Wardha (Maharashtra): Responding to an RTI query, NITI Aayog has informed that 80% of the public, who responded to NITI Aayog, when it invited suggestions by email, have opposed the move to conduct the National Licentiate Examination (NLE) or Exit Test for MBBS graduates.
The suggestions received by NITI Aayog in this regard were forwarded to the union health ministry in the first week of December 2016, informed Mohamed Khader Meeran, an MBBS student of Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS), Sevagram, who had filed multiple RTIs with various government agencies about the reasons for proposing the National Licentiate Examination in MBBS.
NITI Aayog felt that the National Licentiate Examination would force the medical institutions to introduce quality in medical education, as questions would be raised if a large number of their students fail to clear the test. According to a proposal, only those medical students who clear the test would get a license to practise medicine in the country.
It is claimed that the health ministry without analysing the data received from NITI Aayog proposed the licentiate examination under a different name (i.e. National Exit examination or NEXT) in the fourth week of December 2016 and invited suggestions from the public again. “This fact underlines that there is in-coordination between the government departments especially when the whole medical fraternity is at stake,” according to Mohamed Khader Meeran.
Meeran had compiled all the information received through RTI and has submitted a detailed 28-page report on the draft National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and the Group of Ministers (GoM) working on the final draft of NMC bill.
He claimed that the government has proposed NLE without any valid reason, study or research.
Currently, an MBBS graduate has to clear more than 10 examinations to get the MBBS degree. “When more than 10 examinations in the MBBS curriculum could not bring any change in the quality of medical education, how can one more theory exam do wonders?” asked Meeran.
“So, the government should give up the licentiate exam proposal and focus on giving hands-on training to the medical students which is severely lacking in existing medical education rather than conducting one more theory exam,” said Meeran.
The report highlights the existing problems in the Indian Medical Education Curriculum and the irrelevance of solutions provided in the draft NMC bill to solve them.
It is observed that without analysing the actual problems in medical education and its root causes, solutions have been proposed in the draft bill.
“The decision to conduct National Licentiate Examination is an arbitrary decision of the committees, which have not taken efforts to understand the actual problems in medical education,” states the report.