HYDERABAD: Students desirous of studying medicine or other medical courses abroad will now have to clear the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), a move that is likely to affect about 600-700 Telugu students who apply for such courses in China, Ukraine, Philippines and other countries each year.
Medical Council of India (MCI) had mooted the proposal to amend the Screening Test Regulation Act 2002 approved by the Health Ministry. The ministry on Tuesday approved the proposal and made it mandatory to pass NEET to obtain an eligibility certificate (EC) to pursue MBBS course in foreign medical colleges.
Students who pursue the MBBS degree overseas have to come back and qualify a screening test called Foreign Medical Graduates Exam (FMGE) for registration with MCI and to be able to practice or purse PG.
7,000 Indian students go abroad to study medicine
“Of these less than 1000, on an average 600-700 are from Telangana yearly and only 250 to 300 are able to make to make a cut at the screening. Some take special coaching to clear it, some take several years and even special coaching to clear the test,’ said Dr B Karunakar Reddy, vice chancellor of Kaloji Narayana Rao University of Health Sciences.He said that such a step was needed to maintain the standard of the medical education. Medical practitioners have for long argued that EAMCET with it 50 per cent pass marks was more challenging than NEET’s qualifying criterion of 50 percentile. Thus, in a 720 mark NEET question paper, a student would require just 140 to quality.
‘This is very low marks and if a student cannot even get this much then he/she should drop the idea of becoming a doctor and put the lives to people in danger,” said Dr Reddy. For students appearing for NEET this year, the new regulation has added another worry -- that of increased competition. Pravalika King, a BiPC student feels that with more students taking the entrance test all students will face the pressure.
Practising doctors welcome move
“Until now those with money could go abroad and get the degree. But now only those who have qualified the NEET can go aboard. It will also be easier for them to clear FMGE upon their return. Eventually with only meritorious students clearing the test, the quality of doctors produced by the country,” said Dr G Srinivas, a doctor from Osmania General Hospital. Yearly close to 12 lakh aspirants take NEET for the undergraduate medical course. Nearly six lakh who clear the exam, vie for 68,000 MBBS seats. The rest try for dental and Ayush (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy).