AIIMS Likely to Conduct NEXT Exam 2023, say Sources

New Delhi: The NExT exam scheduled for December next year will likely be conducted by the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences, AIIMS New Delhi. A decision on the matter is yet to be taken. The information to this effect was shared by the official sources to the News agency ANI.

The sources further informed that the National Medical Commission (NMC) is going to release a notification on the National Exit Test (NExT). “The notification regarding the National Exit test (NExT) is expected soon… It is a crucial decision that has been taken up by the government on the NExT. The exam is scheduled to be conducted in December next year,” they said.

It’s likely that the test will be conducted under the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi and the matter is still under discussion, they added, as quoted by ANI.

Official sources with the Union Health Ministry confirmed the development and said that a decision on the same was taken after a high-level meeting held in Union Health Ministry with senior health officials on Thursday.

Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the National Medical Commission (NMC) is planning to hold the NExT exam in December 2023 replacing the current PG medical admissions gateway, NEET PG scheduled for April-May next year to be the last such examination.

If held in December 2023, MBBS students of the 2019-2020 batch will have to appear for the exam. The results of the exam will also be used for admission to postgraduate medical courses from the 2024-2025 batch.

In September, the Union Health Ministry invoked the relevant provisions of the National Medical Commission (NMC) Act by which it extended the time limit for conducting the National Exit Test (NExT) till September 2024.

Section 15 of the NMC Act provides for the conduct of a common final year undergraduate examination, to be known as the National Exit Test (NExT) which shall be the basis for Registration to practice medicine, admission to PG medical courses and Screening Test for foreign medical graduates to practice modern medicine.

The NExT was supposed to be operational within three years from the commencement of the NMC Act, 2019 i.e. 25th September 2022 and conducted through a designated authority and in such a manner as may be specified by regulations. The Act came into force in September 2020.

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.

Also Read: A sneak peak into NEXT exam

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-speciality medical education in the country. In other words, MBBS graduates will have to complete their final internship to earn the licence to practise as a doctor in India. Besides, Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs) have to qualify through the exam after it becomes operational to get registration with State Medical Councils for practising as a doctor in India.

In addition, to get admission to MD, MS, DM, and MCh programmes, the doctors will have to qualify for the NEXT instead of NEET PG once it initiates.

Earlier, there were speculations that the NEXT set to be implemented this year will be delayed by one year.

Officials in the Union Health Ministry and the NMC had pointed out that the Commission is not yet fully prepared for introducing NEXT because several decisions regarding the conduction of the test are yet to be taken.

Later, giving the final stand on whether MBBS pass-outs will be appearing for NEET PG 2023 or the NExT exam as a gateway to Postgraduate Medical courses, the National Board of Examinations (NBE) gave its verdict stating that it will be conducting the NEET PG exam next year.

Also Read: No NEXT – NBE to conduct NEET PG in March 2023

Conducting NExT requires preparations such as working out modalities, syllabus, type and pattern of the exam, officials said, adding students will have to be given adequate time to prepare for it. Mock tests would need to be carried out before the main test.

The importance of NExT lies in the fact that it will be the same for everyone, whether trained in India or any part of the world and hence it will solve the problem of foreign medical graduates and mutual recognition, officials said.

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