The Health Ministry on Friday clarified that Indian candidates who intended to obtain medical qualifications from abroad on or after May this year would have to mandatorily qualify the national eligibility-cum-entrance test (NEET).
The ministry had earlier this month made NEET, which was introduced in 2016 for admission to government and private medical colleges in India, mandatory for even those who wished to pursue medical courses in foreign universities.
It also said students who have already taken admission under present regulations to pursue primary medical courses by taking eligibility certificate from Medical Council of India (MCI) were "exempted" from qualifying NEET.
"It is informed that the regulations prescribe that the Indian citizens or 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.
"The decision will be implemented prospectively i.e. from May-2018. Thus, students who have already taken admission under current regulations to pursue primary medical course by taking Eligibility Certificate from MCI are exempted from qualifying NEET," an official statement said.
The clarification came after the ministry received grievances urging it to exempt students who have already gone abroad from the requirement of qualifying the NEET.