MBBS students to protest against NEXT exam tomorrow

MBBS students to protest against NEXT exam tomorrow

 MBBS students from across the state will protest on Wednesday opposing to the proposed National Exit Test (NEXT). The students will be joined by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

NEXT is part of the proposal mooted by the Union Health Ministry as part of the amendments to be introduced in the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Act. According to the proposal, students are mandated to clear NEXT to obtain licence to practice.

Students believe that taking an entrance exam in addition to their MBBS exams would be taxing. Dr Manoop Kumaraswamy, member, Young Doctors’ Association, IMA said, “What is the necessity for an exam when we are already preparing for NEET PG? Students will have to clear yet another exam. Instead, the government can just refine the existing system. Besides, we are told that even Ayush doctors clearing this exam will be granted permission to prescribe allopathy medicines after a bridge course.”

Dr Rajashekara Bellary, president, IMA Karnataka said, “Those who have cleared MBBS are expected to take the exam. What is the use of having studied the course for five-and-a-half years then? It is an unnecessary burden on students. Students will also lose faith in the system of study then.”

In a memorandum, the students have said, “The examinations are conducted by universities which are recognised by University Grants Commission and MBBS examination is therefore rightfully a qualifying examination for the degree of Modern Medicine. Therefore, introducing NEXT as a qualifying examination is unnecessary and makes the university examination redundant.”

They also say that converting a competitive examination into both a qualifying examination and competitive examination for post graduation is not in the students’ interest as the structure and objective of a qualifying examination for admission to post graduation is different from a qualifying examination that is meant for assessing the minimum qualification required to receive the degree.

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