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NExT to replace NEET PG 2024 says Health Ministry: Check highlights and facts on NExT exam

NExT to replace NEET PG 2024 : Starting from next year, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, will be administering the National Exit Test (NExT) for final year MBBS students belonging to the 2019 batch. Similar to the INICET, the NExT will be conducted twice annually in May and November.

NExT 2024: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has recently declared that the National Exit Test (NExT) will be held starting from 2024. The NExT will serve as a replacement for the final-year MBBS exams and the National Eligibility Entrance Test Postgraduate (NEET PG) entrance exam. It will function as a qualifying examination for doctors’ registration and will also determine the allocation of postgraduate seats.

Initially, it was believed that the National Medical Commission would administer the NExT. However, according to the latest updates, it has been confirmed that AIIMS Delhi will be responsible for conducting the exam. The NExT will assess both the clinical and practical knowledge of the students. The exact dates and other pertinent details regarding the NExT examination will be made available on the official website in the near future.

NExT 2024: What are the important highlights

Important highlights related to the NExT 2024 exam are as follows:

– PG 2024, the entrance exam for PG Medical Courses, is scheduled to take place between January and March. This will be the last entrance exam for those who completed their batches prior to 2019.

– NExT – 1 will be conducted in May 2024 specifically for Batch 2019.

– Batches prior to 2019 have the option to appear for NExT – 1 in May 2024. However, the counselling process for PG courses will be held after one year, in June 2025, following the completion of NExT – 2 for the 2019 batch. Batches prior to 2019 are not required to take NExT – 2.

– NExT – 1 will be conducted twice a year, similar to INICET, in May and November. Therefore, starting from June 2025, two PG batches will be admitted in a single year.

NExT 2024: About the Exam

The National Exit Test (NExT) is an obligatory licentiate examination for undergraduate medical students, both from India and abroad, seeking to practice medicine in India. Successful completion of the exam is necessary for registration with the Medical Council of India. NExT will be conducted twice a year, in May and November, using a computer-based format. The first batch eligible for the NMC NExT exam will be the 2019 MBBS students. The exam consists of two steps: Step 1 and Step 2, with six subjects in Step 1 and seven subjects in Step 2 for NExT MBBS. The specific dates for the exam commencement have not been provided yet, but the exam conducting body is expected to release an official notification regarding the NExT dates in the near future.

NExT Mock Test and Exam Pattern

As per the information provided by the National Medical Commission (NMC), a mock test for the NExT exam will be made available on July 28. The registration process for the NExT mock/practice test will also commence on the same date. The purpose of the mock test is to acquaint candidates with the computer-based test (CBT) format. It will enable them to become familiar with the software interface and the examination center’s process flow.

According to the NExT exam pattern, Step 1 will consist of 6 subjects, while Step 2 will have 7 subjects. Candidates are required to clear Step 1 and complete a mandatory internship in order to become eligible for Step 2. Step 1 of the NExT exam will primarily assess candidates’ theoretical knowledge and their deep understanding of specific subjects, whereas Step 2 will focus on practical examination.

Who can apply for NExT 2024?

The eligibility criteria for applying to the NExT exam are as follows:

1. All undergraduate medical students currently enrolled in MBBS programs at Medical Colleges approved by the National Medical Commission (NMC). The approval for these colleges is granted by the Medical Assessment and Rating Board and the Undergraduate Medical Education Board.

2. Foreign Medical Graduates who have received approval from the NMC. This approval is necessary for obtaining a license to practice medicine as a registered medical practitioner in India and for enrollment in either the state register or the national register. The specific process for obtaining this approval will be outlined in the regulations.

3. Individuals with a Medical Degree who intend to pursue an academic course, observership, or any other purposes as approved and specified by the NMC through notifications or regulations that are periodically issued.

NExT 2024: How many MD/MS Seats and Colleges are there? 

According to the statement made by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, there has been a significant surge of 105% in the number of postgraduate (PG) seats from 2014 to 2022. In 2014, there were a total of 31,185 PG seats, which increased to 64,059 by 2022. The government has set a target of reaching 80,000 PG medical seats by the year 2024. Below are the details of the number of seats and colleges categorized by courses:

MD General Medicine 

Type of SeatsNumber of SeatsNo. of colleges
Government Seats2,211145

Private Seats (Including seats of Deemed Universities)

MS General Surgery

Type of SeatsNumber of seatNo. of colleges
Government Seats2081141
Private Seats (Including seats of Deemed Universities)1119147

MD Dermatology

Type of SeatsNumber of SeatsNo of colleges
Government Seats452105
Private Seats (Including seats of Deemed Universities)399133

MD/MS Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Type of SeatsNumber of SeatsNo of colleges
Government Seats1,675144
Private Seats (Including seats of Deemed Universities)

NExT 2024: Most Preferred NEET PG Programmes

In order to secure admission to postgraduate medical courses like Masters of Surgery (MS) and Doctor of Medicine (MD), candidates are required to pass the NExT medical entrance exam. Below are some of the highly favored NEET PG programs that candidates can consider:

1. Medicine

2. Radiology

3. Anatomy

4. Forensic Medicine

5. Obstetrics and Gynaecology

6. Paediatrics

7. Orthopaedics

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