After the National Medical Commission Act, 2019, the nation holds a common and uniform examination as the entrance exam to all medical courses of all the colleges in the country. The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) will be responsible for the admission of students to the undergraduate medical courses in all medical institutions including those that were previously under other laws. The National Testing Agency (NTA) will be conducting NEET from 2020.
NEET or The National Eligibility Entrance Test is an entrance examination in India for students who wish to pursue their graduate and postgraduate medical or dental studies in medical colleges within and outside India. Until 2019, NEET only provided admissions for the government and private colleges and exempted colleges of national importance as per the rules of the respective institutions. After the National Medical Commission Act, 2019, this exemption has been removed.
Thus, all the admissions for the AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Science) institutions and JIPMER (Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research) will be made through NEET. The eligibility criteria to appear for the NEET (UG) shall also be applicable to the candidates who desire to take admission to INIs (Institutes of National Importance) like AIIMS.
The bill was passed in hopes to increase the medical seats available for the medical aspirants in the country. It was stated by the Minister of State for Health that there are 80,312 MBBS seats in India in 539 colleges. In 2019, the MBBS seats available for the students was 29,185. In a year, the number of medical seats has increased drastically. Thus, spreading the light of hope in the hearts of aspiring medical students.
The acute shortage of doctors in the Indian healthcare industry has demanded some drastic measures from the government. In light of the crisis that awaits India, the government has planned to further increase the number of MBBS seats to 1,00,000. Out of the 157 colleges that were to be established to execute this plan, over 42 has already become functional. The remaining colleges are scheduled to be functional by the year 2023! Just three more years.
The government has also identified potential within the existing government medical colleges to increase the number of seats in order to accommodate more students. The big plans laid to make the expansion has already begun and efforts have been undertaken to increase the number of seats in the existing colleges by 10,000. Even though, the increase looks exponentially high, it is highly plausible that with the increase in the availability of seats there would bound to be a hike in the number of candidates registering for NEET.
Even in a scenario with 1,00,000 seats available to medical aspirants, if the number of applicants are huge, say 15,00,000 candidates. The increase in seats would still be incredibly inadequate. This situation can only be dealt with a solution where the students pursue their higher education in medicine at universities abroad at an affordable cost. Since only the students who have qualified NEET are eligible to apply for MBBS abroad, the quality of students will be refined and will provide a satisfactory result in the screening test. Thus, this will increase the number of Indian doctors while providing quality education.