The regulations will be applicable to government as well as private colleges, and those failing to adhere to the same will lose recognition. Colleges will need to apply for starting of the post-graduate programmes which would be followed by an MCI inspection. In order to retain recognition, the colleges are required to qualify the inspection within three attempts.

In an earlier effort to increase the number of postgraduate seats in 2017, the Health Ministry had revised the ration of the teacher to student in the government medical colleges and subsequently extending the norm to private colleges as well. It was decided that each professor would be permitted to have three students (1:3) and associate professors would have two students (1:2) training under them, an upgrade from the earlier ratio of 1:2 and 1:1.

Pass Criteria revised

As per changes made to Clause 14, under the heading ‘Examination’, candidates seeking to pass their postgraduate medical course will be required to obtain a “minimum of 40% marks in each theory paper and not less than 50% cumulatively in all the four papers for degree examinations and three papers in diploma examination. Obtaining of 50% marks in Practical examination shall be mandatory for passing the examination as a whole in the said degree/diploma examination as the case may be”.

As per media reports, the change has been met with mixed reactions, with many feeling the lowering of the passing requirement will benefit students and lead to an increase of doctors graduating, while others expressing concerns that it may hamper the quality of doctors.


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