The Medical Council of India (MCI) has increased the validity of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) score to three years, providing a huge relief to students who long to pursue undergraduate medical course abroad.

The decision has been taken to grant students more time to prepare and finalise an international university for medical courses.

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“Result of NEET shall be valid for a period of three years from the date of declaration of result, entitling a candidate to pursue MBBS or equivalent medical course including pre-medical/language course, if any, followed by MBBS or equivalent medical course,” a notification from Medical Council of India stated recently.

A total of 5,000 to 7,000 Indian students go abroad every year to study MBBS courses.

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VK Paul, chairman of MCI and member of NITI Aayog said the step aims to address the issue of mismatch between the Indian academic sessions and admission cycles of foreign universities.

“The average admission process takes 6-12 months to get through in most institutes abroad. Sometimes managing finance and visa procedures also take time. For instance, if a student clears NEET this year but receives admission confirmation in a foreign university next year, there is ambiguity among students regarding eligibility with respect to NEET scores,” Paul was quoted as saying.

Last year, the Government has made NEET score mandatory for students, seeking admission for MBBS courses from foreign universities.

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