NEET 2020 not necessary for MBBS abroad, applicants can appear in 2021: MCI order
New Delhi: In a major development on NEET 2020 recently, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has declared "one-time exemption" for NEET aspirants who intend to pursue MBBS abroad, keeping in view of the unprecedented circumstances given the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with this, the MCI has made it clear that the candidates would have to appear and qualify the exams either in 2020 or next year 2021.
The confirmation to this effect comes via a recent order released by the apex medical regulator in a matter of NEET exemption.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported about the case subjected to which the MCI has now declared its outcome. Last month, with the continuous postponement of NEET 2020, an MBBS aspirant who wished to pursue studies abroad had approached the Delhi High Court seeking to direct the authorities to grant her an eligibility certificate without the prerequisite NEET qualification, as the course is scheduled to commence soon in Uzbekistan and the last date was August 2020.
The plea said as the NEET examination in India is scheduled for September 13, it may not be possible for her to meet the eligibility.
According to a March 2019 gazette notification by the Medical Council of India (MCI), the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET)–the common level entrance exam conducted for admission to medical courses–has been made mandatory for pursuing MBBS courses abroad.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the NEET exam has been deferred twice and is now scheduled for September 13. The plea sought to direct the authorities to grant her one time exemption as an exception from the requirement of having to clear NEET for admission to overseas medical courses in a foreign university for the current academic session 2020-2021.
However, noting that the student had not approached the MCI authorities with her grievances before moving the high court, Justice V Kameswar Rao directed the MCI in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to consider the petition as a representation and decide it in three weeks.
Now, after due consideration of the plea made by the concerned MBBS aspirant, the MCI has allowed a one-time exemption for candidates seeking MBBS admissions abroad from taking the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, NEET that is to be conducted on September 13, 2020. Pertinently, what the MCI has granted is a postponement rather than a full exemption as these candidates will have to take NEET whenever it is held next, in 2020 or 2021.
As per the MCI order on the matter , the requirement of qualifying NEET— UG is mandatory for aspirants of MBBS or its equivalent qualification from any foreign country.
Taking note of her plea, the MCI noted:
Concerning the present year, in view of the Covid -19 Pandemic, the NEET-UG 2020 which was first scheduled on 3rd May 2020, got to be rescheduled to 27th July 2020 and is now likely to take place on 13th September 2020. It is the contention of Petitioner in the aforesaid writ petition before the Hon'ble Delhi High Court. that classes in Foreign Medical Institutes are likely to commence from 15th September and she has to complete her admission formalities prior to that date, by which time NEET-UG 2020 Results would not be declared. Thus, she stands to lose an academic year in the process.
Hence, addressing the grievance of all candidates like the concerned petitioner NEET candidate and an aspirant seeking MBBS abroad, the MCI announced to give exemption from the entrance test.
In order to address the grievance of candidates like the Petitioner, owing to the extraordinary situation of COVID 19 Pandemic, as a one-time measure, it would be appropriate to permit such aspirants to take admission in Foreign Medical Institutes, provided they fulfil the criteria as provided in the "Eligibility Requirement For Taking Admission In An Undergraduate Medical Course in a Foreign Medical Institution Regulations, 2002" as well as "the Screening Test Regulations, 2002" read with "Regulations on Graduate Medical Education, 1997" for admission to MBBS course.
However, it would be mandatory for such candidates to qualify the NEET-UG in 2020 or 2021. In case, such candidates fail to qualify NEET-UG in 2020 or 2021, their decision to continue their Foreign Medical Courses thereafter shall be at their own risk, as they shall not be entitled to appear for the Screening Test and thereby would not be entitled for grant of Provisional/Permanent Registration by the State Medical Councils. Further, it is incumbent upon such candidates to faithfully follow with norms laid down by the Central Government for travelling abroad in view of COVID) 19 Pandemic"
The apex medical council further warned the candidates about the relief by saying:
In case, such candidates fail to qualify NEET-UG in 2020 or 2021, their decision to continue their Foreign Medical Courses thereafter shall be at their own risk, as they shall not be entitled to appear for the Screening Test and thereby would not be entitled for grant of Provisional/Permanent Registration by the State Medical Councils. Further, it is incumbent upon such candidates to faithfully follow with norms laid down by the Central Government for travelling abroad in view of COVID) 19 Pandemic"
Declaring this for MBBS aspirants pan India, the MCI granted respite to the medico.
With NEET 2020 around the corner and several questions on its postponement, the National Testing Agency (NTA) has recently released official information about the conduct of the examination.