National Exit Test (NEXT) that is a qualifier for medical graduates to be eligible to take up the medical profession, has been strongly opposed by the Indian Medical Association or IMA. Recently, the association decided to hold a nation-wide protest against the test that the Union Health Ministry is planning to introduce from 2017 onwards.
According to the new test, medical graduates would be able to practice only if they qualify in the test. If they fail to clear the exam, they will not be able to practice medical.
An official of the central government said that the test would definitely help in enhancing the quality of medical education in the country. It will be an outcome-based test. Once the test becomes operational, it will scrap the Foreign Medical Graduates Examination test conducted for the medical students of Indian origin hailing from other countries and grant them the opportunity to practice in India.
IMA will hold the nationwide protest in different parts of the country next month. On 1st February 2017, the Mumbai unit of IMA will hold street plays and rallies to raise awareness about the negative impacts of the examination.
Sagar Mundada, President of the youth wing of IMA, Mumbai said that the details will be chalked out in a meeting within few days. He believes that the government should pay attention to improving the quality of medical education in the country instead of holding such tests.
In December 2016, the Union Health Ministry announced that under the draft of the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) bill, NEXT would be introduced. The ministry decided to hold the test for medical students so as to standardize medical education in the country. The introduction of the exam has received mixed reactions from different stakeholders.