Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Common medical entrance exam from next year

The Ministry of Health, Medical Council of India (MCI) and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) have agreed to conduct a common all-India entrance test for admission to all medical colleges across the country from next year. The CBSE will conduct the proposed common medical entrance test for entry to all private and government medical colleges in India (close to 300 colleges of which about 180 are private) from 2012.

Almost 800,000 students take undergraduate medical entrance tests annually but at present they sit for different tests, including various state-level medical entrance tests and the All India PMT (Pre Medical Test) which the CBSE conducts. The decision now is that the CBSE will just hold one test for medical aspirants. It has the experience of conducting the largest entrance test in India - AIEEE for engineering entrance which close to 1.1 million students take every year.

A common test will ensure uniformity in undergraduate medical education across states where private colleges are in the practice of charging exorbitant sums for admitting students. It will also ensure quality students entering medical education because states would be obliged to fill seats in their respective jurisdictions with students who figure in the All-India merit list. They would be free to prefer students from their areas but they won't be able to compromise on merit.

MCI board member Dr. Purushottam Lal said that the MCI will prepare the course structure for the test and put it on the website for comments of people. He also added that the decision came in the wake of the Supreme Court orders to the MCI to go ahead with one test for undergraduate medical admissions to avoid stress to students.

Tamil Nadu had earlier opposed the move and secured a stay on it from the High Court. The Health Ministry subsequently asked the MCI to withdraw the common entrance test notification but the Supreme Court told the MCI to go ahead. At the latest meeting which Health Secretary attended, the view was that state governments would be roped in to build a consensus on the matter.

Source:, July 20, 2011
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