National Exit Test Current Affairs - 2019

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Cabinet approves setting up of National Medical Commission replacing MCI

Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved National Medical Commission Bill, 2019 which provides for setting up of a National Medical Commission in place of Medical Council of India (MCI) so as to usher comprehensive reforms in the medical education sector. The Bill also seeks to repeal Indian Medical Council Act 1956.

Key Features of Bill

Common final year MBBS Exams (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) will be known as National Exit Test (NEXT) which would serve as Licentiate Exam, for entrance to Post Graduate (PG) medical course and as screening test of foreign medical graduates.

It provides that National Entrance Test i.e. NEET, Common Counselling, NEXT will also be applicable to Institutes of National Importance (INIs) such as AIIMS to have common standards in country.

National Medical Commission: NMC, an autonomous commission will regulate fee and all other charges for 50% seats in private medical colleges and deemed universities.

NMC will ensure a transparent admission process and also reduce admission fee, and regulate fee in private colleges as well.

NMC will have 4 Autonomous Boards,

  1. Under-Graduate Medical Education Board
  2. Post-Graduate Medical Education Board
  3. Medical Assessment and Rating Board
  4. Ethics and Medical Registration Board

NMC and respective boards will work towards ensuring a dynamic and modern educational environment, decreasing emphasis on physical infrastructure, achieving norms in global standards and an effective grievance redressal mechanism.

Significance: These new measures will ensure a transparent admission process and will also bring down admission fee.

Criticism: NMC Bill is being pushed by Centre amid resistance from Indian Medical Association (IMA) and other sections. The Bill has been facing flak over various issues and IMA, the apex medical body has claimed that replacing MCI with another body may attract new forms of corruption.

Cabinet approves amendments to National Medical Commission Bill

Union Cabinet has approved certain amendments to National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill considering recommendations of Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee (DRPSC) and general feedback from public.

Background

The NMC Bill seeks to replace the Medical Council of India with National Medical Commission as top regulator of medical education in India. It aims to move towards outcome-based regulation of medical education rather than process oriented. It will ensure proper separation of functions within regulator by having autonomous boards, create accountable and transparent procedures for maintaining standards in Medical Education.

Amendments approved are

Final MBBS Examination and exit test: The final MBBS examination will be held as common exam throughout country. It will serve as exit test to be called National Exit Test (NEXT). It will ease burden on medical students as they will not have to appear in separate exam after MBBS to get license to practice. NEXT will also serve as screening test for doctors with foreign medical qualifications in order to practice in India.

Provision of Bridge course: It removes provision dealing with bridge course for AYUSH practitioners to practice modern medicine to limited extent. Now state governments have been empowered to take necessary measures for addressing and promoting primary health care in rural areas.

Fee regulation:  The maximum limit of 40% seats for which fee will be regulated in private medical institutions and deemed universities has been increased to 50% seats. The fee will also include all other charges taken by colleges.

Number of nominees from States/UTs in NMC: The nominees of States and UTs in National Medical Commission (NMC) have been increased from 3 to 6. TNMC will comprise of 25 members of which at least 21 will be doctors.

Monetary penalty for medical colleges: It adds provision providing different options for warning, reasonable monetary penalty, reducing intake, stoppage of admission leading up to withdrawal of recognition on medical college non-compliant with norms. Earlier, wide range of monetary penalty, ranging from one half to ten times annual fee recovered from batch was to be imposed in a graded manner.

Stringent punishment for quacks: It provides severe punishment for any unauthorized practice of medicine or by quacks with imprisonment of up to 1 year along with fine extending up to Rs. 5 lakhs.