In a relief to students, the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) could soon be scrapped for postgraduate students if the Health Ministry has its way. According to reports, the ministry has proposed to do away with NEET-PG and for admission to MD and MS programmes, it has proposed to use the final MBBS exam.
This is reportedly in the revised draft of the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, which will soon be sent to the Cabinet. The Bill, introduced in December 2017, lapsed when the tenure of the 16th Lok Sabha ended.
“According to the amendments in the fresh NMC Bill, entry into the PG programmes will be on the basis of the results of the National Exit Test, which would be held as a common exam across the country. So the candidates would not have to appear in a separate exam after clearing the MBBS final exam for admission to PG courses,” sources told PTI.
These changes are reportedly being made at the behest of the Prime Minister’s office.
However, the exams for AIIMS, NEET super specialty and other entrance tests remain.
While introducing the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan said, “The National Medical Commission Bill could be introduced in the near future, though for having legal continuity, every ordinance has to be converted into a law," he said.
The original Bill which lapsed was met with opposition, as it sought to set up a National Medical Commission, which would regulate medical education as well as medical practice. Under this, it sought to set up for boards which would be autonomous. It also proposed a National Licentiate Exam, which doctors will have to take after graduation in order to be licenced to practice.
Many protests were held, and doctors had alleged that the NMC would not only replace the Medical Council of India, but that it would interfere massively with the medical education infrastructure currently in place.
“The new Bill, the National Medical Council (NMC) will replace the already functional Medical Council of India (MCI). It doesn’t make sense to do this. The NMC will also be more focused on other aspects of the medical infrastructure and will not take into consideration the negative impact it will have on people,” said Dr B Veeranna, IMA Secretary, Karnataka during a nationwide strike called by the Indian Medical Association in July 2018.