MCI proposal to amend the Screening Test Regulations 2002 Approved: Health Ministry
New Delhi: NEET for Foreign Medical education will soon become a reality as the health ministry has approved the MCI proposal to amend the Screening Test Regulations 2002 for the same
Till Now, common National Entrance Exam viz. National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) has been mandatory for admission to all medical courses in the country.
Indian students can also pursue medical education abroad and have to qualify a Screening Test called Foreign Medical Graduates Exam (FMGE), for registration to practice in India after obtaining a primary medical qualification (MBBS) overseas. It has come to notice that medical institutions / Universities of foreign countries admit Indian students without proper assessment or screening of the students' academic ability to cope up with medical education with the result that many students fail to qualify the Screening Test.
In this regard, the proposal of Medical Council of India (MCI) to amend the Screening Test Regulations, 2002, making it mandatory to qualify NEET to pursue foreign medical course has been approved by this Ministry.
Thus, the Indian Citizens / Overseas Citizen of India intending to obtain a primary medical qualification from any medical institution outside India, on or after May 2018, shall have to mandatorily qualify the NEET for admission to MBBS course abroad. The result of NEET shall be deemed to be treated as the Eligibility Certificate for such persons, provided that such persons fulfil the eligibility criteria for admission to the MBBS course prescribed in the Regulations on Graduate Medical Education, 1997.
A mere 12 to 15 percent of the graduates, who come back after studying abroad, manage to clear the Foreign Medical Graduates Examination (FMGE). If they don't clear the FMGE, they don't get registered to practice in India.
"In such cases, they start quackery or practice illegally which can be dangerous. So the move is aimed at ensuring only competent students get to study medicine in foreign universities," the official said.
"As per the data, the percentage of graduates who have studied abroad and have cleared the FMGE has ranged between 13 and 26.9 percent in the last five years. This is really a matter of concern as they go out, spend a lot of money of their parents and are not able to contribute to the healthcare in India once they come back," the official explained.
Once the new proposal is approved, those aspiring to study medicine outside India will be given a No Objection Certificate (NOC) only if they clear NEET, the official said.
There were some complaints that the FMGE paper was very tough because of which those who come back from abroad are unable to clear it. But a committee constituted to review the FMGE syllabus found it to be perfectly suitable and relevant.