NEET Mandatory For Students Wanting To Pursue MBBS From Abroad

| February 14 , 2018 , 12:08 IST

The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday approved the proposal to make the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), mandatory for student those are planning to study MBBS from abroad.

The proposal was made by the Medical Council Of India (MCI) to make it compulsory for students to pass NEET to obtain an eligibility certificate (EC) to pursue medical courses from foreign medical colleges.

The Ministry order stated, "It has come to notice that medical institutions / Universities of foreign countries admit Indian students without proper assessment or screening of the students’ academic ability to cope up with medical education with the result that many students fail to qualify the Screening Test."

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As per the data, the 12 lakh aspirants take NEET for the undergraduate medical course every year, from which six lakh clear the exam for about 68,000 MBBS seats. The rest try for dental and Ayush (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) courses. On average, about four lakh students are left to look for other avenues each year. An estimated two to three thousand students go abroad to study medicine.

Arun Singhal, joint secretary, the Health Ministry said, "Only about 10-15% of those who take FMGE (Foreign Medical Graduate Screening Exam) are able to clear it. There were complaints that the exam was tough, so we formed an expert committee to look at the exam structure. The committee didn’t find the exam tough."

Singhal added, “It speaks a lot about the quality of students and education, and what we are getting in return. Currently, anyone who scores 50% in 12th boards is eligible to go abroad to study medicine. These days scoring 50% isn’t very difficult, which is why MCI proposed making NEET mandatory.”

He further said, "This way we can also ensure that students going abroad to study are quality students."

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Health Ministry has also said that Indian citizens or Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) intending to obtain a primary medical qualification from any medical institution outside India, on or after May 2018, shall have to mandatorily qualify NEET for admission to MBBS course abroad.

Before this, a student who wishes to take up a medical course from abroad had to obtain an essentiality certificate from the MCI for the admission.