The government has extended the deadline for the conduct of the entrance exam for final year students of medical colleges, i.e. National Exit Test (NExT) till September 2024, by using the provisions of the National Medical Commission Act.
Although there is no official word about the schedule of the NExT exam in 2023, a notification released by the Health Ministry on September 23 states that the regulations for the examination are yet to be framed. The notification also states that the formation of the examination cell is underway.
The NMC Act states that the commission should conduct a common medical examination for the final year students of medical schools within three years of its coming into force. The Act came into force in September 2020.
The NExT will serve as a qualifying examination for the final year students of medical schools. It will also be used for the selection of postgraduate students and foreign medical graduates from various countries. But, despite almost two years have passed since the notification was issued, the regulations for the examination are yet to be framed. The formation of the examination cell is also yet to be completed.
In response to the concerns about the implementation of the Act, the government has issued an order to remove the various difficulties related to the examination. The order, which is expected to come into effect in 2022, will be referred to as the National Medical Commission’s first (Removal of difficulties )order.
The entrance exam for the postgraduate medical program is usually conducted in April or May each year. Since the NExT will replace the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test, the exam will be conducted in April or May.
The preparation for the conduct of the entrance exam by the authorities is usually carried out in phases, the officials said. Besides the setting of the syllabus and the number of tests, other factors such as the regulations and the mode of the examination are also taken into account.
Besides the setting of the syllabus, the officials also said that the students should be given adequate time to prepare. They noted that mock tests should also be conducted.
The officials also noted that the NExT will help in addressing the issue of foreign medical graduates, as the entrance will be common to all medical students irrespective of the nation they have completed it from.