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The National Registration Exam Receives Thousands of Applications from Foreign Medical Graduate Students

The National Registration Exam (NRE), which will be held in two sections in June and July, has received appplications from at least 2,000 international medical graduate students. The registration deadline is today.

“With just one day left, as many as 2,000 foreign medical graduates have applied for the National Registration Exam, which begins on June 2 this year,” said Dr. Imdad Khushk, Registrar of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC).

He spoke these things on Monday at an E-Kutchery. The PMDC Act stipulates that there will be two NRE sessions annually, and the council has suggested dates for these meetings. In order to accommodate as many candidates as possible, Dr. Imdad encouraged medical graduates to apply for the NRE.

“Within a few days, the council will respond to applications and notify students of any errors in their submissions. June 2 is the date of Step I of the NRE, while July 21–22 is the date of Step II. Exams for candidates who cannot be accommodated on these dates will take place on July 28–29, he said. Every year, there will be two exam sessions: one in June–July and one in November–December.

Step I of the NRE’s second session is set for November 24, while Step II is set for December 28–29. Candidates will be accommodated in the first week of January of the following year if the number of applications surpasses the cap.

Dr. Imdad also said that the Medical and Dental Colleges Admission Test (MDCAT) is being prepared for, with a test date to be announced later.

It is important to remember that on April 30, 2024, the NRE syllabus was authorized. A single NRE session took place in 2023, however the National Licensing Exam (NLE), as it was then known, was administered by the now-defunct Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) for at least three sessions in 2022.

Speaking on the National Assembly floor, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar revealed that this year’s exam would take place across two sessions, beginning on June 2, in response to a calling attention notice that PTI legislators had submitted. The examination’s passing score has dropped from 70% to 60%.

What is the Response of Law Minister?

In response to demands from certain politicians, he stated that the government could not sustain the quality of medical education by lowering the passing standards to 50%. He asserted, “There are examples of doctors who completed their MBBS overseas without traveling.”

The law minister claims that although the passing score on the previous exam was 70%, no candidate was able to pass. As a result, it was decided to lower the passing score to 60% and change the format of the test. The National University of Medical Sciences will be in charge of giving the exams. PTI parliamentarians Zartaj Gul, Shahid Ahmed, Shabbir Qureshi, Amjad Ali Khan, and Jamshed Dasti (who did not attend the hearings) moved the notice.

Speaking on a point of order, PPP leader and former health minister Qadir Patel backed the PTI’s demand, proposing that the passing scores for dental and medical schools be 45% and 50–55%, respectively. Additionally, he insisted that the caretaker government’s decision to outlaw new private medical colleges be reversed because it went against their authority.

Last year, the National Licensing Exam—which was made required by the now-defunct Pakistan Medical Commission in 2020—was waived for at least 10,000 medical and dentistry students in Pakistan who had graduated from nearby medical colleges.

Muhammad Imran
Muhammad Imran
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