August 26, 2010

Plan for common entrance test for medical courses from next year

Students aspiring to become doctors will soon be spared the agony of multiple pre-medical tests (PMT). From session 2011-12, performance in a single common entrance examination will form the basis for admission to all central, state and private medical colleges. On an average a student takes 7-10 PMTs annually.

Apart from making life easy for medical aspirants, this would close the possibility of backdoor entry as no private college will be able to grant admission to students other than those clearing the common entrance examination, even through management quota.
The same applies to minority institutions.

In fact, all the around 300 medical colleges in the country will have to choose students from a single merit list prepared on the basis of this exam. The PMTs conducted by state governments would become invalid.

The exam will, however, not guide admissions to All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, and Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, as these institutes were created by an Act of parliament.

The ministry of health and family welfare ministry, which has approved the common entrance examination, is expected to issue a notification in this regard shortly.

“This has been done to curb corruption in admissions and instill confidence among students,” SK Sarin, chairman of the board of governors of Medical Council of India (MCI), said.

The examination will be conducted by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which already conducts an all-India PMT for roughly 15% MBBS seats in government colleges.

Of the around 300 medical colleges in India, roughly 120 are run by private trusts. Admissions to these colleges are based on PMTs conducted by state boards, CBSE and armed forces.

Besides, many private colleges conduct their own entrance examinations.

Meanwhile, MCI is preparing a Vision 2015 document to improve medical education. “We will have career paths for medical graduates and give them attractive options,” Sarin said.

While trying to increase the number of undergraduate and postgraduate medical seats, MCI is also exploring the possibility of restructuring some of the less popular courses and introducing new ones such as critical and emergency care, infectious diseases and disaster management.

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