The draft Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill 2016, unveiled by the Union health ministry on 29th December 2016, said Medical students will have to pass the National Exit Test (NEXT) to use the ‘doctor’ title after completing a five-and-a-half-year-long medical course. The test is expected to create a level-playing field in medical education, increasingly becoming privatized.
A central government official said NEXT would improve the quality of medical education in the country and help benchmark students.
NEXT will substitute three tests :
1. NEET for postgraduate admissions
2. Recruitment for central health services
3. Foreign graduate medical examination
It will be an outcome-based test. The results of how students from individual colleges have performed in NEXT will be made public. If a college has over 90% students clearing the test, it will automatically act as an indicator. Students can make an informed choice while selecting colleges.
Dr P Shingare, who heads the state’s department of medical education and research, said NEXT is a good move. NEXT will bring about standardisation.
A professor said inspection by authorities can just rate the infrastructure of a college and only the outcome of NEXT can be a tangible parameter to determine the quality of that college.