The Act provides for setting up a National Medical Commission in place of the scam-tainted Medical Council of India. It proposes a common final year MBBS exam, the National Exit Test (NEXT), for admission to post-graduate medical courses and for obtaining licence to practice.
The Health Ministry has said there would be a three-year window before NEXT becomes operational, leaving ample scope for detailed negotiations on the contours of the exam.
Stating that the Health Ministry had said there will be a common entrance test for all UG medical seats from this year, the IMA said in a statement that millions of aspirants feel they are being denied a genuine opportunity to take another test for AIIMS and JIPMER and have to face mental stress of a single test deciding their fate.
IMA national president Rajan Sharma said separate tests have been announced for PG seats in these institutions revealing the confusion in the ministry on the implementation of NMC Act.
"Students have no idea on what's in store," he said.
"We strongly oppose the move to play with the future of students of the country and urge the health ministry to hold consultations with all stakeholders and not jeopardize the career of medical students."
IMA secretary general R V Asokan said it is evident that the government lacks any plan of action and is experimenting with the future of students.
The association said IMA Medical Students Network "strongly opposes this callous and chaotic approach towards medical education" and the students' wing "is keen that NMC Act doesn't compromise the future of our medical students".
Health Ministry sources said the process of setting up the NMC in place of the Medical Council of India is likely to be over in February.
Once the NMC comes into being, the MCI will automatically get abolished. The government superseded the MCI in 2017 and appointed a Board of Governors (BoG) to perform its functions.
"One the NMC becomes operational, the BoG will be also dissolved," an official said.
The NMC will also regulate fees and all other charges for 50 per cent seats in private medical colleges and deemed universities.