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NEET 2018: Latest Changes Introduced this Year

Last Updated - March 06, 2018

National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2018 conducted by Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE) is scheduled for May 6, 2018. The much-awaited NEET official notification was published on February 8, 2018. The notification also included certain surprises introduced in the test this year including debarring of NIOS candidates and revision of upper age limit.

In 2017, 11.3 lakhs candidates applied for the exam, the number is expected to rise to 12 lakhs this year. The number of exam cities have been increased from 84 in 2016 to 150 cities in this year.

The changes introduced will have a significant impact on all the medical aspirants and not all are going to have a positive response. NEET aspirants are well advised to check all the important changes introduced in the centralized medical entrance test this year.

Check Step by Step Guide to Apply for NEET

Some key changes in NEET 2018 are listed below:

Debarment of NIOS students

The Medical Council of India (MCI) has debarred students pursuing +2 through open and distance schooling from appearing for NEET 2018. Contrary to several popular media reports that HRD ministry has reverted decision of MCI on debarring NIOS students, CBSE has gone ahead with MCI’s mandate on allowing only regular students to apply for NEET.

Thousands of medical aspirants may lose the opportunity to become doctors due to this amendment. The reason stated by the MCI for this move was the difference in the level of education among the students of two categories received. As per MCI officials, NIOS students lack the exposure of practical lessons that regular students receive. NIOS has 2.7 million students enrolled in 3500+ centres across the country. The change is likely to dampen the dreams of thousands of students.

Read About MCI Debars NIOS students from NEET 2018, HRD Ministry reverts decision

Reintroduction of Upper Age Limit

CBSE reintroduced an Upper Age Limit for candidates applying for NEET. The age limit for General Category candidates is fixed at 25 years. A relaxation of 5 years is permissible for reserved category candidates i.e., 30 years. Candidates past the stated age will not be eligible to sit for the exam this year. This change was introduced in NEET 2017 as well but was scrapped later by the Supreme Court.

The minimum age to be eligible for MBBS program is 17 years on or before December 31 2018.

Read More on NEET 2018 Age limit Criteria, Upper Age Limit Relaxation

Introduction of Urdu Language

The Supreme Court of India decided to include Urdu as one of the medium for NEET this year. The changes brings the total number of languages in which the exam shall be conducted to 11. The Students Islamic Organization of India has been persistent to introduce this option for years. The notification for NEET 2018 confirmed the introduction of Urdu as a medium for exam across all NEET 2018 Exam Cities.

Admissions into AYUSH via NEET

From 2018 onwards, candidates aspiring to get into Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) undergraduate courses in any college across the country, will have to appear for NEET. The courses that will fall under the purview of this new rule are:

  • Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
  • Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery (BHMS)
  • Bachelor of Unani Medicine and Surgery (BUMS)
  • Bachelor of Siddha Medicine and Surgery (BSMS) and
  • The Bachelor of Naturopathy and Yoga Science (BNYS)

The AYUSH Ministry made it compulsory for the all the states to conduct admission into AYUSH UG courses through NEET 2018 merit list. This move was introduced in 2017 as well but only a handful of states held admissions through NEET 2017.

Andhra Pradesh, Telangana to Join NEET

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana will now take candidates into MBBS/BDS programs through NEET. Previously, these states, along with J&K, refrained from participating in NEET under Article 371D. Under the new scheme, 15% of total seats available in the all the medical colleges across the two states will be available for students through All India NEET counselling.

In return, 15% of the seats through All India NEET Counselling will be available for candidates from these two states. Earlier, students from these two states had to submit a self-declaration form to be considered for the NEET counselling. The same will not be needed from NEET 2018.

Besides the changes mentioned above, MCI has also proposed to make NEET mandatory for pursuing MBBS from foreign colleges and universities. The proposal has come in the wake of poor performance of candidates in FMGE (Foreign Medical Graduate Examination). The dip in performance is attributed to lack of aptitude among students who complete their MBBS from abroad as lack of regularization in selection of Foreign Universities for pursuing medical courses.

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