Tuesday, 9 February 2016

IMA welcomes decision to introduce a common entrance test for all medical admissions

IMA welcomes decision to introduce a common entrance test for all medical admissions

New Delhi, February 7, 2016: The Medical Council of India (MCI) recommendation for an amendment to the Indian Medical Council (IMC) Act has been endorsed and approved by Union Health Minister J P Nadda allowing the Council to hold a common national medical entrance test. A draft cabinet note created by the Health Ministry has been circulated among the ministries. The IMA believes that this is a welcome move, which will help add transparency to the system.

Both undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses across medical colleges (private, public, and deemed universities) will have one-medical entrance plan throughout the country. The MCI would either notify a new or existing examination, for example the All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT). Under the existing Act, the MCI can only finalize the medical curriculum, and it was the individual colleges and states that created their own procedures for admissions. However, the MCI General Body passed, in October last year, a proposal for the amendment of the act to allow it to implement a common entrance examination.

Sharing IMA’s viewpoint, Dr. SS Agarwal, National President IMA & Padma Shri Awardee Dr. K.K.Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India and Honorary Secretary General IMA said, “IMA has supported the common entrance examination being implemented since the then President of Medical Council of India (MCI), Dr Ketan Desai had constituted a two men expert group to look into the entire of gross difficulties that the learners were facing due to the multiple entrance test for admission to MBBS course conducted by the various examining authorities in April 2009. We welcome this step and believe that it should be implemented at the earliest since it will help bring transparency to the system”.

The expert committee set up by Dr. Desai in a detailed report brought the core issue to the fore that there were more than 90 entrance examinations conducted annually for admission to MBBS course for about 300 medical colleges in the country held during a specified period of time in accordance with the schedule of admissions prescribed by the appropriate regulation by the MCI in terms of the pronouncement made by the Hon'ble Supreme Court. As a result it was humanly impossible for a student to be able to avail the same due to constraints of time, travel and also affordability. Numerous complaints were received of irregularities, manipulations, cheating etc.

The committee therefore explicitly recommended that there should be a single / unitary National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) to be conducted by a designated authority and the merit generated there from should be availed for all the admitting authorities to make admissions to the MBBS course on an Inter-se basis. This could be achieved by incorporating an appropriate amendment to the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 on an urgent basis, including through an appropriate issuance of an ordinance by the Government of India, so that the same could be put into effect from the subsequent academic session. 

After several years of debate and struggle, this recommendation has been welcomed and endorsed by the Health Minister and it will help make medical education more transparent and effective. 

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