NEET has now been made mandatory for students who are willing to complete their medical degree from foreign institutions. Such students will receive NOC only after qualifying NEET.
14 February 2018: National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) which is the common medical entrance examination conducted at national level has been made mandatory for pursuing MBBS courses from Foreign institutions. The Medical Council of India (MCI) has made a proposal to amend the Screening Test Regulations, 2002 and the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has approved the same making NEET mandatory for pursuing foreign medical courses.
Before this, Indian students (who have studied abroad) were required to qualify a Screening Test called Foreign Medical Graduates Exam (FMGE) for registration to practice in India (after completing their medical degree overseas).
It was brought to government’s notice that medical Universities and institutions in foreign countries were giving admission to Indian students without proper assessment of students’ academic ability to take up medical education. Due to this, many students were unable to qualify the screening test. After this event, MCI proposed changes in the Screen Test Regulations.
As per the Ministry; "Thus, 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 abroad"
The Ministry also stated that the NEET result shall be deemed as the Eligibility Certificate for students willing to pursue a Foreign medical course provided that they fulfils the eligibility criteria as mentioned in the Regulations on Graduate Medical Education, 1997.
An official said; "If they don't clear the FMGE, they don't get registered to practice in India. In such cases, they start quackery or practice illegally which can be dangerous. So the move is aimed at ensuring only competent students get to study medicine in foreign universities"
Every year, approximately 7,000 students go outside the country to study medicine. Their most favoured destinations are China and Russia.
He further added; “As per the data, the percentage of graduates who have studied abroad and have cleared the FMGE has ranged between 13 and 26.9 per cent in the last five years. This is really a matter of concern as they go out, spend lot of money of their parents and are not able to contribute to the healthcare in India once they come back."
Now, medical aspirants willing to study in foreign institutions will get the No Objection Certificate (NOC) only if they qualify NEET.