NExT likely to Replace NEET PG from 2023: Report

New Delhi: While there is still no clarity regarding the Postgraduate medical admission process from the next year, it is being speculated that the National Exit Test (NEXT) is going to replace the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test postgraduate (NEET-PG) Examination 2023.

Such an indication has been given by a senior central government official, who informed HT that the exit exam is going to for the MBBS students who will graduate in 2023. If that happens, then NEXT is going to replace NEET-PG that was the medium of entrance for getting admission in PG medical courses.

The sources aware of the matter further informed the daily that NEXT is also going to be conducted by the National Board of Examinations (NBE). However, NBE might outsource the process to a third party.

Besides, in order to test the procedure and help to remove anxiety among the new aspirants, there is a possibility of holding a mock test before implementation of the NEXT examination process.

NEET-PG is the qualifying and ranking examination for students who wish to pursue PG medical degree and diploma courses in government or private medical institutes in the country. While the National Board of Examinations (NBE) conducts the examination, the counselling and seat allotment process is conducted by Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

However, the National Medical Commission (NMC) has been planning to introduce NEXT as the medium of PG medical entrance and Medical Dialogues had been reporting about the same.
The NExT, a common exit exam envisaged by the government to standardize medical education across the country, was proposed by NMC as a part of the bill passed in the year 2019. The exam is set to replace the NEET PG and FMGE exams.
The NExT exam would not only serve as a licentiate exam for those who have done MBBS in India as well as abroad but would also serve as a gateway to admission to the postgraduate broad-specialty medical education in the country. In other words, MBBS graduates will have to complete their final internship to earn the license for practising as a doctor in India. Besides, Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs) have to qualify through the exam after it becomes operational in order to get registration with State Medical Councils for practising as a doctor in India.
In addition, to get admission to MD, MS, DM, MCh programs, the doctors will have to qualify for the NExT instead of NEET PG once it initiates. As per various sources, the NEXT examination was scheduled to commence from 2023.

Earlier this year, while responding to a plea seeking further reduction of NEET PG cut-off percentile, the Central Government had informed the Delhi High Court bench regarding the possibility of introducing an “Exit Test”, which is similar to AIBE to lawyers and would act as a qualifier for the medical graduates for obtaining their medical registration.

“This may be the last year that NEET-PG takes place. We will come out with the ‘National Exit Test’. Just like AIBE is for lawyers, an exit test will be developed for doctors. All doctors, while passing out MBBS will have to qualify this exam after which they’ll be registered as Practitioners. Same merit will be taken for admission to PG courses,” counsel for the Government had submitted.

Although there are speculations that NEXT will replace NEET PG next year and the exam pattern would change, there has not been any confirmation in this regard yet. In fact, recent media reports suggested that there has not been any discussion on the possibility of introducing any change in the conduct and execution of NEET PG 2023.

Amid all this, requesting anonymity, a senior central government official informed Hindustan Times, “The exit exam is most likely going to start from the batch of students that is going to graduate in 2023. The modalities are being worked out.”

“If NExT is introduced in the education system then it will do away with the need to conduct NEET-PG (national eligibility-cum-entrance examination). It will be a common test for multiple purposes that is meant to be implemented across the board,” the officer added.

Also Read: NEET PG 2023 expected to be held on January 23: Report

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