NEW DELHI: The government is set to make the National Eligibility cum and Entrance Test mandatory for even those students who wish to pursue medicine outside India from this year.
Official sources in the Union ministry of health and family welfare said that the move is aimed at ensuring that only “good quality” students study medicine in foreign universities.
At present, medical graduates who get their degrees from institutes abroad have to take the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination conducted by the Medical Council of India before they are registered to practice as doctors in the country.
“Only 10-15 per cents of these graduate are able to clear the MCI licentiate examination every year which says a lot about the quality of students and standard of medical education they receive in other countries,” an official in the health ministry told The New Indian Express.
About 6-7,000 students go outside of India to pursue medicine, mainly to China and Russia. At present, any student who has passed class XII from any board with 50 per cent only needs to procure an Eligibility Certificate from MCI in order to move offshore to become a doctor.
“There are concerns about the quality of the students who can easily get a degree in medicine from abroad and the poor quality of education being imparted in the institutions they go to. By making NEET mandatory, we can at least address one of the main issues,” the official added.
The new rule will mean that only those students who are in top 50 percentile of NEET will be eligible to opt for medical education outside India.
The health ministry, after recently holding discussions with the Ministry of Education of the Chinese government has also identified 45 medical colleges which have been categorised as “good”.
Sources in the MCI said that students, at the time of seeking eligibility certificates, will be guided on these “recognised” medical colleges as China attracts maximum number of medical students from India every year.
The Central Board of Secondary Education, which conducts NEET for admission into MBBS, BDS and several other courses in the field of medicine, meanwhile, is likely to notify details related to the examination on Thursday, February 8 and the test will be held on May 6.