The Centre is planning to make an exit exam mandatory for MBBS students passing out of government and private medical colleges to practice medicine across India. Following suggestions from a committee headed by NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya, the government could use the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for Post-Graduation (NEET PG), which was previously known as AIPGMEE, as an exit exam for practising medicine as well as for admission to postgraduate medical courses.
The health ministry is also considering replacing the screening test for foreign medical graduates-Foreign Graduates Medical Exam (FMGE) with NEET PG, effectively making it the only test that MBBS graduates need to take to continue in the field of medicine – as a practitioner or as a PG student.
The exit exam is, however, being proposed from the next academic session as implementing the exam would require an amendment to the Indian Medical Council (IMC) Act. “A notification can be issued making NEET-PG the exit examination for MBBS students, but the decision can be challenged in court. We are in the process of making changes in the Indian Medical Council Act on priority as per instructions of the Prime Minister’s Office. It is currently with the NITI Aayog. Once it comes to us, we will consider incorporating the exit examination provision,” a source at the health ministry was quoted as saying to the English daily, Indian Express.
Apart from suggesting an exit exam, the Panagariya led committee has also recommended scraping the existing Medical Council of India (MCI) and replacing it with the National Medical Commission (NMC). Once constituted, the NMC will take over all responsibilities of the MCI and will have four autonomous boards to oversee under-graduate and post-graduate education, accreditation and rating of colleges, medical register and ethics. Read the full story here.
One of the important elements of the NMC would be that, unlike in the case of MCI where members were elected to the body, the NMC members would be selected by a high-powered search-cum-selection committee. The commission will have around 20 members representing professions like economics, law and management, though, representatives from the medical profession will feature predominantly in the body.
Further, a Medical Advisory Council (MAC) with members from state medical colleges has also been suggested by the panel. While the NMC will also be a part of the council, its role will be advisory.
First published on: July 27, 2016
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