New Delhi : The National Exit Exam(NEXT), proposed in the Draft Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill 2016 that has been thrown open for public opinion till January 6th, 2016, does have its benefits despite the severe criticism it has been facing at the hands of students, doctors and vested political interests.
Experts in the field of Medical Education were seen lauding the National Exit Exam as an effort on the part of the government to bring about standardization in medical education, by giving students studying in medical institutions of varying standards to compete from the same platform.
Dr. Batra , Executive Director, National Board of Examinations, speaking to HT has called NEXT “an essential tool for meeting the basic objectives of quality and safe physicians for the society,” keeping in mind diverse medical institutions, offering education of varying quality .
Dr. Arun Kumar Agarwal, Former President, Delhi Medical Council has gone a step further by wanting the exam to take the place of the PG National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) as well as, the Foreign Medical Graduate Exam (FMGE), for he feels that students should not be made to appear for an exam of this nature more than once in their entire MBBS phase of study. His wanting it to become a replacement to PG NEET and FMGE should also set to rest student apprehensions about having to appear for too many tests, with the introduction of NEET.
On the issue of exit exam as a replacement for existing exams, Dr Batra informed Hindustan Times, “It will be an ideal scenario, if one exam in the early phase of internship is used as the exit test and the performance is used as a grading tool for ranking the medical graduates for entry to PG residency programmes.”
Speaking about the impact that NEXT may have on Foreign students, Dr Batra said, There will be no change for their licensing requirements. “Currently, they write the FMGE screening test, which in all likelihood will be subsumed as the exit test, bringing parity between the Indian and foreign medical graduates,” and as reported by the HT.
Meanwhile , Section 10 E addition to the Indian Medical Council Act 1956, is what facilitates a uniform national exit test (NEXT) to be conducted for all medical institutions at the undergraduate level. NEXT will replace the uniform entrance exam at the postgraduate level too, if the draft of the amendment bill 2016 turns into a law.