Indian coaching industry and the employees in the industry are getting international recognition. A Russian state medical academy has begun to take Indian teachers from such coaching classes to its own location where they coach Indian medical under-graduates to crack the Medical Council of India's screening test for MBBS doctors. Under Indian regulations, students studying medicine in foreign countries can practice in India only if they clear the MCI's screening test, which has to be taken after graduation. The passing rate for this screening test is a meager 8%, proving to be a major obstacle in increasing the popularity of studying medicine abroad. Hence, the Smolensk State Medical Academy has tied up with teachers who run successful coaching classes in India. These teachers are taken to Smolensk for a total of seven months during the last two years of the six-year medical course, where they coach Indian medical under-graduates for the examination. This practice began a couple of years ago, in a move to ensure that Indian students can practice in India. Close to 1,000 students have been going to Russia every year to study medicine.
While the Smolensk Academy has a total intake of 150 overseas students, this entire number is filled by Indian students. Recently, due to aggressive marketing by some Russian universities, there is an increasing demand for the medical course from Indian students, coupled with the high cut off marks for admission to Indian medical colleges. Already all the 150 seats reserved for foreign students at the Smolensk State Medical Academy are filled by Indian students. Russia is being accepted as an educational destination for the medical course in part because it is cheaper there than in India. For instance, a six-year course at the Smolensk costs around INR 16 lakh, including tuition and living costs. The fees for a four-and-a-half year MMBS degree from a private medical college in India would put parents back by INR 15-30 lakh with living costs and the initial donation being extra.
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