M A I N   N E W S

From next yr, common medical test
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 19
In a far-reaching decision, the Ministry of Health, Medical Council of India and the CBSE have agreed to conduct a common all-India entrance test for admission to all medical colleges across the country from next year.

From 2012, 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).

Close to 8 lakh students take UG medical entrance tests annually but at present they sit for different tests, including the All India PMT which the CBSE conducts and various state-level medical entrance tests. The decision now is that the CBSE will hold one test; it has the experience of conducing the largest entrance test in India - AIEEE for engineering entrance which close to 11 lakh students take every year.

A common test will ensure uniformity in UG medical education across states where private colleges are in the practice of charging exorbitant sums for admitting students. This arbitrariness in UG medical admissions has resulted in seats being sold and purchased.

The MCI will prepare the course structure for the test and put it on the website for comments of people, said MCI BOG member DR Purushottam Lal. The decision, he said, came in the wake of the Supreme Court orders to the MCI to go ahead with one test for UG medical admissions to avoid stress to students.

One test will 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.

Earlier Tamil Nadu had 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.





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