NEET-PG 2023 could be last, NMC plans to replace it with NExT for MBBS students

The National Eligibility Test with Postgraduate Entrance (NEET-PG) scheduled for April-May next year could be the last such exam as admission to PG medical courses from thereafter it will be based on the results of the national exit test to be taken at the end of the year – MBBS students, officials said.

At a high level meeting held on Monday, it is learned that the National Medical Commission (NMC) has informed the Union Health Ministry that it intends to conduct the National Exit Test (NExT) in December 2023, they said on Wednesday official sources

If it is held in December 2023, MBBS students of 2019-2020 batch will have to appear for the exam. The exam results will also be used for admission to postgraduate medical courses of the 2024-25 batch, they said.

Under the NMC Act, NExT will serve as final year common qualification MBBS examination, examination for license to practice modern medicine and for merit-based admission to postgraduate courses and screening examination for foreign medical graduates who wish to practice in India.

The government had in September invoked the relevant provisions of the NMC Act to extend the deadline for carrying out NExT to September 2024.

According to the law, the commission had to conduct a common final year medical examination, NExT, as specified by regulation, within three years of its entry into force.

The law came into force in September 2020.

Sources said the Indian Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi may conduct the test instead of the National Board of Examinations in Medical Sciences, but a decision on the matter is yet to be taken.

Conducting NExT requires preparations such as preparation of modalities, syllabus, type and pattern of the exam, officials said, adding that students will have to give adequate time to prepare for it .

Mock tests should be conducted before the main test.

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

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