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NMC issues circular on the new competency-based curriculum for MBBS medical students

National Medical Commission (NMC) has introduced a new curriculum for MBBS courses and students pursuing them in the country. The new curriculum has been designed to bring about many changes in the system of Medical education. However, the most intriguing ones are the implementation of competency-based medical education and the addition of local language, Yoga, and Charak Shapath.

In the official circular released by NMC, the Commission has stressed that the new competency-based education system is being fulfilled to cover all three domains of learning which are – Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor. NMC has even said that it expects all medical education institutes to go ahead with this new curriculum’s implementation for a more effective learning experience.

All medical colleges in states and UTs have been directed to apply it in the new course for the MBBS batch (2021-22) admitted in February 2022.


A day after the circular on NMC’s new curriculum implementation, various experts have come up with their thoughts on the same. Some of the big changes being introduced and that are being debated have been listed below:

  1. Maharishi Charak Shapath – The new curriculum mentions that the Charak Shapath is recommended when a candidate is introduced to medical education. This change has sparked a debate among the medical fraternity who have read the sacred medical oath for time immemorial.
  2. Family Adoption Programme – As a part of the new curriculum, community medicine and this programme is expected to be promoted. This is expected to proceed from the first professional year itself and will be there throughout the curriculum.
  3. Yoga Training – Yoga training is another thing that has been both appreciated and questioned by stakeholders. Under the new curriculum by NMC, this training has been recommended during the foundation courses. The practice is expected to be done every day for an hour.
  4. Early clinical exposure and integration are retained since they are all teaching­ learning methods/strategies for addressing identified competencies.
  5. New beginnings from February 14, 2022 – The circular by NMC mentions that the new curriculum of UG CBME will begin on February 14, 2022, in all medical colleges in the country. The duration of the first professional course has also been reduced from 14 months to 12 months.
  6. Self-Directed learning (SDL): Some SDL hours can be reduced, specifically from Phase-I subjects like Anatomy (there are 40 hours), and Physiology (20 hours). Some SDL hours can go beyond office hours if required (students may be required to do certain things for SDL beyond regular hours).
  7. Assessment: A robust continuous formative and internal assessment is required to ensure competencies and thereby a competent medical graduate. If required, colleges can have two internal assessments and the third internal assessment can be calculated from various unitary and continuous tests taken throughout the year.
  8. Supplementary examinations: Supplementary exams are to be conducted between 4 to 6 weeks from the date of declaration of results of regular university examinations. The result of Supplementary examinations is declared within 10 days from the date of completion of examinations.

There shall be no supplementary/ repeater batch. For students who fail in their university examination:

Students who pass in 1st-year MBBS supplementary examination shall be offered special classes and ward postings to cover up the syllabus so that he/she copes with subjects. Subsequently (after passing in supplementary examination} the student shall continue with his/her regular batch. Attendance of special classes/ postings for such students shall be counted. Students who fail to pass a supplementary examination shall be joining the upcoming junior batch.

Students who pass in 2nd-year MBBS supplementary examination shall be offered special classes and ward postings to cover up the syllabus so that he/she can cope with subjects. He/she shall continue with his regular batch after passing the supplementary examination of the 2nd year MBBS examination. 

Attendance of special classes/ postings is counted. Students who fail to pass the supplementary examination of 2nd-year MBBS may be allowed to continue with/her regular batch. However, the student shall have to pass the 2nd-year MBBS exam before taking up the final MBBS examination, as per the existing guidelines.

  1. Details and guidelines on the NEXT examination shall be notified by NMC.

NMC’s new curriculum is expected to be implemented soon. As new changes unfold, reactions are coming in from the medical fraternity, many in support of this change, while some question the lack of innovation in the same. Regardless of it all, as of now, NMC has expected all medical colleges to immediately take steps for this new MBBS curriculum’s implementation.

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