Thursday, July 15, 2010

Indians barred from taking licentiate test for U.S. practice

Tens of thousands of Indians who went to the United States to cash in on the health industry boom have been served a blow as the federal government has decided against allowing Indians to sit for the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE), a licentiate test without which students cannot practice in the U.S. The decision was taken by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, a national body, reasoning that it found systematic and methodical sharing and distribution of recalled questions by significant numbers of graduates of programmes in the affected countries as well as several exam preparation companies specifically targeted to these graduates. Apart from Indians, students from Pakistan, the Philippines and Egypt have also been barred from taking the exam.

The federation recognizes the significant consequences of this policy decision but feels that it needs to be made clear to all candidates that the federation will not tolerate security breaches, it stated in a notice sent out to all the candidates who had registered to take the NPTE. Candidates will now have to wait for a year, which is when the federation is likely to introduce a more secured version of the test.

A parent from Mumbai whose daughter is enrolled with the University of Pittsburgh said the U.S. government's decision was not fair as they had found no evidence against Indian students sharing the questions with their friends. Even in the communication released to students, the federation stated, "Evidence was obtained through extensive forensic analyses of exam performances as well as a variety of legal actions brought by the federation in the United States and abroad. Most notably, this includes the raid and seizure of evidence from the St. Louis Review Center in Manila, Philippines, and its alleged owners/operators, which revealed the widespread sharing of hundreds of live test items".

Announced on Sunday, the decision caused ripples among the student community, some of whom are speaking of filing a case suit in an American court. This unfortunate news has disheartened me and shattered my dreams. What should I do next I am not able to find any way, noted Vijayta on a blog that has several students agitated with the United States government's decision.

Source: The Times of India, July 15, 2010

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