As many as 12 states and four Union Territories have favoured making it mandatory for medical students to clear the National Exit Test (NEXT) to get the 'doctor' title. Replying to an RTI query, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Odisha and Punjab have favoured the conduct of the exam. Union Territories of Chandigarh, Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar and Puducherry have also supported it. Nine states -- Assam, Goa, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Telangana, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand -- have said there is no need of conducting such a test. A high-powered committee had last year proposed NEXT for MBBS students passing out of government as well as private colleges to address concerns over the standard of medical education in the country. The move was part of wide-ranging reforms in the medical sector, including recommendations to scrap the Medical Council of India with a National Medical Commission (NMC)to oversee under-graduate and post-graduate education, accreditation and rating of colleges. Following the introduction of draft of Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill 2016, the Union Health Ministry had asked the states if they favoured NEXT.
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