The National Medical Commission released a draft under the title “The Postgraduate Medical Education Regulations, 2021” stating that a common counselling for all the medical post graduates. Many doctors as well as the state health ministry are opposing this draft as the health care is under state government and it would negatively impact the health care system.

Why common counselling?

The concept of Common Counseling for PG medical admissions is described in Section 11 of the Draft Regulations. It states that “There will be a common counselling process for admission to all Postgraduate Broad-Specialty courses (Diploma/ MD/ MS) and all Postgraduate Super Specialty courses (DM/MCh) in all Medical Educational Institutions based on the National Exit Test (NExT) merit list and the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET PG) merit list.”

It continues to state that the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s Directorate General of Health Services will be in charge of counselling for all PG medical admissions seats. As a result, all states may lose control of the 50 percent State Quota seats, which will be controlled by DGHS (Directorate General of Health Services) instead.

Oppositions raised for this Issue

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) as well as some states have opposed the common counselling issue, arguing that it undermines the duties of states and, as a consequence, may cause them to lose interest in the topic, affecting overall PG medical education.

In a letter from the state’s power protesting the draft “The Union Government and the National Medical Council must recognise that the majority of PG seats have been created only via the investment of state resources.”

President of IMA says

President of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Dr. J A Jayalal said, “It will affect the public health system in each state. What interest would the States have if they have no control over the admission process? they will stop maintaining the institutes, and would lose interest. Due to language and cultural barriers, a student might find it difficult to complete their medical studies in another state. One of the biggest issues confronting the healthcare system is a lack of community connection, which can only be established if students study in their home states.”

New Guidelines Issued

The new guidelines will come into effect from the session 2021-2022. 

  • The guidelines clearly outline assessment rules, recognition of medical colleges, counselling/admission schedules, period training for medicos, and prior qualifications for admissions to all specialties, PG and SS, and range from the timeline to the curriculum of PG programmes – MD, MS, PG Diploma, DM, and MCh courses.
  • The guidelines also outline the minimum faculty necessary for each department at medical institutions, as well as the teacher-student ratio, training path, residency programmes, test procedures for PG and SS candidates, and infrastructure needs for completing the courses.
  • The guidelines highlight the conduct of the NExt (National Exit Test), its score, and the continuance of NEET PG as the gateway for admissions to MD, MS, PG Diploma, DM, and MCh degrees in India as a key aspect.
  • NExT examination marks will be valid for 3 year, according to the new guidelines issued.


The National Medical Commission released a draft stating that from the session 2021-2022 there will be a common counseling conducted by the Directorate General of Health Services. Many doctors and state health care powers are in opposition of the draft as it limits states control over the admission and will also affect the health care system negatively. The new guidelines outline various parameters like assessments, training period, required qualifications, student- teacher ratio, etc. There is also a mention of NExT exam, which were introduced in 2019 to replace the NEET PG (National Eligibility Entrance Test Post Graduate) and FMGE (Foreign Medical Graduates Examination) exams.

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