An MBBS is a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree. It is the basic and most popular [undergraduate] medical degree pursued in India because it allows one to go on to get a Masters degree in a large variety of specializations (i.e. General Medicine, General Surgery, Orthopedics, Radio-diagnosis, Radiotherapy, Obstetrics and Gynecology, etc), and is therefore extremely competitive. The length of the program is on average 5 and a half years, of which the first 3 semesters, lasting 18 months each, are spent on classes, while the last year is dedicated to the compulsory rotating internship. The cost for an MBBS varies depending on the institute, and ranges from Rs 332 per year for a local student to Rs 970 per year for an outstation student (from All India Institute of Medical Sciences AIIMS), to Rs 10,000-12,000 per year (for JIPMER), up to even 2-3 lakhs (not including housing and cost of food) per year (for a private college).
Students interested in pursuing an MBBS degree in India must be at least 17 years of age at time of admission, and are required to complete an HSC, which is a Higher Secondary [School] Certificate examination, a twelfth standard. For the medical programs, the HSC (also known as the ’10+2′ exam) must be taken in the Science stream, in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and English, with a minimum of 50% marks in each course. Since MBBS admission requirements vary between institutions and only around 28,742 students are admitted annually, it is also important to get a high rank in the All India Pre Medical Entrance Exam (conducted by many different agencies).