The Government of India is planning to start an exit examination for MBBS students passing out from government and private medical colleges in India. This exit exam is expected to start from the 2017-18 academic session. This exam will be the first-ever mandatory examination for MBBS graduates which will require them to attain a minimum prescribed percentile in order to practice medicine in India. The medical undergraduates, who will be able to cross the threshold of the marks obtained in the exit test will be given the license to practice.
There is also a possibility of a few changes to the current All-India PG medical entrance examination system. The Health Ministry is planning to convert the existing All-India PG medical entrance exam into a three-in-one test which will include the MBBS exit exam. This move has been initiated by the high-powered committee headed by Niti Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya. The other members of the committee are PM’s additional principal secretary P K Mishra and Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant. However, the panel has also recommended scrapping the Medical Council of India (MCI) and replacing it with a National Medical Commission (NMC). NMC is supposed to have four independent boards to manage under-graduate and post-graduate education, accreditation and rating of colleges, medical register, and ethics.
According to an official, NEET has brought to an end multiplicity of exams and improvement in the selection process in a free and fair process in medical admissions. Adding the exit exam and setting up of new regulator will be a great contribution in making the system more assessment-based and would provide opportunities to the deserving candidates.
According to the latest report, the commission and the four boards will have eminent doctors and experts who will be selected by a high-powered committee. This process is completely different from the existing MCI, where the members are elected. The election process has become a stumbling block as eminent doctors who could not win elections did not get a chance to participate in the working of MCI.
The main objective of introducing NMC is to regulate medical education in the country so as to ensure that the quality meets the global standards. There will be around 19-20 members in the NMC with a complete tenure of about five years. The committee will not only include the doctors but it will also have members from other fields such as economics, law, and management in a bid to infuse professionalism in the body. According to the officials, the four boards will be given autonomy and they will work on the respective field for which they are formed.
Apart from NMC, a new council is also being proposed naming Medical Advisory Council (MAC). This council will have members from states like eminent professionals such as a professor from medical colleges. The members of the National Medical Committee (NMC) will also be able to become members of the Medical Advisory Council (MAC) and their roles will be advisory.
There are many major steps being taken by the government to place the bill for setting up National Medical Commission as soon as possible hoping that Parliament’s approval will be easier because a parliamentary committee had strongly recommended revamping of the MCI, saying it had failed in its role as a regulator which had led to the downfall of India’s medical education system.
Introducing such tests and committees will be an exceptional step towards the improvement in the medical education system of India.