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The Medical Council of India (MCI) has stated that qualifying NEET will be mandatory for aspirants seeking admissions to foreign universities for pursuing MBBS. Currently, the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) is the centralized entrance exam for aspirants seeking admission to MBBS and BDS courses at all the Government and Private medical institutions across India.
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However, in a major relief for students currently enrolled in MBBS programs abroad, clearing NEET 2018 will not apply to them. This startling announcement is aimed at regulating eligibility and talent of the students who plan to pursue MBBS in foreign universities.The need to implement NEET requirement arises as several educational consultants and agencies are offering admissions to MBBS programs in foreign universities with minimal academic requirements.
Additionally, the students who opt such to join MBBS courses abroad are not required to go through any formal entrance examination for determining their eligibility. This leads to a potential threat of sending mediocre talent to many foreign medical institutions for pursuing MBBS. All such aspirants need to clear the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) conducted by MCI for registering as medical practitioners in India. However, most of these candidates have performed miserably in the test in recent years.
Most universities abroad offer direct admission to a medical course based on prior academic records of candidates. Many universities located in China and Russia do not bother to determine a candidate's suitability for pursuing medical studies which is quite alarming as these candidates are to become medical practitioners in future.
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As a formal process, they just ask for the eligibility certificate issued by MCI, for which there is a fixed criterion. Students need to obtain just 50% in class 12th examination. The major loophole with this procedure is that students usually come from different educational boards whose academic curriculum also vary to a great degree.
As per the official records, at least 7000 medical aspirants from India join various medical institutions based in Russia and China annually for pursuing MBBS. However, only around 10-15% of them manage to clear the FMGE examination conducted by MCI.
MCI stated that the medical field could not afford development of low-quality doctors, as that would lead to the compromise with the health of patients. All this to led to implementing a formal selection procedure for the aspirants seeking admissions to foreign medical universities.
To make the selection process fair and uniform for all medical aspirants, MCI devised new criteria as per which the basic eligibility requirement for Indian students is to be amongst the top 50 percentile of appearing candidates of NEET 2018. Know About NEET Merit List
These new requirements will take effect from May 2018 when candidates start applying for the Eligibility Certificate. However, these would not impact the medical curriculum of the students who are already currently pursuing the MBBS courses in the abroad universities through any prior criteria.
MCI has declared in an official notification dated February 09, 2018 that NEET exam will be mandatory for students as eligibility criteria to get admissions to the foreign universities. Such students will be issued the Eligibility Certificate to be produced at the foreign universities only post securing stipulated rank in NEET exam.
This decision is expected to fix up the problem of sending low-grade students to pursue MBBS degree abroad, which is the case currently. Aspirants would be issued the Eligibility Certificate for foreign medical education only if they are amongst the top 50 percentile in the NEET exam.
One of the top health ministry officials quoted officially - “The Indian Citizens/Overseas Citizen of India intending to obtain primary medical qualification from any medical institution outside India, on or after May 2018, shall have to mandatorily qualify the NEET for admission to MBBS course(s) abroad. The decision will be implemented prospectively i.e. from May 2018. Thus, students who have already taken admission under current regulations to pursue primary medical course by taking Eligibility Certificate from (the) MCI are exempted from qualifying NEET”.
Apart from introducing this criterion, MCI is also aiming to improve the quality of doctors who complete their MBBS from foreign countries like China. The Ministry of Health, India has approached the Ministry of Education, China to identify, prepare and agree upon a list of 45 good colleges in China where Indian students should get admission to the MBBS course. The MCI is also likely to release an official notification in this regard soon on their official website.
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