Common Entrance Test for MBBS
The governing board of Medical Council of India (MCI) is weighing a ‘single exit exam’ for MBBS.
While board members are still debating the merits and contours of the idea, it is proposed to be a standardised test on the lines of CBSE Class XII board examinations, which could bridge the enormous gap in the credentials between institutes of repute and lesser-known medical colleges in the remote parts of the country.
Explaining the trigger behind the thought, a board member told FE: “When medical students from lesser-known institutes explore employment opportunities or post-graduate options abroad, we get a lot of queries from employers and recruiters there asking about the credentials of such colleges. Even within the country, students from lesser-known medical colleges suffer. For such discrimination to end, there must be a common exam which certifies that all doctors coming from India have passed a single exam which guarantees some level of uniformity across the country.”
This brainstorming on a ‘single exit exam’ comes soon after MCI’s board of governors recommended a common entrance test for MBBS. While the idea of a common entrance test for MBBS found favour with the health ministry and was accepted by most major states, Tamil Nadu has raised objections against it. State chief minister M Karunanidhi has expressed his reservations to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, urging him to review the entire matter. Apparently, Karunanidhi feels that such a decision would amount to the Centre encroaching upon the domain of the states.
A common entrance test would ease pressure on lakhs of aspiring medical students who have to take several entrance exams at multiple destinations for higher studies in different medical colleges. This often leads to a clash of exam and counselling dates and confusion among students, some of whom are forced to take legal recourse to secure justice. The new common medical entrance test, if implemented, would be applicable for about 30,000 MBBS seats and over 11,000 MD seats in 138 government-run medical colleges as well as 133 private medical institutes.
The board members who are batting for a single exit test for MBBS feel that unless a common entrance test is notified, it may be difficult to go forward on the single exit test, even though the time of the idea has come.