NEET is being considered a mandatory examination if a medical aspirant is looking at pursuing a degree abroad. This makes the battle for medical aspirants willing to avail medical education from abroad tougher. As per recent reports, Union Ministry of health is all set to make the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) compulsory for students aspiring to do medical courses from abroad.
Until now, NEET was only used for admissions to medical courses like MBBS, BDS etc. in India but, Indian government is thinking of taking it a step further and making it compulsory now even for students who wish to pursue these medical courses from abroad.
This decision is being considered in order to ensure that only good quality students study medical courses from abroad. As per the sources in Union ministry of health and welfare, aspirants who fail to clear NEET will not be given the Essentiality Certificate (EC), which is mandate for medical admissions abroad as well as the No Objection Certificate (NOC), without which they will not be able to practice in India after their course.
NEET Application Process is likely to begin from mid of February and the registration would happen on the official website of cbseneet.nic.in. The exam is scheduled to be conducted in May 2018. For all other details and official notification students are advised to keep an eye on the website for all the upcoming updates.
Presently, students who are pursuing medical studies from abroad and wish to return back to India and practice here as doctors are supposed to write the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination which is conducted by the Medical Council of India. They would be registered to practice as doctors in India only if they are able to clear this examination. The past records however, show very poor performance of students in this foreign medical graduate exam who have their medical degrees from abroad.
As per stats, hardly around 12-15% of the students holding these foreign medical degrees are able to pass this MCI licentiate examination which clearly indicates that it is an alarming situation for the medical council as it is high time that we realise the need of more emphasis on the quality over quantity. In the past five years, the percentage of medical students clearing the MCI licentiate examination has varied from 13.09 to 29.9 %.
It is useless if students waste so much money and go abroad and put in 5 years for a medical course and come back to India and are unable to practice since they are not equipped enough to clear this licentiate examination. This is primarily due to lack of proper exposure and improper training being imparted to students in these foreign universities. Additionally, even students who are not qualified enough to clear this exam in India graduate from abroad and come back and lack the required competency to practice as doctors in India.
Among the Most popular destinations for pursuing medical courses abroad, China stands first followed by other countries like Russia and Nepal. Every year lakhs and lakhs of students appear for the NEET entrance exam in India whereas the total number of available seats for medical courses is only around 65,000. Students thus, try opting for medical courses abroad due to limited number of seats and also, they don’t have to write any entrance exams for admissions into medical courses in foreign universities.
Another plus point is that students just need to have scored 50 percent in their class XII examination and they get a eligibility certificate from the Medical Council of India to go abroad to study medical education. Hence, it becomes very easy for students who are not performing well also to secure a seat in medical courses outside India. Students who are unable to clear NEET and secure admission in India also get this leverage to move out and pursue medical courses abroad.
Another major factor to be considered is that the education quality being imparted abroad in medical courses is of substandard quality and way beyond the educational quality of medical courses in our country. Due to all these factors, though we have been producing a good quantity of medical degree holders but we are compromising a lot in quality which is being clearly indicated from the statistics of students clearing the licentiate exam. The government needs to bring in some sort of control over this and hence the decision of introducing NEET for abroad courses is being put to thoughts.
With this move of Indian government, we would be restricting the mediocre and students who are not performing well from not moving abroad to pursue medical courses. If the new rule gets implemented only the students securing scores in the top 50 percentile would be considered for applying to medical courses outside India. Medical Council of India is also holding discussions with the Education Ministry of China in order to identify the best medical colleges in China for medical courses as China is one of the most sought after destinations for medical education by Indian students.
This would help in getting good quality students as only the toppers would be allowed to go abroad and if the number is lesser the students can aim and apply only for the good universities abroad offering medical courses so that, when these students return back to India they are in a better state of clearing the FMGE exam and we get more number of practicing doctors.
However, the implementation of this rule would bring in a tough time for the students aiming to pursue their medical education from abroad. Even in general it is a tedious task for students to concentrate on their NEET preparation along with preparing for their board exams and now with this rule coming into action the process would be even more difficult and challenging for the young aspirants who are willing to study abroad as they have to strive even harder to get good scores in the NEET examination.