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    As deadline for NExT exam comes closer, lack of clarity is keeping medical students on the egde.

    • 1/2/2023 4:29:15 PM
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    • RUCHIKA MAMGAI
    • NExT 2023

    The National Medical Commission has less than a month to take a final call on the feasibility to conduct the NExT exam for final MBBS students in 2023 amid uncertainty among aspirants over the syllabus, pattern of the examination and its timing. Under the National Medical Commission (NMC) Act, the Commission has to conduct a common final year undergraduate medical examination, which will be called as National Exit Test (NExT) within three years of it coming into force. The NExT will serve as a common qualifying final year Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) exam, a licentiate exam to practice modern medicine and for merit-based admission to postgraduate courses and a bridging exam for foreign medical graduates who want to practice in India.

    The Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA) recently wrote to the NMC seeking clarity on holding the National Exit Test. Meanwhile, the Union health ministry is also learnt to have sought NMC's view immediately on the feasibility of conducting the exam while informing it that if preparations are not in place, then extending the timeline for holding the exam in 2024 would require invoking provisions of the Act by September 24, 2022. Sources highlighted that generally, National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test Postgraduate (NEET PG) is conducted around April or May every year and as NExT is supposed to replace it and so the exam should be conducted in the month of April or May which could be the earliest in 2023.

    But conducting the exam requires preparations such as working out the modalities and deciding on the syllabus, type and pattern of the exam on whether it will be an analytical or a multiple choice questions based test and number of tests and requisite regulations they said, adding students will also have to given adequate time to prepare for the new exam. Mock tests would need to be also carried out before the main test is held. Besides, it also needs to be decided on which agency will conduct the exam.  

    The NMC in its recent replies to some of the Right to Information (RTI) queries maintained that the exam will begin in 2023. The FORDA in its letter mentioned that due to the pandemic, several PG aspirants have faced hurdles such as postponement of NEET PG, 2020 counselling followed by delayed exam and counselling for NEET PG 2021 session, to unexplained delays in NEET PG 2022 counselling schedule, "the NEET PG aspirant fraternity has been the worst affected". Further, they claimed that there has been a continuous communication gap between NMC and NBE over the upcoming exam session in 2023 and the implementation of the NExT exam as a replacement for the NEET PG examination.

    (Source : NDTV Education)

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