On last week, the health ministry has announced that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) will be held every year for super specialty courses in medicine. Previously, the ministry has also introduced common entrance tests for admission to undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

The first-ever NEET-SS (super specialty) will be held on June 10, 2017. The National Board of Examinations (NBE) will conduct this examination, which also holds NEET (PG) postgraduate.

According to HT reports, for entry to super specialty doctorate of medicine (DM); master of surgery (MCh) and post doctoral certificate (PDCC) courses NEET-SS (super specialty) will be a single window entrance examination.

No other entrance examination, either at state or university or institutional level conducted by any university, medical colleges or other institutions will be valid according to provisions of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, amendments, with effect from the 2017 admission session. The amendments were undertaken earlier this year by an ordinance ratified by Parliament. (ALSO READ: NEET Application Forms for 2017 to be out soon: check updates)

According to Dr Bipin Batra, executive director, National Board of Examinations (NBE), all states and colleges have to mandatorily participate in NEET-SS.

No state government, private medical college or university is permitted to conduct any separate entrance exam for admission to their DM, MCh courses for the academic session 2017-2018. NEET-SS will be conducted in all specialties for which the corresponding MD, MS degree is eligible as entry-level qualification for pursuing super specialty courses in the country. A candidate can appear for the NEET-SS in the discipline of the eligible entry level qualification.

It will be a computer based test and the duration of the test will be two-and-a-half hours. The question paper will consist of 200 multiple choice questions with single correct response and 25% negative marking. The 50th percentile will be the cut-off for NEET-SS.

All specialties will have separate question papers. NEET-SS scores will be valid for admission to all medical institutes – private and state level institutions and medical colleges except for the five central statutory institutes.

Executive Director, National Board of Examinations, Dr Bipin Batra said “However, AIIMS, New Delhi, PGIMER, Chandigarh, JIPMER, Puducherry, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, and Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum are not covered for admissions to DM, MCh seats through NEET-SS for 2017 session,” informs Dr Batra.

He also added “NEET-SS will offer every candidate an equitable national-level platform to be eligible for entry into all super specialty courses to which he/she is eligible for in terms of the eligibility criteria notified in the PG regulations. The candidate has a complete spectrum of courses available based on their entry level MD,MS or DNB qualification for entry to DM, MCh courses,” says Dr Batra.

After the introduction of amendment to the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 in 2016, wherein NEET has been granted statutory status no other institution is permitted to conduct their own examination for entry to super specialty courses. Merit positions will be determined on test-takers’ percentile grades. Counselling will be conducted by authorised state government and other departments and universities.