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AYUSH students seek cancellation of NExT for old batches

June 25,2024

Amidst the fervent protests by NSUI and NEET aspirants against paper leaks, another group of disheartened students raised their voices at Jantar Mantar on Monday. Students from AYUSH courses gathered to demand the cancellation of the National Exit Test (NExT) for the batches before 2023. This protest follows a history of dissent. Previously, due to strong protests, the implementation of NExT for MBBS students was postponed to the 2023 batch. However, AYUSH students have been required to take this exam starting from the 2018 batch.

Jatin, an AYUSH student, said: “NExT was regulated in November 2023. In the regulation, they said students who joined internships before November 29, 2023, would not have to take the NExT, but those who joined afterwards would have to take it. However, when we took the exam, we were not made aware of such a test. The exam was applied to the National Medical Commission MBBS students from the 2024 batch, but for us, the AYUSH students, they applied the exam from 2015 and 2018 onwards instead. Our only demand is that this new regulation should be applied to the new batch and not the older ones.”

The students also highlighted the government’s previous statements in 2020 that an exit exam would be introduced within three years. In 2022, they filed a Right to Information request to clarify whether older batches would be subjected to the exam.

Roshan, another protester, questioned the fairness of imposing an unplanned exam at the end of their course. “Usually students are informed about the course duration, the number of exams, and the timeline for receiving their degree and registration before enrolling in any programme, including AYUSH. Based on this information, they make their enrollment decision. Therefore, it is unfair to impose an unexpected exam on students at the end of their course without prior preparation,” he said.

The NCISM Regulations, 2023, which came into force on December 20, 2023, state that a National Exit Test (NExT) for each discipline, including Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Sowa-Rigpa of the Indian System of Medicine, will be conducted by the commission through a designated authority. The gazette notification further states that the NExT exam for AYUSH disciplines is required for granting a licence to practice as a medical practitioner in the respective discipline and for enrollment in the State Register or National Register as a registered medical practitioner of the Indian Systems of Medicine after completing a one-year internship.

As the protest continued, the students reiterated their demand for fair treatment and reconsideration of the retroactive application of new exam regulations. The growing discontent among AYUSH students underscores the need for a reassessment of how these regulations are implemented and communicated.

Tribune India

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