Admission to MBBS courses in medical colleges across the country including JIPMER and all the AIIMS will be through the common national entrance test NEET from 2020, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan announced on Friday.
Currently, admissions to all medical colleges except AIIMS and JIPMER (Jawaharlal Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research) are done through the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).
"The common national entrance test -- NEET -- applicable to institutes of national importance like AIIMS and JIPMER and common counselling for MBBS, as per the National Medical Commission Act, will come into force from the next academic year (2020).
"This will help set common standards in medical education sector in the country," Vardhan said.
The National Medical Commission Act, 2019 provides for common national entrance test - NEET - along with common counselling for MBBS, and a common final year MBBS exam which will be applicable to all institutes including those of national importance like AIIMS.
AIIMS and JIPMER which function under the Union Health Ministry conduct their own admission tests at present.
According to the NMC Act, the NEXT results would be the base for admission to PG courses and to obtain licence to practice. It would also act as a screening test for foreign medical graduates.
Regulations for operationalising the NEXT would be made in due course keeping in mind importance of both theoretical as well as clinical skill sets required at the level of UG after consultation with all stakeholders.
There is a three-year window before NEXT becomes operational and the modalities of the exam would be finalised by the NMC, Vardhan said.
"This provision will eliminate the need for students to approach multiple colleges and take part in multiple counselling processes for admission. This will save students and their families unnecessary physical and financial trauma," Vardhan had said earlier.
"Once a candidate clears NEXT, he can register himself and obtain a licence to practice. The Act does not impose any restriction on the number of attempts at NEXT for improving the rank for admission to PG courses," he had said.
The NMC Act that seeks to usher in mega reforms in the medical education sector received the assent of the President on August 8.
The Act provides for setting up of NMC in place of the Medical Council of India for development and regulation of all aspects of medical education, profession and institutions.
Several relevant sections of the Act came into force on September 2 after which the Union Health Ministry on August 9 wrote to all chief secretaries, home secretaries of UTs and state medical councils seeking nominations for selection of members of the NMC.
"A draw of lots will be held on October 14 for selecting members of the NMC from the nominees of states and UTs and state medical councils," Vardhan said.
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