Bengaluru: First there was NEET and now there is NEXT. To make sure that those who have cleared their MBBS examination, are eligible to serve as registered medical practitioners, the Union health ministry has proposed an exit test for these students, which will also act as an uniform entrance examination for post-graduate medical courses.
The uniform common National Exit Test or NEXT has been proposed by the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2016 for undergraduate students in all medical educational institutions. It will be conducted by “ a designated authority in English and in the manner prescribed by it.”
According to the proposal, only students, who clear NEXT will be allowed to practice or go in for postgraduation.
The move is a shocker for students, who are already required to clear a National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to medical courses in the country.
Common counselling for admission to all medical educational institutions for undergraduate and postgraduate courses has also been proposed by the new Bill. While the Directorate General of Health Services will conduct counselling for 15% of the all- India quota seats for undergraduate students and for 50 per cent of the seats for postgraduate students, an authority designated by the state governments concerned.
Also in the offing is increased reservation for doctors serving in rural areas. Upto 50 per cent of the seats in postgraduate courses in government colleges may be reserved by the appropriate state government or Union territory for medical officers in government service, who have served for at least three years in remote and difficult regions.
After acquiring their PG degree, these medical officers may be required to serve for another three years in remote and/or difficult areas. Admissions to this quota will strictly be on the basis of the NEXT merit list.