KATHMANDUL The common entrance examinations for the MBBS and BDS courses, as recommended by the Kedar Bhakta Mathema-led commission, will not be held this year.
The Cabinet meeting on August 9 made the decision after the Medical Education Commission (MEC)—the agency authorised to conduct the exam—notified the Education Ministry that it would not be able to hold the exams due to time constrataint.
With the Medical Education Bill still stuck at Parliament, the MEC is powerless to proceed ahead. Even the syllabus for the courses has not been prepared yet.
The common entrance exams were planned as per the recommendation of the Mathema Commission and the agreement reached with Dr Govinda KC, senior orthopaedic surgeon at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital.
The commission was racing against time from the very beginning as the entrance exams are generally conducted in September.
The MEC had formed a seven-member committee, led by Dr Jagadish Prasad Agrawal, in the last week of June to prepare a criteria applicable to all the medical schools for conducting common entrance exams. The Tribhuvan University (TU), the Kathmandu University (KU), along with the medical institutions which are not affiliated to any university, had demanded for a common criteria and syllabus that would fit all the institutions if the government wanted to conduct a common entrance.
Given the time constraint, the Agrawal-led committee had also suggested that developing common criteria, including a syllabus, would be difficult. The medical schools are of the view that developing a common syllabus should begin after Parliament endorsed the Medical Education Bill. “The commission should start the process of the common entrance after Parliament endorses the bill,” said Dr Agrawal.
Till now, the medical schools affiliated to the TU, the KU as well as the ones not affiliated to any universities have been conducting separate entrance examinations for the MBBS and BDS courses.
Intending to conduct the common entrance, the commission in May had instructed the medical schools not to announce the dates for their MBBS entrance examinations until further notice. It had also asked the Nepal Medical Council (NMC) not to reveal the number of MBBS seats allocated for different institutions until they are instructed to do so.
With the Cabinet decision, medical schools across the country can conduct their own entrance exams for the MBBS and BDS courses. The IoM and BPKIHS have already published dates for their entrance exams.