The National Exit Test (NEXT) for achieving the status of a “doctor” has been favoured by 12 states and four union territories in the country, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said in a reply to a Right To Information (RTI) query.
Chandigarh, Andaman and Nicobar, Delhi and Puducherry have expressed their support for making the NEXT exam mandatory to improve the quality of doctors in the country. Along with them, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Odisha and Punjab have also given their approval for the same.
Nine states, however, did not agree to make the exam mandatory. These include Rajasthan, Telangana, Assam, Goa, Karnataka, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand.
In 2016, a high power committee had proposed that students passing out of government and private colleges must appear for NEXT paper for MBBS after concern over the quality of medical education in India.
This came as a part of a large list of reforms in the medical sector which also involved the replacement of the Medical Council of India (MCI) with a National Medical Commission (NMC). This, according to the proposal, would oversee undergraduate and postgraduate accreditation, education and college ratings.
The states were asked to give their opinions on the compulsion of NEXT after the introduction of the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill 2016.