New Delhi, August 9: While addressing media persons on the National Medical Commission (NMC) Act 2019, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, said that the act is a student-friendly initiative. He describes the NMC act as a “progressive legislation” and said that it, “will reduce the burden on students, ensure probity in medical education, bring down costs of medical education, simplify procedures, help to enhance the number of medical seats in India, ensure quality education, and provide wider access to people for quality healthcare.”
He added, “It is a game-changing reform of transformational nature. I am sure that under the NMC, medical education in the country will attain its zenith in the years to come.” The minister said that looking at the cost of medical education is one of the mandates of NMC.
Along with common counseling for all medical institutions in India, it also provides for a common entrance examination for MBBS (NEET).
“This provision will prevent seat blocking in parallel counseling processes and will eliminate the need for students to approach multiple colleges and take part in multiple counseling processes for admission. This will save students and their families from unnecessary physical and financial trauma,” he has been quoted as saying to a national daily.
NMC- An comprehensive body
As per the act, NMC is an overarching body that will be engaged in framing policies and coordinating the activities of four autonomous boards. These boards will keep an eye on the work of undergraduate and postgraduate education, medical assessment and rating, and ethics and medical registration.
“The purpose of having these four independent Boards is to ensure separation of functions between them”, the Union Health Minister told a news daily.
National Exit Test or NEXT
Explaining its characteristics, Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated, “Even in the current system, every student has to appear for a final year examination. Under the NMC Act, this final year examination has been converted into a nationwide exit test called NEXT. This single examination will grant i) a license to practice medicine, ii) an MBBS degree, and iii) entrance to postgraduate courses. Students will be able to concentrate on an internship instead of spending all their time preparing for entry into PG courses and thus the burden on students will be greatly reduced. The same examination will also serve as a licentiate exam for foreign graduates.”
The new act also provides a provision for common counseling for entrance to postgraduate programmes.