New Delhi: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has revealed the Centre’s intention to make the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) mandatory for students planning to study medicine abroad. The Ministry has already started stakeholder consultations on this new proposal. Under this, a student who hasn’t cleared the NEET will not be granted an Essentiality Certificate (EC) from the Medical Council of India, an essentiality for medical admission abroad. NEET, as is well-known, has already been made mandatory to study medicine in any government or private medical colleges in India
The idea of NEET which took seed in 2013, became the sole entry point for aspirants into medical colleges 2016 onwards.This came about only after prolonged exchanges in court between states, deemed universities and minority institutions trying to fight the common test on grounds like economic and educational inequalities.
There is a possibility that in years to come Essentiality Certificate by the Council may only be issued to students going to better ranking institutes abroad.
This the government hopes will help streamline foreign medical education and raise the dismal pass percentage of Indian students in the Foreign Medical Graduates Examination (FMGE). An exam Indian students who have studied abroad, have to clear before becoming licensed practitioners in India.
“The pass percentage in the FMGE examination every year is in the range of 10-15 per cent. This is a function of two things — the quality of intake and the quality of training that the colleges impart. There is a need for some sort of control over this because there is no point in Indian students going for a five-and-a-half-year course abroad that costs a lot of money and then not being able to practice medicine once they come back. So we are looking at making NEET mandatory even for students intending to study medicine abroad. We have already started consultations,” said the Senior Health Ministry official.
About 6 lakh students qualify NEET qualifiers number a 6 lakh every year. Only 67,000 can be admitted in Indian medical colleges and another 27,000 in the dentistry institutions.
“In countries where the accreditation system is reliable, ECs may be issued only for the top institutes and not for the others,” the official disclosed to the Indian Express.
With the introduction of the National Medical Commission Bill, the Centre is also planning to enforce an Exit Exam for MBBS passouts in order to obtain the “dr” tag.
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