The National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) UG is a national-level medical entrance examination currently conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA). Around 15 lakh students appear for the undergraduate entrance test every year to seek admission for courses like MBBS, BDS and AYUSH. However, due to the level of competition and limitations of seats, success in the exam eludes many.
Sample this – Last year, 15.97 students had applied for NEET UG, around 13 lakh appeared, and only 7,71,500 qualified; which is less than half of those who had applied. And then, the number of MBBS seats in India is to the tune of 80 thousand only. Ironically a chunk of MBBS seats go unfilled, in private colleges due to high fees, and in some relatively newer medical colleges.
As a result, the number of students who drop a year, or repeat NEET are many. There is no official data for this group of students, but the number of batches in coaching centers for first, second time droppers show the number is quite generous. Until some time ago, when there was no age limit in the medical entrance exam, students used to spend years preparing for it. Fortunately or unfortunately, with the presence of upper age limit (still a matter subject to hearings in courts), now usually students drop 1 or 2 years. And some, may choose to look for alternative options to MBBS after the first time.
In the recent time, there has also been an increasing number of students who, in their 10+2 studies itself, decide to go for alternates to MBBS, that do not require NEET UG. This has happened as information has become more easily available, and students have started taking informed career choices; realizing, that the field of medical sciences has a lot to offer besides MBBS.
To help such medical aspirants in their journey, here is a list of such courses in the medical, and allied fields, which do not require NEET UG.
1. B.Sc. in Nursing – Aspirants who have completed their Class 12 education with Physics, Chemistry and Biology as their core subjects are eligible for this course. The duration of this course is three years. Popular colleges offering this course in India include JIPMER – Puducherry, Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) – Pune and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) – Delhi.
2. Bachelor of Physiotherapy – It is one of the sought-after and upcoming courses in the Indian medical field. Also known as Physical Therapy, this career prospect has endless scope expanding to industries like sports, military, research, education and many more. Here again, candidates have to complete their Class 12 education with PCB as a core subject combination. The duration of this course is 4 years. Candidates can pursue this course in reputed colleges like Christian Medical College (CMC) – Vellore, Kasturba Medical College (KMC) – Mangalore, etc.
3. Bachelor of Pharmacy (B. Pharm) – This -4-year degree offers a promising career in the pharmaceutical industry along with other options like pharmacist, lecturer, researcher, counsellor, etc. Candidates can combine B. Pharm with a master’s degree in the same field to acquire a lucrative career in the medical field. Along with having a PCB combination, some institutes also require Mathematics as a core subject in Class 12 to be deemed eligible. Reputed colleges offering this course include BITS Pilani, Jamia Hamdard University, Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, etc.
4. Bachelor of Veterinary Sciences (BVSc) – Apart from preventing, diagnosing or curing the various ailments in animals, this course also provides immense scope for research and education. To be eligible for this course, candidates must have Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and English as core subjects. BVSc is of 5 years duration and offered in various colleges including ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute – Bareilly, Maharashtra Animal & Fisheries Sciences University – Nagpur, Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences – Hisar, etc.
5. B.A. in Psychology – This course provides career options in different fields including education, sports, military, legal and political. To pursue this 3-year course, candidates must have passed Class 12 with at least 50 percent aggregate marks. This course is available in esteemed colleges like Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Indira Gandhi Open University (IGNOU) – Delhi, Amity University, etc.
6. Bachelor of Occupation Therapy – This is an upcoming profession in India which deals with patients who have experienced trauma, shock or injury. Occupation therapist helps such patients to recover and continue leading their life as before. Candidates can pursue either a bachelor’s degree or a diploma in OT. The course is for a duration of 3 years.
7. Medical Transcription – An upcoming and growing field in the healthcare industry of India, medical transcriptionists transcribe notes dictated by a medical practitioner. These notes and reports are then consolidated to create a detailed medical history of a particular patient.
8. B.Sc in Forensic Sciences – Another upcoming field in the healthcare industry, this professional deals in collecting, analysing and preserving data from any investigation. The course is for a duration of 3 years. Often, candidates pursue a master’s degree afterwards to get better career opportunities.
9. Bachelor of Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences – These courses come under the ambit of AYUSH. Most colleges admit students to such courses based on NEET scores. However, there are still some colleges which admit students based on their Class 12 marks. Certificate courses of 1-year duration are also offered in this field.
10. B.Sc in Nutrition and Dietetics – This course trains individuals in human nutrition and provides expertise in curating a suitable diet for different patients. The course is for 3 years and requires candidates to complete Class 12 education with 50 percent aggregate marks to be deemed eligible.
11. Clinical Research – These professionals ensure that the drugs, equipment and treatment in question are safe for humans or not. Clinical trials are performed to assess these aspects. Candidates require a bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences, Pharmacy, Biosciences, medicine is needed to be deemed eligible for clinical research.