The Medical Council of India (MCI) will give final shape to the proposed revision in the MBBS curriculum at a two-day meeting in Delhi beginning on Monday and aims to roll out the new curriculum later this month, Chairman, Board of Governors, MCI, Shiv Kumar Sarin said on Sunday.

“The bottom line of the reform exercise, which is the first important revision being attempted in the field of medical education in over 60 years, is to make undergraduate education competency-based, open and participatory,” Dr. Sarin told The Hindu on the sidelines of a programme to present the gold medal oration awards instituted by the M. V. Hospital for Diabetes.

“A series of consultations have been concluded on the curriculum reform and now we are on track to roll out the new curriculum on March 29,” Dr. Sarin said.

Some of the changes proposed by the MCI's Undergraduate Education Working Group include reducing the duration of the course from four-and-a-half years to four years to appear for an examination and taking a skills test after a one-year internship and exposure to clinical material in the first and second years. The aim of the exercise is to ensure that MBBS doctors acquire the diagnostic and analytical competence for clinical evaluation of a whole spectrum of medical conditions — from snake-bite to accident casualty, and also to be able to establish a good communication relationship with patients.

According to Dr. Sarin, there has been a sharp increase in applications from Tamil Nadu to start medical colleges. The number of applicants had gone up from 19 last year to 84. There has also been increased demand for post-graduate seats, he said.

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