National Medical Commission Seeks Stakeholder Feedback On National Exit Test Implementation

National Medical Commission Seeks Stakeholder Feedback On National Exit Test Implementation

The NExT shall form the basis of certifying the eligibility of the medical graduate to register to practice the modern system of medicine in India and therefore serve as a licentiate examination.

PTIUpdated: Saturday, January 27, 2024, 03:44 PM IST
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National Medical Commission (NMC) | File Photo

The National Medical Commission (NMC) on Thursday sought comments from all stakeholders on the implementation and conduct of the National Exit Test (NExT). “As per the recommendations of the Committee constituted by the approval of Union Health Minister to examine the implementation/preparation of conducting the National Exit Test (NExT) exam, the valuable feedback of all the stakeholders is invited by the NMC,” the Commission said in a public notice.

In this regard, the stakeholders are requested to go-through the NMC, National Exit Test Regulations, 2023, the notice stated. All the stakeholders concerned have been asked to submit their feedback online by February 7.

Last October, the Union Health Ministry constituted a seven-member committee to examine the preparedness of states and medical colleges for the implementation of the NExT for final-year MBBS students of the 2020 batch. The committee will examine the application of NExT as a final year examination, PG entrance and licentiate exam and if there is a need to limit its application.

Why NExT?

It will examine the preparedness of the states, universities and medical colleges for implementation of the proposed system for the batch 2020 and suggest measures for preparations and provide a roadmap for operationalisation of NExT for batch 2020 or later, an official order had stated. According to the NExT (National Exit Test) Regulations 2023 issued in June last year, the NMC said the exam will be held in two phases with the NExT Step 1 and NExT Step 2 exams being held twice a year.

The NExT shall form the basis of certifying the eligibility of the medical graduate to register to practice the modern system of medicine in India and therefore serve as a licentiate examination. It will also form the basis for determining the eligibility and ranking for the purpose of admission of those desirous of pursuing further postgraduate medical education in the country in broad medical specialities and therefore serve as an entrance examination for admission to courses of PG medical education.

The Commission shall specify, from time to time, by appropriate regulations and/or notification the applicable manner of utilizing the results of the NExT for the purpose of admission to postgraduate courses in broad medical specialties through mechanisms such as common counselling by designated authority. “It is implied that whenever the NExT is in force, the corresponding equivalent existing examinations shall be phased out/cease to be applicable for the purpose for which the NExT shall be appropriate,” the regulations said.

NExt Steps

However, if for previous batches the existing examinations are applicable as may be decided by the Commission, then the existing examinations shall continue for such time as deemed appropriate to the Commission with the understanding that the NEXT shall eventually replace the corresponding equivalent existing examinations. Medical students can make multiple attempts at National Exit Test (NExT) Step 1 provided they pass it and NExT Step 2 examination within 10 years of joining the MBBS course, even though the scores obtained in the last attempt of NExT Step 1 will only be considered for admission into postgraduate courses, the regulations stated.

The NExT Step 1 shall be a theory examination and the questions shall be one or more than one type of multiple-choice type with the examinations being conducted through a computer based online mode. The NExT Step 2 examination results shall be declared as only ‘Pass/Fail’ based on the acquisition of appropriate competence that is being evaluated while the marks from NExT Step 2 will be considered to prepare a merit list for admission into broad speciality PG seats.

The NEXT Step 2 shall be a practical/clinical and viva voce examination covering seven clinical subjects/disciplines — medicine and allied disciplines, Surgery and allied disciplines, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Otorhinolaryngology, Ophthalmology and Orthopaedics and PMR (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation). There shall be a regular NExT Step 2 examination twice a year, the NMC said. The Commission will specify by regulations and/or by notification the manner of conducting common counselling by the designated authority for admission to the postgraduate broad specialties seats in the medical institutions.

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