In two separate circulars issued by the Undergraduate Medical Education Board of NMC, universities have been advised to follow the existing norms for conducting theory exams. The advisory has suggested taking precautions, including dividing students in batches, in view of the Covid situation. Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) has already conducted the first and final-year exams, but the second-and third-year exams, which were scheduled to commence from April 19, have been postponed to June 2.
The NMC has allowed the presence of external examiners online but has stressed on the need for internal examiners to be present physically. For practical examinations, if there is a shortage of clinical material, it may be replaced by case scenarios, simulations and use of appropriate X-rays, CT scans or lab reports, said the advisory.
Ajit Pathak, the controller of examinations, MUHS, said the state followed the apex body’s rules for the summer and winter 2020 exams for postgraduate students. “Not counting the supplementary exam as an additional attempt is a new directive and we will follow it,” he said.
Welcoming the decision, Brijesh Sutaria, parent of a third-year student said, “Medical exams should be preferably in offline mode only. Take-from-home online exams will be a huge disaster in future for these students when they start their practice. Universities do not have infrastructure for online exams. If students are unable to take the exam in June, they will be allowed to take the supplementary exams and it will be counted as their first attempt.”
Meanwhile, over 5,000 medical students who have appeared for their final-year exams will undergo an orientation programme in Covid-19 patient management for their internships.