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The Health Ministry plans to introduce a nation-wide common entrance test for undergraduate medical education.
The move would level the playing field for meritorious students, instead of allowing seats to go to the moneyed class through the capitation fee route.
The ministry received the support of a panel of lawmakers, who asked the government to remove roadblocks to start the common medical entrance test so that merit alone and not the ability to pay becomes the criterion for admission to medical colleges.
“We are working on it,” Union Health Minister J P Nadda said. Last month, the Medical Council of India recommended an amendment to the Indian Medical Council (IMC) Act to empower the body to conduct a nationwide common medical entrance test.
“The majority of seats in private medical colleges is allotted for a capitation fee going up to Rs 50 lakh and even more in some colleges despite the fact that the capitation is not legal. This system keeps out the most



meritorious but underprivileged students who can pay neither for the seats, nor the high annual fee in private medical colleges,” the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health said in its report tabled last week.
But since India has just about 25,000 PG seats in medicine, compared to 55,000 seats at the UG level, almost 50% students cannot go to the post-graduation. Among them, a large number of MBBS pass-outs either do not have skills or confidence to practise medicine.
The health ministry previously attempted to conduct common entrance test for the UG and PG medical education, but the effort was negated by a 2013 Supreme Court ruling, which cancelled two Health Ministry notifications after private medical colleges filed petitions against the move.
The ministry filed a review petition relying on the dissent ruling given by Justice Anil Dave, who differed from Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice Vikramjit Sen, who rejected the notifications. The review is still pending.

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