NExT To Be Gateway To PG Medical Admissions, Score Will Be Valid For 3 Years: NMC New Draft Guidelines

The NExT exam would not only serve as a licentiate exam for those who have done MBBS in India as well as abroad but would also serve as a gateway to admission to the postgraduate broad-speciality medical education in the country. In other words, MBBS graduates will have to complete their final internship to earn the license for practising as a doctor in India. Besides, Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs) have to qualify through the exam after it becomes operational in order to get registration with State Medical Councils for practising as a doctor in India.

In addition, to get admission to MD, MS, DM, MCh programs, the doctors will have to qualify for the NExT instead of NEET PG once it initiates.

With several speculations surrounding the conduct of NExt, the medicos have been waiting for official clarification from the NMC for a long time.

Now, releasing one of the most explicit documents for conduction of MD, MS, PG Diploma, DM and MCh programmes at medical institutions across the country, the NMC has issued the draft on Postgraduate Medical Education Regulations, 2021.

The regulations will come to force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette and shall be applicable throughout India.

Ranging from the timeline to the curriculum of PG programmes, the regulations clearly outline assessment rules, recognition of medical colleges, counselling/admission schedules, period training for medicos and the prior qualifications for admissions to all specialities, PG and SS.

The guidelines also specify minimum faculty required for each department at medical colleges, teacher-student ratio, training path, residency programmes as well as exam conducts for PG and SS candidates along with infrastructural requirements for imparting the courses.

One major feature of the regulations pertains to the selection of PG students mentioning the conduct of NExt, its score and continuation of NEET PG as the gateway for admissions to MD, MS, PG Diploma, DM and MCh courses in India.

According to the draft regulations, the common Final year MBBS exam, NExt will be the basis for admission to the postgraduate broad speciality courses in each academic year, once it becomes operational and till such time, NEET-PG examination will continue.

Moreover, the NExt score obtained by the candidates will be valid for a period of 3 years from the date the person has become eligible to be granted a license to practice as a medical practitioner, for admission to postgraduate broad speciality courses. After the expiry of the validity of the marks, the medico will have to appear again for the test and qualify to be eligible for admission to postgraduate broad speciality courses.

On the part of common counselling for PG admissions, the NMC daft regulations clearly specify, “There shall be a common counseling for admission in all Medical Educational Institutions to all Postgraduate Broad -Specialty courses (Diploma/ MD/ MS) on the basis of merit list of the National Exit Test and to all Postgraduate SuperSpecialty courses (DM/MCh) on the basis of merit list of the National Eligibilitycum-Entrance Test.”

Broad details on the Selection to Postgraduate Broad Specialty courses (MD/MS) as per the draft NMC guidelines:


a. The common Final year Undergraduate examination to be known as “National Exit Test” (from the date it becomes operational) shall be the basis for admission to the postgraduate broad specialty courses in each academic year. Till such time that it is implemented, NEET – PG examination shall continue to operate for selection of Postgraduate students to Broad Specialty courses.


b. The designated authority to conduct the “National Exit Test” shall be as specified by the National Medical Commission.

c. In order to be eligible for admission to Postgraduate course for an academic year, the candidate should have qualified the National Exit test, and be eligible to be granted a license to practice as a medical practitioner and for enrollment in the State medical register or the National medical register, as the case may be.

d. The “National Exit Test” marks shall remain valid for 3 years from the date the person has become eligible to be granted license to practice as a medical practitioner, for admission to postgraduate broad specialty courses. After the expiry of the validity of the “National Exit Test” marks, the person shall have to appear for and qualify in the ‘National Exit Test” to be eligible for admission to postgraduate broad specialty courses.

Schedule and Admission process of Postgraduate Broad Specialty courses (MD/MS)

Click to view full image

To read the full draft regulations, click here

In the Rotational Compulsory Regulations, 2021, the NMC had earlier stated, “Every candidate shall be required to undergo Compulsory Rotating internship to the satisfaction of the College authorities and University concerned after passing the final MBBS examination/ NExT whenever operational, for a period of 12 months so as to be eligible for the award of the degree of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) by the respective universities and Permanent Registration in accordance with the Permanent Registration Regulations 2021 of the NMC.”

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