MCI waits for final nod on common entrance test

Once common entrance test gets rolling, MCI will work on curriculum for courses.


Sonal Matharu | August 17, 2010

Common Entrance Test (CET), called the National Eligibility Test (NET), for undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses in government and private colleges in India will hopefully start from this academic session, the chairman of the governing body of Medical Council of India (MCI) S K Sarin announced here on Tuesday.

“The NET for undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses will soon be a reality. The health ministry has approved the proposal by the MCI and we are now waiting for the notification which should be out in two to three days,” said Sarin.

The notification will clear doubts if the medical institutions which were created by the Act of the Parliament will also fall under the NET or not, informed Sarin. These institutions include All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh and Armed Forces Medical College in Pune.

This step by the MCI will ease the pressure of the aspiring doctors who as per the present system sit for separate entrance examinations for various colleges across the country. With NET, all students will have to write just one exam and a merit list will be prepared after which they can select their choice of college. This new system of selection of medical students will also ensure same standards for medical education.

The MCI, in its last meeting, had announced that it is in touch with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to conduct the NET. Sarin said on Tuesday that the MCI is “still working on modalities on who will conduct the test” and other related concerns.

The NET, however, will not tamper with the quotas various colleges have. “The selection of students under different quotas will also be from the same merit list,” Sarin said.

Besides the NET, the governing body members’ next priority is curriculum reform.

“The MCI has received detailed reports from experts in the medical profession from all over the world on how the curriculum in the medical colleges should be changed. We realise that reforms should be made in the courses with the present times. Changes in curriculum will be brought in next year and it will be made more inclusive,” said Sarin.

New speciality courses to strengthen the existing ones as per the need will be set up and the redundant courses will be gradually done away with.
“For specialization, the postgraduate seats in India are much less than those in the undergraduate courses. We are planning to introduce new speciality courses as per the need. We have formed speciality boards which will look into these new courses which could be designed,” said MCI governing body member R L Salhan.

The MCI has received 1,300 applications for starting of new courses. Assessors from the MCI will go to different colleges and see if the colleges qualify to start a new course or not, said Salhan.



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