NEET compulsory to do MBBS abroad while current students have been exempted

NEET –  In an apparent bid to dispel the cloud of darkness, the Union Ministry of Health, Government of India had announced that though, the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) is compulsory for the Indian students who want to pursue MBBS in overseas varsities the current students are being exempted, as per PTI report.

The report, quoting the Ministry, said that those students who had already taken admission under present regulations to pursue primary medical courses by taking eligibility certificate from Medical Council of India (MCI) were exempted from qualifying NEET.

Citing a statement from the Union Ministry of Health, the report said, “It is informed that the regulations prescribe that the Indian citizens or 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 National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), for admission to MBBS course abroad.”

After making the decision public, the Union Ministry of Health received grievances of the students requesting that those who have already gone abroad may be exempted from the requirement of qualifying NEET, noted the report.

“The decision will be implemented prospectively, that is, from May-2018. Thus, students who have already taken admission under current regulations to pursue a primary medical course by taking Eligibility Certificate from MCI are exempted from qualifying NEET,” citing the official statement, the report concurred.

It may be recalled that earlier this month, the Ministry had made NEET compulsory for the Indian candidates who wish to obtain medical qualifications from abroad. Every year, around 7,000 students visit abroad to pursue courses related to medicine. Most of the students go to China and Russia. “As per the data, the percentage of graduates who have studied abroad and have cleared the FMGE has ranged between 13 and 26.9% in the last five years. This is really a matter of concern as they go out, spend a lot of money of their parents and are not able to contribute to the healthcare in India once they come back,” quoting an official, the report added.

The Medical Council of India was established in 1934 under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1933, now repealed, with the main function of establishing uniform standards of higher qualifications in medicine and recognition of medical qualifications in India and abroad. The number of medical colleges had increased steadily during the years after Independence. It was felt that the provisions of the Indian Medical Council Act were not adequate to meet with the challenges posed by the very fast development and the progress of medical education in the country. As a result, in 1956, the old Act was repealed and a new one was enacted. This was further modified in 1964, 1993 and 2001.


  • Maintenance of uniform standards of medical education, both undergraduate and postgraduate
  • Recommendation for recognition/de-recognition of medical qualifications of medical institutions of India or foreign countries
  • Permanent registration/provisional registration of doctors with recognized medical qualifications
  • Reciprocity with foreign countries in the matter of mutual recognition of medical qualifications

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