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NEW DELHI: The board of governors that took over the functions of the Medical Council of India (MCI) proposed on Tuesday a common entrance exam for medical courses from the next academic session all over the country.

President of the board Dr. S.K Sarin said: "A common entrance will reduce the hassles for students appearing for medical exams. At present, students have to give 10-12 different exams for medical courses."

"The common entrance aims to reduce the differences between the students and institutions," he added.

The MCI is in consultation with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for the proposed common entrance test. "The discussions are on with CBSE and they are enthusiastic about the idea," Dr. Sarin said.

Backing the continuation of health education under the health ministry, Dr.. Sarin said that the Health Ministry is supportive of the idea.

"Health education must be a part of the health ministry as it is crucial to the whole health infrastructure," Dr. Sarin said.

The common entrance test is proposed to cover both under-graduate (UG) and post-graduate (PG) courses conducted by private and government medical colleges.

Recently, Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal also proposed a common entrance exam for medical and engineering courses.

However, Dr. Sarin said that discussions have not reached that level as yet.

"Whether this common entrance will be conducted in tandem with HRD minister's proposal or not is yet to be ascertained," board member Dr. Sita Naik said.

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