By Sakshi Chand
New Delhi, July 18 (IANS) Doctors have expressed apprehensions over the proposed PG entrance exam format following Cabinet’s approval for setting up a National Medical Commission (NMC) on Wednesday.
One of the major contentions is that the bill does not clearly state if National Exit Test (NEXT) will be considered the main exam or whether National Eligibility cum Entrance test (NEET) would continue as well.
Key features of the bill are: the common final year MBBS exam would be known as National Exit Test (NEXT) and would serve as licentiate exam for entrance to PG medical courses and as a screening test for foreign medical graduates.
The Bill provides that the national entrance test, that is NEET, common counselling and NEXT would also be applicable to Institutes of National Importance (INIs) such as AIIMS to have common standards in the country.
The Federation of Resident Doctor’s Association (FORDA) has demanded immediate withdrawal of the proposal of the exit exam and the one allowing people trained in alternative medicine to head or to be a member of the proposed NMC bill and omission of the clauses pertaining to limit members from diverse medicine backgrounds.
“We demand immediate constitution of Indian medical service to take care of healthcare system in India and draft policies based on recent developments on the welfare of the general population. We also want efforts to improve teaching methods and system in college nationwide,” said Dr. Sunil Arora, General Secretary, FORDA.
Sumedh, President of Federation of Resident Doctor’s Association, said the Bill raises certain doubts. “This (bill provisions) will lead to chaos at postgraduate as well as MBBS level. For instance, how about those who have given NEET and not qualified? Similarly, what happens to someone who has cleared MBBS but is not happy with the PG seat offered and wants a different course?”
Experts said the Bill may lead to favouritism. “It also doesn’t mention whether exam will be based on practicals or theory. In case of a practical exam, favouritism can play a role,” added Sumedh.
Dr. K.K. Aggarwal, President of the Heart Care Foundation of India, said “They have accepted some demands of the Indian Medical Association (IMA). They have also not mentioned anything about the bridge course”.
(Sakshi Chand can be contacted at [email protected])