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In-Depth Jobs

Issue no 20, 14-20 August 2021


NEET and Options Beyond MBBS

Nidhi Prasad

WHAT IS NEET EXAM? (The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test)

NEET-UG is a single entrance test for admissions to more than 80,000 MBBS seats and 26,000 BDS seats across the country.

NEET is conducted by National Testing Agency (NTA) once a year. It is for the students who wish to pursue undergraduate Medical (MBBS), Dental (BDS), AYUSH (BAMS, BUMS, BHMS, etc.) and Veterinary courses in government and private institutions in India. This includes the admissions to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER) in Puducherry.

The NEET(UG) 2021 will be for the first time conducted in 13 languages with new addition of Punjabi & Malayalam. The languages now being offered are Hindi, Punjabi, Assamese, Bengali, Odia, Gujarati, Marathi, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil, Urdu and English.

One who is aiming to pursue a career to save millions of lives irrefutably takes a NEET preparation. It is taken by a candidate who is diligent, hardworking, and passionate about the medical profession.


ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA In order to be eligible for the examination, candidates must qualify 12th class examination with Chemistry, Biology, Physics and English subjects. For General category candidates, it is mandatory to score 50% marks in 12th grade, whereas SC/ST/OBC category candidates must score 40% marks to become eligible for NEET 2021.



  • NTA has announced changes in NEET Exam Pattern 2021. 
  • The exam will be conducted in 13 languages in a pen-paper mode. 
  • The NEET (UG) - 2021 shall consist of one Question Paper containing 180 Multiple Choice Questions from Physics, Chemistry, and Biology (Botany and Zoology).
  • Each subject will consist of two sections. 
  • MoE had released the official notice stating that NEET Syllabus 2021 will remain unchanged. Candidates will have to prepare for NEET 2021 based on the complete syllabus of class 11 & 12. The 3 subjects that you need to prepare are - Chemistry, Physics, and Biology (Zoology and Botany).



While the last date to apply and fee payment was 10th August, 2021, NEET Form correction would remain open till 14th August. The other important dates are:

Announcement of the City of Examination

August 20, 2021

Availability of NEET admit card

3 Days Before Exam

NEET 2021 Exam Date

September 12, 2021

Release of OMR Sheet

To be announced soon

Declaration of result

To be announced soon


  •  The official website of NTA NEET is neet.nta.nic.in



Being a doctor has always been considered a noble and honourable profession, but ever since COVID-19, doctors along with the nurses and other healthcare professionals working on the front lines, have become actual heroes. The public now sees these courageous men and women risking their lives for others while isolating themselves from their own families to do so.

World Health Organization says 'at least' 1,15,000 health workers have now died from COVID-19. Such grim numbers have shocked both the public and the health workers. Yes, these careers involve hard work, life or death levels of responsibility, and many stressful situations. No wonder, then, that medicine is regarded as a respected and a lucrative career option by young professionals, today.

Perhaps, there is no other career which commands such respect and awe as medicine. The power to heal has traditionally placed the medical field several rungs above any other profession. And while it requires years of hard work and dedicated study before you can see the light of day, the scope and prospects in the medical field have continuously attracted the brightest and the best.

Entry into the medical profession is tough and competitive, so as to select the most able and competent to deal with human life. The purpose of conducting entrance examinations is therefore to select candidates for admission to medical courses at diploma, degree, post-diploma, postgraduate degree and research levels, and are held at the all-India level and state level


Benefits of NEET

The benefit of being the only medical entrance examination in India is quite engaging. Here are some of the reasons:

Common Entrance Test With NEET being the only medical entrance examination in India, it prevents the private medical colleges from conducting any entrance examination of its own. NEET also prevents private universities from admitting students who do not qualify to pursue Medical. The NEET entrance exam helps the medical aspirants to pursue medical courses or MBBS from Abroad.

Equal Opportunity Students who qualify NEET will get the opportunity to securing a seat at any medical colleges in any State. Qualifying NEET with high scores and secure a good rank in the All-India Merit List enable the students to get a seat in the most prestigious medical college of the country.

Uniform Admission NEET exam was introduced to bring about uniformity in the admission procedure to the medical colleges in India. The admissions to the medical universities are only accepted through NEET qualification. Some of the medical universities abroad offer MBBS seats to the medical aspirants after they qualify the NEET exam.

Saves time The introduction of the NEET exam changes a lot in the medical entrance examination scenario. It saves the students' time from appearing in multiple exams for the admissions to the medical colleges. Having one exam to attempt saves the student's money as well since there will only be one-time registration.



  • Persistence towards studies
  • Dedication to their preparation
  • Clear objective towards your career and life ahead
  • Smart work and clarity of basic concepts of your study programme Following are the guidelines to help you prepare better for the medical entrance exams:

 1.         Have a long-term goal of finishing the syllabus till the exam date, but focus more on short term goals. The syllabus is vast, take baby steps. Don't plan too much in advance. Plan for a day or a week. Set realistic targets for a week and check your progress at the end of the week.

2.         Do not buy every book in town. Go through the NCERT books thoroughly, and refer to another 1 or 2 books, for each subject for the numerical aspect and to know a little more about a particular topic

3.         Focus more on clearing your fundamentals. Once you are clear about your concepts, only then move to the depths of a particular topic. In case you feel you do not understand a certain concept, do not hesitate to ask your friends or mentors.120821

4.         Prepare a time table. Adhere to it.

5.         Keep a check on your progress by taking sectional tests. Sectional tests help you fine tune your preparation, help you manage time better and, also help improve weak areas.

6.         Keep revising whatever you do.

7.         Read blogs/articles/papers/books by famous doctors. If nothing else, it will tell you a little about what these people have done, what drives them and why they like what they do.

8.         Do not put yourself under too much pressure. Take time out for yourself. Do something you love, develop a hobby and have fun while preparing.


                What many of us do not know is that Medicine is only one amongst a hundred career options with equally good (or better) scope and opportunities. Many of these options are even related to Biology, Medicine and Science.


1.          Look for Courses in Biology and Life Sciences

A lot of students get into the PCB stream because they like studying Biology but then get lured away by the charm of Medicine. With Medicine side-lined as an option, you can go on to explore your love for Biology again, that too in many different forms! From well-known fields like Botany, Zoology and Microbiology to upcoming ones like Marine Biology, Biochemistry and Genetics, the fields of Biology and the Life Sciences have a lot to offer you.

The biggest avenue for work in this field is Research and Development. With cutting[1]edge advances in research in the fields of health, medicine and even technology, competent researchers are very much in demand. There are many other jobs and professional opportunities available in different industries, depending upon the field in question.

If you were a PCMB student, then you can even look at inter-disciplinary fields in Biology, such as Biotechnology, Genetic Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Biostatistics, etc. Since these are undergraduate degrees, you can even go on to pursue a variety of courses in Biology, Life Sciences, Health Management, Education, etc. for your post-graduation, giving you a diverse number of career options at hand.

2.          The World of Allied Medicine

You do not have to be a doctor to fulfil your passion for medicine. The entire branch of Allied Medicine forms the backbone of the healthcare system. Professionals in these fields assist doctors in their work and make patient care, diagnosis and treatment possible. With career paths ranging from Optometry, Audiology and Physiotherapy to Medical Lab Technology, Nursing, Radio Technology and Clinical Research, there are a vast number of opportunities to explore. All of these fields have diverse types of work you will get to do.

3.          Nursing

This year, the NEET UG 2021 exam can also be given to seek admission to B.Sc. Nursing courses across the country, for the first time ever. Nursing is one of the strongest pillars that the medicine profession stands on. The profession revolves around taking care of people which includes their physical as well as psychological maladies. At a senior level, the work in the nursing department includes managing particular groups of patients from paediatric ward, psychiatric ward, ICU, etc. Apart from that, the job involves taking care of the medication of the patients, maintaining patient records, administration, routine work, setting up of medical equipment and so much more. There are several career opportunities in nursing, not only in India but also abroad. With more and more nursing colleges opening up each day, it is a sign of the requirement of skilled and qualified people required for the service. Nursing is the right career option for those candidates who have the zeal and interest to serve the mankind. The person who believes in the curing of medically ill people and can work in hard conditions for long hours may choose the nursing as the career for himself/herself.

4.          Fields Associated with Biology

Biology being such a wide and diverse field, has applications in many areas, all of which are good options for you to consider. Why not help people get fit and maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating right? Careers in the domain of Nutrition and Fitness allow you to do that, with options such as becoming a Dietician/ Nutritionist, Fitness Trainer, Yoga Practitioner, etc. These are all lucrative options because people are increasingly becoming concerned with their health, leading to a sudden boom in the health and nutrition industry. There are a number of career options to explore in the field of Agriculture, such as Horticulture, Dairy Technology, Agricultural Engineering, Fisheries Science, Agricultural Economics, and more. Contrary to the general notion, these are all in-demand fields and definitely do not involve farming! Yet another option related to Biology is Pharmacology. It is a great combination of science, healthcare, research and technology.

5.          Management Courses in Healthcare

Management with Medicine can be a brilliant combination. People in these fields manage the administration of hospitals including hospital supplies, personnel, finance, patient care services and other areas to ensure smooth functioning. Hospital Management and Hospital Administration are the two courses you can pursue to get into this field. Public Health Administration is another area that would give you the opportunity to work for the healthcare of the lower socio-economic strata of society through government health projects. Although Hospital Management programmes are available mostly at the Master's Level (can be coupled with any other undergraduate course in Biology), you can find Public Health Administration courses at the undergraduate level too.

6.          Mental Health Care

Doctors mostly cater to the physical well-being of people, but what about their mental well-being? Clinical Psychology is the field where you work to understand why people suffer from mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, hallucinations, etc. Other related areas in psychology include counselling psycho[1]logy, health psychology, child psychology, neuropsychology, etc.

7.          Legal Medical Advisor

Considered a lucrative career option after MBBS, a legal medical advisor is called for when special court cases need expert medical advice on some specific aspects. Many crimes require a medical expert's opinion. Hence, this is truly a viable job option after MBBS. Long[1]running cases in courts make this profession extremely demanding at times. With a plethora of options available instead of and after MBBS, PCB students now have versatile opportunities to take up what interest them. This way you can explore other options without closing doors on Biology for the future.



(The author is a Counselling Psychologist & Career Consultant, email.id: nidhiprasadcs@gmail.com) Views expressed are personal.)