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National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), the common national level entrance exam conducted for admission to medical courses, has been made mandatory for pursuing MBBS medical course abroad, according to a Gazette notification by the Medical Council of India or MCI. Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had last year approved a proposal of MCI, the medical education regulator in the country, to amend the Screening Test Regulations, 2002, making it mandatory to qualify NEET to pursue foreign medical courses.
The new regulations came into force from the date of publication in the official Gazette, which is March 15.
According to the notification, “the result of NEET shall be valid for a period of three (3) years from the date of declaration of result, entitling a candidate to pursue MBBS or equivalent medical course including pre-medical/language course, if any, followed by MBBS or equivalent medical course” for taking admission in an undergraduate medical course in a foreign medical institution.
A screen grab from MCI’s notification which makes NEET mandatory for pursuing MBBS abroad.
Before this, Indian students were allowed to pursue medical education abroad and have to qualify a Screening Test called Foreign Medical Graduates Exam (FMGE), for registration to practice in India after obtaining primary medical qualification (MBBS) overseas.
Currently, students who wish to study medicine in any government or private medical college in India have to clear NEET which came into existence from 2016.
At present, according to PTI, a student who wishes to take up a medical course has to obtain an essentiality certificate from the MCI for admission in any medical college outside India.
Every year, around 7,000 students go outside India to study medicine. Most of the students go to China and Russia.