What will be National Exit Test?
National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill proposes to unify testing for exit from the MBBS course, and entry into postgraduate medical courses. A single National Exit Test (NEXT) will be conducted across the country replacing the final year MBBS exam, and the scores used to allot PG seats as well.
Who will be required to take it?
It will allow medical graduates to start medical practice, seek admission to PG courses, and screen foreign medical graduates who want to practise in India.
What will be its benefit?
Per se, it offers a definite benefit for students who invest much time and energy in five years of training in classrooms, labs and the bedside, by reducing the number of tests they would have to take in case they aim to study further.
There are detractors, many of them from Tamil Nadu — which is still politically opposing the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) — who believe that NEXT will undermine the federal system, and ask whether a test at the MBBS level would suffice as an entry criterion for PG courses.
The Bill has also removed the exemption hitherto given to Central institutions, the AIIMS and JIPMER, from NEET for admission to MBBS and allied courses. In doing so, the government has moved in the right direction, as there was resentment and a charge of elitism at the exclusion of some institutions from an exam that aimed at standardising testing for entry into MBBS.