K Kasturirangan committee in its draft ‘National Education Policy’ proposed the introduction of a common exit test or National Exit Test (NEXT) for all MBBS students in the end of their fourth year of the programme. This suggestion is for all the students pursuing MBBS in India or MBBS in Abroad at Top Medical Universities.
According to the current scenario, students are appearing for FMGE (Foreign Medical Graduate Examination) after completing their MBBS from Abroad to practice in India or they are giving separate exams if they wish to pursue Post-graduation after MBBS. But once the NEXT (proposal gets the approval then, it will play a dual role as also the entrance examination for admission into postgraduate medical programs- as underlined by the panel. This can also be conducted for dental education and other disciplines (as per the need).
Following reforms are proposed in the draft policy:
- “This centralized examination will be administered at the end of the fourth year of MBBS so that the students are released from the burden of studying for a separate competitive entrance examinations at the end of their residency period” panel members added.
- The policy also suggests- lateral entry (second year) of Nursing, Dental and other medical disciplines in the MBBS course, calling for increasing the MBBS seats through enhancement of at least 600 district hospitals into teaching hospitals at the earliest.
- The drafting committee has emphasized mainstreaming of the Ayurveda, Yoga, and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy (AYUSH) conceptualizing the “Pluralistic Health Care System”.
The panel has focused on every shortcoming in the number of seats in postgraduate courses in many disciplines, especially in medical education. It also suggested that new medical colleges & hospitals having an adequate number of patients and highly-qualified teaching faculty should be permitted to start postgraduate courses.