NEXT OR NEET ? Unofficial proposed format suggest 2 phase Exit exam for MBBS students

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A series of speculations, confusion & unprecedented queries are doing rounds among the medical students fraternity since reports of 2 phase NEXT Exam , the proposed Exit test cum entry level exam for postgraduate medical seats have surfaced in different sections of media. With no clear cut official clarifications being issued by the government in this regard , the students preparing for the postgraduate entrance test are left in lurch as they are unaware that what may happen the next moment.


The National Exit Test (NEXT), proposed in the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill 2019 passed by Parliament last year, is facing opposition from medical students and doctors. NEXT or a common final-year MBBS exam is a key provision in the NMC bill for admission to postgraduate courses and also for obtaining a practice licence and is likely to be implemented by 2022.

The series of speculations began after an informal meet 3 days ago among the medical students and Chairman of Board of Governors ( in suppression of MCI ) , including other officials too. The meeting was held at ICMR headquarters in Delhi .

The details of the meeting surfaced via an official release by Indian Medical Association- Medical Students Network , the students wing of IMA , the largest representative organisation of doctors in the country . It stated that in the meet Student attendees were informed of the various aspects of NExT exam.

NEXT exam, the speculations around which had been growing among medical students, has been  seen as a replacement of common final year MBBS exam. There was much confusion till yet regarding the year of f implementation of EXit , test and also format, layout and conducting body of the NEXT exam.

It has been stated in this meeting that the first NEXT exam is most likely to be implemented from the academic session 2022.

The student attendees were informed the schedule of the proposed exams. Following the change in GMER schedule, Prof III part II exams will be held in medical colleges in January, supplementary exams in February, NEXT 1 (also called Prof IV part I ) to be held in March, and NEXT 2 (also called Prof IV part II ) in April. The proposal is to commence internship in March and conclude the same in April, and commence PG course from July.

Prof IV part I or the NEXT 1 exam will be conducted by the National Body, while NEXT 2 will be conducted by University/College. Prof I, Prof II, Prof III exams shall also continue to be conducted by University.

NEXT 1 is an all India concurrent online and objective exam while NEXT 2 shall be a pass/fail exam which will include the practical exam held by the University which tests basic practical efficiency of the student and around the basic practical skills which a student is need to know. The subject wise distribution of the NEXT 1 exam has also been proposed in the meeting.

As has been clear already, NEXT is a licensiate exam and will NEXT 2 has to be passed to practice as a doctor. Passing NEXT 1 will though qualify the students for starting their 12-month internship.

The IMA, MSN expressed their discord over such proposals and doubted if there'll be more NEXT exams after NExT 2 and might also lead to infinite number of exams.

Senior IMA functionary & member of Central Working Committee of the organisation, DrSreejith N Kumar opposed this "injustice done to medicos" stating that this will lead to utter chaos. Dr. Kumar views the briefings as "nothing but playing with the future of the medical students and creating havoc in the presently well streamlined methodology of medical education just to satisfy the ego of someone."

The proposals of the NEXT exams could be the onset of increased hardships faced by students in the numerous colleges in the rural and semi urban areas. Many questions remain lurking, as to how many students will be actually able to qualify, the fate of those who are not able to qualify, and who is it being tested - students or institutions.

Director of DAMS, a Delhi based medical PG Coaching institute  Dr Sumeer Sethi also  raised suspicions on the nature & layout of exam.  In a video message released by him on DAMS platform , he too had tried to explain the proposed changes in the pattern of exam and advised students to strictly concentrate on students at present until or unless official notification is released by the government.

Our sources has revealed that as of now , no final decision on manner of conducting the exam & it's layout is being finalized by the concerned authorities. The entire process will take some time , until the members of National Medical Commission takes in hand the reins of medical education affairs in the country.  It's high time Government must atleast issue a notification that changes applicable will not be implemented in current session as it will help the students preparing for the upcoming academic session. 

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