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NEET for all medical courses; no separate entrance test for AIIMS, other INI

MBBS admissions to all AIIMS and other institutes of national importance will continue to be through NEET, with the proposal for a separate admission test for such institutes being rejected at the recently held meeting of the governing body of the AIIMS.

The governing body of AIIMS headed by Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya made the decision on December 6.

It rejected after deliberation the proposal of a separate undergraduate level entrance examination, as opposed to NEET, for all AIIMS and Institutes of National Importance.

“Following deliberations, it was felt that the current practice of a combined entrance examination for all medical colleges should be continued,” the minutes of the meeting read.

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The All India Institute of Medical Sciences was established by Act of Parliament in 1956 as an Institution of National Importance (INI).

Beginning with the establishment of AIIMS, the purpose of Institutes of National Importance (INI) in the field of medicine is to develop teaching patterns in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education in all its branches to provide a high standard of medical education to to all medical colleges and other allied institutions in India (AIIMS Act 1956).

Subsequently, more institutions – PGIMER-Chandigarh, JIPMER, Puducherry (2008) and 21 newly established AIIMS for undergraduate and postgraduate education – were added.

The INIs are mandated to continuously innovate, establish and standardize newer teaching methods at all levels i.e. undergraduate, postgraduate and super specialty so that it can then be implemented in all medical colleges under Central, State, Deemed and State Private Universities, an official said.

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Accordingly, section 37 of the National Medical Commission Act, 2019 specifically provides clear recognition of the medical degree of the INI (Schedule under 37) in relation to all other medical colleges in India under its purview.

To recruit students of the highest caliber for its undergraduate medical degree (MBBS), AIIMS New Delhi conducted an India-wide entrance exam for admission of students into the MBBS program of all AIIMS.

“This exam was conducted until 2019. With the promulgation of the NMC Act in 2019, admissions into the MBBS seats at all AIIMS were merged with the National Testing Agency NEET-UG exam and the AIIMS MBBS entrance exam was discontinued. As a Result, admissions to MBBS seats at all AIIMS since 2020 are made through the NEET-UG exam,” explained an official.

For all colleges in the country, admissions are made to the three levels of medical education through entrance examinations.

As of date, admissions into PG (MD/MS) and Super Specialty (DM/MCh) are each taken through two separate exams. For all INIs, these tests are called the INICET-PG (postgraduate) and INICET-SS (super-specialty) exams conducted by AIIMS New Delhi.

The corresponding exams for all other medical institutions are done through the NEET-PG and NEET-SS exams. However, for the MBBS seats, the separate exam for AIIMS and other INIs has been abolished and one exam is held (NEET-UG is held).

“In keeping with the highest standards and maintaining the spirit of innovation, admission to postgraduate (INICET-PG) and superspecialized (INICET-SS) medical courses is now done through a combined entrance test (CFT) administered by AIIMS, New Delhi.

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“In this context, it is proposed that admission to undergraduate courses in the INIs should be through a combined entrance test (INICET-UG),” said a note submitted to the governing body.

“It was suggested that the MBBS entrance exam for AIIMS can be separated from the NEET-UG exam and reverted to the situation that existed until 2019. Similar to the pattern before 2020, admission to MBBS seats at all AIIMS can be done through a separate entrance exam.

This exam could include MBBS seats from all INIs and be called the INICET-UG entrance exam,” the official said.

According to the note, the rationale for reinstating INICET-UG was that the three levels of medical education (i.e., undergraduate, MBBS, postgraduate, MD/MS) and superspecialty, SS) are implicitly and critically linked.

To ensure a seamless transition, it is imperative that the entrance test for all three levels has a similar approach and standards as envisioned by Parliament.

In addition, the NEET-UG exam accommodates more than 80,000 MBBS seats and has a large number of stakeholders, including students and colleges. The gigantic organizational task requires extensive logistics and the resulting delays.

Further, due to multiple stakeholders (including central, state, supposed and private universities), the conduct of NEET research and the advisory process is often delayed due to litigation in different courts.

A separate combined admission test for undergraduate seats in INIs will protect them from events that influence NEET behavior, the note said.


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