The proposed common exams for admission to MBBS and MD courses all over the country will be held from the next academic session, Health Ministry officials said on Monday.
The officials told MPs at the Consultative Committee Meeting on Health that the proposed common tests, the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for Undergraduate (NEET-UG) and Postgraduate (NEET-PG) medical courses, have been notified for commencement from 2013-14.
"The common entrance tests for admission to MBBS and MD courses have been notified on February 25, this year for commencement from academic year 2013-14," they said.
The NEET for admission to UG courses would be conducted by the CBSE and the NEET for PG courses would be carried out by the National Board of Examinations, they said.
"The common entrance tests are aimed at mitigating the need of students to appear in multiple tests and promote merit in admission process," the officials said at the meeting presided over by Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.
The tests, earlier notified by the Medical Council of India, were to be first conducted from the current session but have been postponed due to lack of preparedness on its part, they said.
The officials said that the Bachelor of Rural Healthcare Course, proposed by the government to tide over the shortage of medical professionals in rural areas, would prepare rural healthcare cadre to treat 'common ailments' and not all ailments requiring expertise.
The course, which is opposed by doctors, is under the consideration of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and has faced opposition from the Indian Medical Association, which says the course would lead to different standards of public health delivery for urban and rural populations.