MBBS Admissions - Impact of NMC Bill on AIIMS and JIPMER Exams

The National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, 2017, which seeks to regulate medical education and practice, and replace the Medical Council of India (MCI), has proposed major changes in the entry and exit criteria related to medical education.  The MCI has been mired in corruption scandals and judicial interventions in the last two decades.

The key changes that the NMC Bill will bring about are:

  • A single common MBBS entry exam, which most likely will be NEET.  The AIIMS and JIPMER exams are likely to be discontinued and all admissions to MBBS seats are proposed to be via NEET.
  • A National Exit Test (NEXT) that serves three purposes: (a) As the final-year MBBS examinatio (2) As a licentiate exam for getting permission to practice and (c) As the entrance exam for admissions to PG courses.  The Bill, however, has no scope for improvement if a student fails. Earlier, there existed an improvement exam for those who failed the final-year test. This test is also likely to serve as the screening test for doctors with foreign medical qualifications who want to practice in India. 
  • Determination of fees and all other charges in respect of 50% of seats in private medical institutions and deemed to be universities.  This control of regulating fee will vary from state to state as the governments would have more powers to determine the fee in such institutions.  At present the Governments regulate the fee of 85% of seats in such institutions.  With the new bill, the Government will be able to regulate a reduced percentage, i.e. 50%, of the totals seats in these institutions.
  • Concept of community health providers (CHP), who would be given ‘limited license’ to practise at ‘primary and preventive level’.  At the moment, the bill  does not define CHPs and also did not detail as to how they would practice modern medicine.  

Now that the NMC 2017 Bill has been passed in Lok Sabha, it will be important to note whether it would face scrutity in the Rajya Sabha and the how the changes would be brought into effect.  Whether AIIMS and JIPMER MBBS entrance exams would be abolished and merged into NEET from 2020 or 2021 is a question that will be known only in the coming few months.