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MCI allows students to pursue medical course abroad, mandates them to qualify NEET in 2020 or 2021

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has been informed by the Medical Council of India (MCI) that all candidates, who are taking admissions in foreign universities for pursuing a medical course, can go on the condition that they qualify the NEET-UG this year or in 2021.

The MCI said that owing to the “extraordinary” situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as a one-time measure, candidates can go abroad for pursuing a medical course, provided they fulfil the criteria under the ‘Eligibility Requirement for Taking Admission in an Undergraduate Medical Course in a Foreign Medical Institution Regulations, 2002′ for admission to MBBS courses.

The candidates should also fulfil criteria under the ‘Screening Test Regulations, 2002′ and the ‘Regulations on Graduate Medical Education, 1997′, it said.

The submissions were made before Justice V Kameswar Rao by MCI’s lawyer T Singhdev, who said the decision shall be applicable to all candidates, who are taking admission in a foreign institute or university for pursuing foreign medical qualification for which possessing National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (Undergraduate) qualification is a prerequisite.

He said the decision has been taken by the MCI pursuant to a concurrence given by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Singhdev said it is incumbent upon candidates to qualify the NEET-UG in 2020 or 2021 and in case they fail to qualify, the decision to continue foreign medical courses will be at their own risk as they will not be entitled to appear for the screening test and thereby, would not be entitled for grant of provisional or permanent registration by the state medical council concerned.

The court was hearing a petition by Baskara Prasad S Isukapalli seeking one-time exemption, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for his daughter from the requirement of clearing NEET for admission to the ‘Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia’, for the current academic session 2020-2021.

The petitioner had also sought permission for her daughter to take admission in the foreign university in the current session and an exception to be given for an opportunity to clear NEET in the next three sessions due to the restrictions put by the DGCA, because of which she is unable to travel.

Keeping in view the submissions made by MCI, petitioner advocate Ashish Upadhyaya said he has no further grievance and that the petition be treated as closed, which was allowed by the court.

The MCI’s counsel also informed the court that in another matter, the Supreme Court was informed that Vande Bharat Mission flights are available for students and efforts will be made by the Ministry of External Affairs to accommodate Indian and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) students before the NEET examination on September 13 and genuine requests for relaxation of quarantine conditions will be considered.

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