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Parliamentary panel asks govt to thoroughly examine implications of National Exit Test

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New Delhi, Feb 9 (PTI) A parliamentary committee has recommended to the Union Health Ministry to thoroughly examine the implications of the National Exit Test (NExT), which will serve as a common qualifying final-year MBBS exam, a licentiate exam to practise modern medicine and for merit-based admission to postgraduate courses.

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The panel also advocated for due diligence in addressing the concerns of all relevant stakeholders.

The committee recommended that the government allocate ample time for thorough preparation and provide an early release of the exam schedule, along with other relevant details regarding the examination.

This will enable the first batch of candidates to prepare adequately and smoothly transition to the new examination format.

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Additionally, considering the diverse background of medical colleges from which the first batch of NExT aspirants would come, the committee suggested that the evaluation criteria should be moderate.

"It is imperative to ensure that no group of graduates faces an undue advantage or disadvantage in the examination. Striking a fair and equitable balance in the evaluation process will be pivotal in ensuring the success and fairness of the NExT exam," the committee said in its report, tabled in Parliament this week.

The panel noted that assessment of medical graduates would ensure that all medical graduates have a uniform level of knowledge and skills, regardless of where they studied.

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"This improves the quality of medical education and training in India and makes the process of licensure and postgraduate admissions more transparent and fairer," it said.

The committee stated that in addition to standardised final assessment of graduates, there is an urgent need to universalize or standardise undergraduate and postgraduate education.

Reputed institutes like AIIMS impart different quality of medical education while newly opened medical institutes need such quality.

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Keeping this in view, it recommended the government to divide India into zones, and in each zone reputed institutes like AIIMS can function as mentor institutes for all the other medical colleges in that zone.

Mentor institutes shall play a significant role in monitoring the standard of education and the classes in the newly set medical colleges or private medical colleges, it said.

The committee further recommended that the National Medical Commission (NMC) should address the inconsistencies in granting permanent registration to foreign medical graduates across various states.

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The FMG Regulations 2021 are a pivotal framework to maintain and uphold the quality of medical professionals in India.

"However, these regulations must adopt a facilitative role rather than imposing unwarranted obstacles in the registration and internship process for foreign medical graduates," it observed.

The panel recommended the NMC to strike a balance between quality assurance and inclusivity, ensuring that bureaucratic or procedural impediments do not unduly burden foreign medical graduates who meet the necessary standards.

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By acting as facilitators, regulatory authorities can streamline the registration and internship procedures, enhancing the integration of foreign medical graduates into the Indian healthcare system, it said in the report.

Further to address the issue of ghost faculty and ensure that the available faculty comes to the college to teach, the committee recommended to the government to strictly enforce the regulations already in place to curb the problem of ghost faculty and zero attendance.

The NMC should conduct regular inspections of medical colleges and take action against colleges that are found to be violating the regulations, it stressed. PTI PLB SMN

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