HP: MBBS students in Hamirpur medical college start week-long protest against NExT
A demonstration was carried out by a group of final-year medical students from Dr Radhakrishnan Government Medical College to voice their opposition to the National Exit Test (NExT), citing inadequate preparation time for the exam. These students participated in a nationwide protest occurring from July 1 to July 7. Roughly 70 MBBS students from the 2019 batch took part in the demonstration and additionally sent a letter expressing their concerns to Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu.
The NExT, as mandated by the National Medical Commission Act, serves as a comprehensive qualifying examination for final-year MBBS students, a licensure examination for the practice of modern medicine, a screening examination for foreign medical graduates aspiring to practice in India, and a merit-based admission examination for postgraduate courses. The NMC announced that the NExT exam for the 2019 batch would be conducted in two phases the following year, with Step 1 in May and Step 2 in November.
What Students are Saying:
In their communication to the Chief Minister, representatives of the 2019 college batch, namely Ravi Kant and Itikas, highlighted the challenges of preparing for a national-level exam within a limited timeframe while simultaneously fulfilling attendance and other academic requirements. They expressed surprise at the abrupt notification of the NExT exam during their final year, contending that it violated Section 49 of the NMC Act. The students argued that the curriculum provided no indication of such an exam during their admission in 2019.
The students brought attention to the fact that their course commenced in August 2019, prior to the passage of the NMC Act in August 2019, which came into effect in September 2020. According to Section 49 of the act, students who were already enrolled in medical institutions prior to the act’s commencement should be allowed to complete their studies based on the previous curriculum. The students criticized the introduction of negative marking and emphasized the discrepancies in resources and syllabus completion timelines among different colleges.
The 2019 batch also encountered difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including disruptions in clinical placements and suspended classes.
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