National Exit Test

Context: Recently Union Health Ministry announced that the National Exit Test (NExT) will be held in 2024.

About National Exit Test

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  • NExt will replace the final-year MBBS examination and the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test-Postgraduate (NEET-PG), acting as the test for registration for doctors and admission to medical postgraduate courses.
  • All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, was likely to conduct the exam, which will test the clinical and practical learning of the students.

Medical education in India

  • The National Medical Commission (NMC) has been constituted by an act of Parliament known as the National Medical Commission Act, 2019 to regulate medical education in India.

The objective of NMC includes to:

  • Improve access to quality and affordable medical education,
  • Ensure the availability of adequate and high-quality medical professionals in all parts of the country;
  • Promote equitable and universal healthcare that encourages community health perspective and makes services of medical professionals access to all the citizens;
  • Encourages medical professionals to adopt the latest medical research in their work and to contribute to research;
  • Objectively assess medical institutions  periodically in a transparent manner;
  • Maintain a medical register for India;
  • Enforce high ethical standards in all aspects of medical services;
  • Have an effective grievance redressal mechanism.

The functions of NMC include to:

  •  lay down policies for maintaining high quality and high standards in medical education and make necessary regulations on this behalf;
  • lay down policies for regulating medical institutions, medical researchers and medical professionals and make necessary regulations on this behalf;
  • assess the requirements in healthcare, including human resources for health and healthcare infrastructure and develop a road map for meeting such requirements;
  • promote, co-ordinate and frame guidelines and lay down policies by making necessary regulations for the proper functioning of the Commission, the Autonomous Boards and the State Medical Councils;
  • ensure coordination among the Autonomous Boards;
  • take such measures, as may be necessary, to ensure compliance by the State Medical Councils of the guidelines framed and regulations made under this Act for their effective functioning under this Act;
  • exercise appellate jurisdiction with respect to the decisions of the Autonomous Boards;
  • lay down policies and codes to ensure observance of professional ethics in the medical profession and to promote ethical conduct during the provision of care by medical practitioners;
  • frame guidelines for the determination of fees and all other charges in respect of fifty per cent. of seats in private medical institutions and deemed to be universities that are governed under the provisions of this Act;
  • exercise such other powers and perform such other functions as may be prescribed.

Members of NMC

The Commission shall consist of the following persons to be appointed by the Central Government, namely:—

  •  a Chairperson;
  • ten ex officio Members; and
  • twenty-two part-time Members.

Structure of NMC

  • Each Board referred to in the sub-section shall be an autonomous body that shall carry  out its functions under this  Act subject to the regulations made by the Commission.
  • Each Autonomous Board shall consist of a President, two whole-time Members, and two part-time Members.

National Examination

  • There shall be a  uniform  National  Eligibility-cum-Entrance  Test for admission to the undergraduate and postgraduate super-speciality medical education in all medical institutions which are governed by the provisions of the NMC Act 2019.
  • The  Commission  shall specify by regulations the manner of conducting common counselling by the designated authority for admission to undergraduate and postgraduate super-speciality seats in all the medical institutions. 
  •  A typical final year undergraduate medical examination, known as the National Exit Test shall be held for granting a licence to practice medicine as a medical practitioner and for enrolment in the State Register or the National Register.
  • Any person with a foreign medical qualification shall have to qualify National Exit Test for the purpose of obtaining a licence to practice medicine as a medical practitioner and for enrolment in the State Register or the National Register.
  • The National Exit Test shall be the basis for admission to the postgraduate broad-speciality medical education in medical institutions.

Mains Practice Question

“National Medical Commission Act 2019 is considered as a great leap forward in the field of medical education of India” critically examines the statement.  (250 words, 15 Marks)

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