The Health Ministry has announced a major change for NEET PG 2024, replacing it with the NExT Exam. This article provides insights into the announcement and its implications for medical aspirants.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has recently announced a significant change in the medical education system in India. The National Exit Test (NExT) is set to replace the final-year MBBS examinations and the National Eligibility Entrance Test Postgraduate (NEET PG) entrance exam. In this article, we will explore the important highlights and facts about the upcoming NExT exam and its implications for medical students.
The National Exit Test (NExT) is an upcoming exam that will serve as a qualifying test for final-year MBBS students and the basis for postgraduate seat allocation. It aims to evaluate both the clinical and practical learning of medical students and grant them registration as doctors upon qualifying the exam. Let’s delve into the details of this new examination system.
NExT 2024: Ministry of Health Announcement
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has declared that the NExT exam will be conducted from 2024 onwards. Initially, it was expected that the National Medical Commission (NMC) would oversee the examination. However, as per the latest updates, AIIMS Delhi will be responsible for conducting the NExT exam. The exact dates and further details will be released soon on the official website.
Important Highlights of NExT 2024
To understand the key aspects of the NExT exam, let’s take a look at the important highlights:
NEET PG 2024: The NEET PG 2024 exam will be held between January and March and will be the last entrance exam for PG Medical Courses. The eligibility for NEET PG 2024 is limited to batches prior to 2019.
NExT – 1: The first NExT exam will be conducted in May 2024 for Batch 2019 students. However, the counseling process for PG courses will take place after one year, in June 2025, following the completion of NExT – 2 for the 2019 batch.
NExT Exam Frequency: NExT – 1 will be conducted twice a year, similar to the INICET exam held in May and November. From June 2025 onwards, two PG batches will be admitted in one year.
NExT Exam Overview
The National Exit Test (NExT) is designed for admission to postgraduate medical courses and is mandatory for undergraduate medical students to practice medicine in India. The exam will be held in computer-based mode twice a year, in May and November. It will consist of two steps, namely Step 1 and Step 2, with a total of six subjects in Step 1 and seven subjects in Step 2.
Eligibility for NExT 2024
To be eligible for the NExT exam in 2024, the following criteria must be fulfilled:
Undergraduate Medical Students: All students enrolled in MBBS programs in Medical Colleges approved by the National Medical Commission (NMC) are eligible for the NExT exam. These approvals are granted through the Medical Assessment and Rating Board as well as the Undergraduate Medical Education Board.
Foreign Medical Graduates: Foreign Medical Graduates who have been approved by the NMC can also apply for the NExT exam. Approval from the NMC is necessary to obtain a license to practice medicine in India.
Medical Degree Holders: Individuals holding a Medical Degree who wish to pursue an academic course, observership, or any other purpose as approved and specified by the NMC through notifications or regulations, are also eligible for the NExT exam.
NExT Mock Test and Exam Pattern
The NMC will provide a mock test for the NExT exam to familiarize candidates with the computer-based test format. The objective of the mock test is to help candidates understand the software interface and the examination process flow. The registration for the NExT mock/practice test will begin on July 28.
The NExT exam consists of two steps: Step 1 and Step 2. Step 1 is a theoretical exam that tests the deep understanding of specific subjects. Candidates must clear Step 1 and complete a mandatory internship to become eligible for Step 2, which is a practical exam.
Number of MD/MS Seats and Colleges
The government aims to increase the number of PG medical seats in India significantly. According to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, there has been a 105% increase in PG seats from 2014 to 2022. The target is to reach 80,000 PG medical seats by 2024. Below are the course-wise numbers of MD/MS seats and colleges:
MD General Medicine:
|Government Seats||Private Seats (Including seats of Deemed Universities)||Total Seats||Total Colleges|
|MS General Surgery||2,081||1,119||3,200||141|
|MD/MS Obstetrics & Gynaecology||1,675||866||2,541||144|
Most Preferred NEET PG Programs
Candidates aspiring to pursue PG medical courses through NEET PG 2024have various programs to choose from. Here are some of the most preferred NEET PG programs:
- Forensic Medicine
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology
The introduction of the National Exit Test (NExT) is set to bring significant changes to the medical education system in India. With NExT replacing the final-year MBBS examinations and NEET PG, it will become a crucial qualifying test for aspiring doctors. The detailed guidelines and schedule for the NExT exam will be released soon. It is essential for medical students to stay updated with the official announcements and prepare accordingly.
- What is NExT?
- The National Exit Test (NExT) is an upcoming examination that will replace the final-year MBBS examinations and the National Eligibility Entrance Test Postgraduate (NEET PG) entrance exam. It will serve as a qualifying test for granting registration to doctors and as the basis for postgraduate seat allocation.
- Who will conduct the NExT exam?
- AIIMS Delhi has been confirmed as the conducting body for the NExT exam. They will assess the clinical and practical learning of the students through this examination.
- When will NExT be held?
- The specific dates for the NExT exam will be announced shortly on the official website. Students are advised to regularly check for updates.
- Who is eligible to apply for NExT?
- All undergraduate medical students enrolled in MBBS programs in Medical Colleges approved by the National Medical Commission (NMC) are eligible to apply for NExT. Foreign Medical Graduates approved by the NMC and Medical Degree Holders pursuing specific courses or purposes as approved by the NMC are also eligible.
- What is the exam pattern for NExT?
- NExT consists of two steps: Step 1 and Step 2. Step 1 is a theoretical exam, while Step 2 is a practical exam. Candidates must clear Step 1 and complete a mandatory internship to become eligible for Step 2.