Students from AYUSH courses protested at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi today, June 24, 2026. They are demanding the cancellation of the National Exit Test or NEXT exam for the batches before 2023. 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.

Talking to ABP Live, AYUSH student Prabhakar Yadav expressed his concerns, saying, “During the internship, students will not be ready to take the NEXT exam because of their hectic duties. They don’t have time to prepare for this unknown exam, which is being forcefully imposed by the government.”

Another student, Sumit, questioned the fairness of imposing an unplanned exam at the end of the course. “Before enrolling in any course or in AYUSH, students are informed about the duration of the course, the number of exams they will have to take, and when they will receive their degree and registration. Only after receiving this information does a student choose to enroll in that course. So, how can an exam be imposed on students without preparation at the end of the course after they have already enrolled?” Sumit said.

Reshma, another student, highlighted the inconsistencies in the implementation of the National Exit Test. “The varying exam and internship schedules among AYUSH students within the same university or across different universities underscore the unfairness in enforcing the National Exit Test retroactively. It unfairly subjects some to additional testing due to administrative discrepancies,” she said.

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Notably, The NCISM Regulations, 2023, have come into force on the date of their publication in the official Gazette i.e. 20.12.2023. According to the Gazette notification, 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 notification further states that the NExT exam for AYUSH disciplines is required for granting a license 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 System of Medicine after completing a one-year internship.

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