Dec 16, 2017
In one of the biggest reforms aimed at upgrading the standards of medical education in India, Union cabinet passed a bill on December 15, 2017 in order to replace the existing pinnacle regulatory body i.e. MCI (Medical Council of India) with another governing body NMC (National Medical Commission). According to the Bill, a 25-member commission selected by a search committee headed by the Union Cabinet Secretary will replace the elected MCI. The Bill also provides for the introduction of an exit examination for MBBS Graduates. This bill would make the medical sector the first in the country’s higher education system to have a common entrance test (NEET), counseling and exit examination. Other inclusions in the bill: 1. Colleges will need permission just once for establishment and recognition, after that there will be no annual inspections. 2. Colleges can also increase their seats (up to maximum 250) and start PG courses on their own. 3. However, the Medical Assessment and Rating Board constituted by the central government can conduct inspections. 4. Private colleges will be able to decide their own fee for at least 60% of their seats. 5. If a college is found to be in violation of norms, such as those governing teachers, laboratories, patients, etc., it can be fined sums ranging from half of the cumulative fees it charges from students to 10 times that amount. NMC bill is intended to focus on the quality of doctors a college is producing rather than the quality of functioning of the colleges. Once the licensing (exit) exam is in place colleges will be rated according to the result of its students. The 64-member medical advisory council will have one member from each state and UT (nominated by the Home Ministry); chairman UGC; director NAAC, etc. When can the Exit exam be implemented? According to the NMC bill, exit exam has to be implemented within 3 years from introduction of the bill. However, it will probably be implemented for next session. What does this mean for the students? For MBBS aspirants: NEET will still serve as the sole exam for entry into MBBS courses, but number of MBBS seats will increase in the country. For foreign medical graduates: This exam puts FMGs and Indian graduates at the same pedestal. Both will have to take and clear the same exam to practice medicine in India. FMGs however, will have to take one less exam for entrance into PG courses. For MBBS students: All students currently pursuing MBBS will have to take the exit exam. 50% score in the exam will ensure a NMC registration and license to practice medicine in India. For MBBS graduates with MCI registration: Exit exam will not be compulsory for already registered candidates. For PG aspirants: Since this exam will serve as an entrance exam for PG courses, all PG aspirants will have to appear for the exam. Number of PG seats will definitely increase after the implementation of this bill. Do you support this move by the government? Leave your views and queries in the comments below.
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