Clearing the confusion, the Union Health Ministry has said students who have 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.
“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 Ministry received grievances of the students requesting that those who have already gone abroad may be exempted from the requirement of qualifying NEET.
“The decision will be implemented prospectively, that is, from May-2018. Thus, students who have already taken admission under current regulations to pursue primary medical course by taking Eligibility Certificate from MCI are exempted from qualifying NEET,” an official statement said.
Earlier this month, the ministry had made NEET mandatory for the Indian candidates who wish to obtain medical qualifications from abroad.
Every year, around 7,000 students go outside India to study 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 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,” an official said.