Ending months of speculation, the Health Ministry on Thursday announced that the National Exit Test (NExT) will be held from 2024.
NExT will be a single examination that would replace final-year MBBS examinations and the National Eligibility Entrance Test Postgraduate (NEET PG) entrance exam thus acting as a qualifying test for granting registration to doctors as well as the basis for postgraduate seat allocation.
According to sources the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, is likely to conduct the exam which will test both the clinical and practical learning of the students.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry also announced that 50 new medical colleges have been added to the national list taking the number of undergraduate medical seats to over one lakh. It also noted that recognition (UG-level) of 38 medical colleges has been withheld, 102 have been issued show-cause notice and 24 have appealed to National Medical Commission (NMC) and six to Health Ministry.
It added that existing students will not suffer due to the regulatory process.
“This is a routine process that is conducted by the NMC which is the apex medical regulator to ensure that these teaching institutes have no deficiencies. The issues for which colleges are facing flak from the regulators include staff shortage, shortage of doctors, patients not being available to students, staff not marking attendance on biometric system, colleges not being able to implement the new ‘camera, biometric, and health management system-based monitoring’ etc. Unless colleges have serious deficiencies, they are likely to be recognised again for the current session,’’ said a senior Health Ministry official.
He added that these numbers are dynamic and depend on the appeals taken up over the next two months. The issue came to light after one of the oldest government medical institutions in India — Stanley Medical College in Chennai — and a couple of others from Tamil Nadu were derecognised. However, the decision was soon reversed and the institutions regained their five-year recognition.