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Students Who Want to Study Medicine Abroad Will Now Have to Crack NEET

Image for representation only. (File photo/Reuters)

Image for representation only. (File photo/Reuters)

Currently, students who got their primary medical qualification in universities outside of India have to write the Foreign Medical Graduates Exam (FMGE) to qualify to practice in the country. Now, they’ll have to write a test to leave the country too.

New Delhi: Medical students who want to study abroad will now have to qualify for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). The government has made the test mandatory so that only competent students make the cut.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday amended India's Screening Test Regulations (2002). The change in rules was proposed by the Medical Council of India.

Currently, students who got their primary medical qualification in universities outside of India have to write the Foreign Medical Graduates Exam (FMGE) to qualify to practice in the country. Now, they’ll have to write a test to leave the country too.

“This is because 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”, said the ministry in a statement.

Every year, around 7,000 students go outside India to study medicine. Most of the students go to China and Russia. According to estimates, only 19 percent of students who appear for FGME qualified the exam in 2014-15.

According to officials, students who fail to clear the exams 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.

Now, “Indian Citizens / Overseas Citizen of India intending to obtain 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.”