The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET UG 2024) is an annual examination conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) for admissions to medical colleges across India. With the exam scheduled for May 5 this year, prospective candidates are seeking clarity on eligibility criteria and rules. To alleviate confusion, we provide essential information regarding eligibility and recent changes.

To apply for NEET UG, a student must have completed Class 12 in the Science stream with Biology as a subject. Additionally, students appearing for Class 12 Board exams can also apply, provided they submit their passing certificate later.

An area of persistent confusion among students involves eligibility when Biology pursued as an additional subject in Class 12, rather than among the main subjects. Recent updates from the National Medical Commission (NMC) bring clarity to this matter.

Traditionally, students completing Classes 11 and 12 with Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and English, along with other main subjects, were eligible for NEET UG. However, in November 2023, the NMC altered this rule to include students with Biology as an additional subject.

Previously, the Medical Council of India mandated two years of continuous study of Physics, Chemistry, Biology/Biotechnology, along with English, in Class 11 and 12, completed from regular schools (not open schools). Additionally, the study of Biology or Biotechnology as a requisite subject not permitted as an additional subject after passing Class 12.

The NMC, in a public notice dated November 22, 2023, acknowledged the evolving educational landscape and decided to revisit the eligibility criteria. Considering the flexibility offered by the New Education Policy, candidates are now permitted to study the requisite subjects (Physics, Chemistry, Biology/Biotechnology, along with English) even as additional subjects after passing Class 12 from recognized boards.

As per the updated rules, candidates meeting these criteria will allowed to appear for the NEET-UG Test and, consequently, be eligible for the grant of an ‘Eligibility Certificate.’ This progressive move aligns with the changing dynamics of educational policies, offering students greater flexibility in choosing their academic path while ensuring inclusivity in the NEET UG examination.

In light of these modifications, aspiring candidates with Biology as an additional subject can confidently apply for NEET UG 2024, fostering a more inclusive and adaptable approach to medical entrance examinations.

Also Read | NEET 2024 : Students without Biology as core subject can become doctors now

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