The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India has drafted the amendment to the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956. The amendment mentions the inclusion of the National Exit Test (NEXT) that will be a uniform test that all medical students at the undergraduate level must take in order to be eligible for postgraduate programmes.
After the multiple changes in the National Entrance cum Eligibility Test (NEET) for 2017, MBBS aspirants are in a sticky situation with news about NEXT surfacing. Dhara Varma, an MBBS aspirant from Mumbai says, “I haven’t even enrolled into MBBS and I’m already worried about how will I complete the course and plan for my PG course. So many changes in the syllabus and examination patterns is only confusing us.”
Considering the fact that the changes in NEET have created a stir, students are unsure whether NEXT is here to stay for long enough or not. Adwait Deshpande, an MBBS student from Mumbai says, “It’s almost as though the authorities are toying with our careers. Each year they experiment with something and jeopardise our chances of studying and getting trained with the best teaching hospitals.”
Mukta Bhandary, a first year MBBS student from Pune says, “I don’t know much about this. I’m just hoping that by the time I complete my MBBS, things are in place and I can seek admission in a PG course without much hassle. The course itself is hectic, and a lot of people end up paying for management seats if they don’t get seats on merit. I just hope I can crack whatever the exam will be when I reach that stage.”
According to the amendment in the bill, a maximum of 50% of seats in postgraduate courses in government affiliated colleges could be reserved for medical officers. Officers who have served with the government in rural regions of India for a minimum of three years are eligible to seek a seat in the reserved category. The examination will be conducted in English. The examination must be taken by all students from government affiliated colleges, private colleges as well as those who have a degree from a medical institution located anywhere outside of India.