Major Highlights of NMC Bill: Exit Test, Single Medical Entrance Exam

Sakunth Kumar
Sakunth KumarPublished: | February 07, 2020

Here are some of the major highlights of NMC Bill 2019. Sources from the Health Ministry have stated that the National Medical Commission should be established by February 2020, while previously, 25 members had been selected to work under NMC.

Major Highlights of NMC Bill: Exit Test, Single Medical Entrance Exam

According to the recently-passed NMC Bill, NEET-UG will be the only medical entrance exam from the academic session 2020-21. AIIMS MBBS entrance exam and JIPMER MBBS entrance exam is going to be replaced by NEET-UG from 2020. Candidates aspiring for MBBS admission in AIIMS and JIPMER will have to clear NEET UG from 2020.

Rajya Sabha has passed the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill for replacing the corruption-plagued Medical Council of India (MCI) with a new body, in what was described by the government as one of the biggest reforms for medical education in the country.

Sources from the Health Ministry have told PTI that the entire process of setting up the National Medical Commission by February 2020. Apart from replacing the Medical Council of India, NMC will also look into regulating the fees and other charges for 50% of the seats in private medical colleges and deemed Universities.

Along with the changes, four new Boards are also said to be established under the NMC Act 2019, which will regulate the various activities. The four boards include an Undergraduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB), Postgraduate Medical Education Board (PGMEB), a Medical Assessment and Rating Board along with an Ethics and Medical Registration Board.

The NBC Bill, which was first presented in 2017 has been lapsed due to the dissolution of Lok Sabha. The NMC Bill was tabled in the ongoing parliamentary session. The Bill will replace the existing Medical Council of India (MCI) with a new regulator. The recommendations made by a Parliamentary Standing Committee and Ranjit Roychowdhury Committee were taken into consideration before approving the Bill. Both the committees clarified that the medical education regulator elected by the fraternity it would monitory could not be impartial and effective.

Reforms to be Taken as per NMC Bill

Major reforms in medical education, which can be taken up as per the NMC Bill can be checked below -

  • NMC Bill replaces MCI with National Medical Commission (NMC)
  • NMC will be responsible for approving and assessing medical colleges.
  • Common MBBS entrance and exit exams will be conducted as per the new Bill.
  • The final-year MBBS exam will now be known as NEXT (National Exit Test)
  • The Bill also seeks to make NREET applicable for admission in Institutes of National Importance such as AIIMS etc.
  • NMC Bill also proposes to set up Medical Advisory Council as a separate entity.

A senior government official pointed that the draft Bill enables the constitution of four autonomous boards, entrusted with conducting postgraduate and undergraduate education, to provide accreditation and assessment of medical institutions and registration of medical practitioners under National Medical Commission.

NEXT Mandatory Exit Exam After MBBS and PG Medical Degrees

In the recent parliament sessions on budget, various questions regarding the MBBS exit exam also called National Exit Test or NEXT, which will become mandatory to both pursue higher education or gain a licence to practice medicine in the country.

Answering the questions, Dr Harsh Vardha, the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ministry, cleared out the specifics of the National Medical Commission Bill. He stated that the Act, once put in motion, will be applicable three after the commencement of the Act. MBBS graduates will be asked to sit for the exit exam in order to practice medicine anywhere in India. Moreover, the exit examination will behave as the gateway to pursuing a PG medical course in India.

Along with MBBS Graduates, foreign nationals or anyone with a foreign medical degree will also be required to sit for NEXT in order to either obtain the licence to practice medicine or be enrolled to the National or State Medical Register, as specified by the government.

Dr Harsh Vardhan added that the Bill will also be applicable for the admissions to the PG medical admissions in India. In other words, PG medical entrance exams such as NEET-PG will no longer in force, once the NMC Bill comes into force. All admissions will be based on NEXT counselling sessions, which will be conducted as per the guidelines outlined by the Commission.

Highlights of National Medical Commission Bill: -

  • The National Medical Commission will have Chairperson and members nominated by the Government of India.
  • Cabinet Secretary’s Search Committee will select the board members.
  • The National Medical Commission will have 12 ex-officials and five elected members.
  • The process of setting up the NMC will be completed by February 2020
  • The draft Bill recommends a common entrance test and licentiate (exit) exam. All the medical graduates will have to clear the exam to get a participating license.
  • Four Boards will be set up under the NMC Bill, viz., Undergraduate Medical Education Board, Postgraduate Medical Education Board, Medical Assessment and Rating Board and an Ethics and Medical Registration Board.
  • According to the provisions mentioned in the draft Bill, no permission will be required to start postgraduate courses or add new seats.
  • The exit (licentiate) exam will be implemented within three years of passage of Bill in the parliament.
  • The Bill will empower the National Medical Commission to conduct annual inspections on infrastructural, physical and bed-patient norms in all the medical colleges across the country.
  • Under National Medical Commission, medical colleges need permission only once, i.e., for establishment and recognition.
  • NMC Bill will empower the commission to penalise the medical institutes over 10 times than the amount charged from students as fees if they violate the norms prescribed by the commission.
  • NMC will have a Medical Advisory Council comprising of 64 members. One representative from each state will be a member of the council.

Also Read: MCI Mandates Compulsory Logbook Entries for MBBS Students

National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill will bring a radical reform in medical education in India and will also keep a check on the corruption. NMC is one of the biggest reforms for medical education in the country.

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