New Delhi: MBBS Aspirants are seemingly more interested in pursuing medical courses abroad rather than India as is evidenced by the sheer surge in the eligibility certificates issued by MCI. The information surfaced in an RTI reply by the Medical Council of India (MCI)
The RTI reveals that the number of undergraduate students, who applied for the mandatory eligibility certificate from the Medical Council of India to study medical courses abroad, has increased in so far as almost 80 % in the year 2017-18 from 2016-17.
For the academic year of 2017-2018, the MCI had issued 14,118 eligibility certificates to medical course candidates while beating its earlier score of 8737 in 2016-2017. The number of applications received in the year 2017-18 was 18,383; as against the number of applications for eligibility certificate received by MCI in the previous year 2016-17 which were 10,555.
The number of eligibility certificates issued also includes pending of the previous years, mentioned the RTI reply signed by Assistant Secretary and PIO Rajiv Kumar (MCI BOG).
|Year||No. of applications for eligibility certificate received||No. of applications for eligibility certificate issued|
|1st March 2015- 31st March 2016||503||3398|
Information provided in the RTI speaks volume on the shift in medical education trends. Availability of medical seats coupled with affordability are the clear reasons for the increase in preference of foreign medical colleges as compared to Indian medical institutes.
Speaking to Medical Dialogues, Saju Bhaskar, President and Founder of Texila American University said, “The key reason for this is the lack of medical seats in India. There are a total of approx. 60,000 medical seats that are being offered by both Government and private colleges for medical aspirants who are in millions. Apart from this, higher awareness levels of the overseas colleges, more affordable fees compared to Indian private colleges, curriculum aligned to international standards, better global growth opportunities etc are other reasons why students prefer to study MBBS abroad.”
With the National Eligibility, cum Entrance Test (NEET) becoming compulsory in India, pursuing MBBS from abroad is a viable option for starting a career in medicine. Moreover, the rising costs of medical education, especially in private medical colleges of the country, has indeed made this alternative shine in terms of cost analysis
Early this year, NEET was made mandatory for even overseas medical aspirants; but in September, the MCI along with the Union Health Ministry decided to give one-time exemption from the requirement of NEET may be granted in respect of Indian Citizens, who had not at all registered for NEET 2018 and desired to take admission in MBBS or equivalent medical course in a foreign medical university in the present academic year 2018-19.
Further, the High Court of Delhi gave a one-time exemption even to medical students, who had failed in NEET to study medicine abroad. Thus, this year, the compulsion of NEET for medical education abroad was cancelled.
However, from 2019, NEET will be mandatory for every medical aspirant and the medical students would have to qualify NEET first in order to apply to foreign medical institutes. This would also be one of the reasons why foreign medical colleges have witnessed a rise in the number of applicants in 2018.
In order to be able to practice in India, all Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs) coming back to the country have to appear for the mandatory entrance examination, Foreign Medical Graduates Examination (FMGE).