The Tamil Nadu Medical Students Association on Sunday voiced its opposition to the proposed National Medical Commission (NMC) and National Exit Test (NEXT). It also sought abolition of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). The association, represented largely by undergraduate medical students, said the NEET and NEXT were anti-poor and against social justice.

At a meeting organised by the association the participants, including politicians from various parties lent their support. “NEXT will take away the rights of the State. We appreciate that the State government has opposed the test. The Centre’s effort at forcing the States to accept the test is against the federal structure of the country,” said B. Arunandhi, general secretary of the Association.

The Central government has proposed to make several changes including making NEXT a qualifying exam for MBBS and an entrance exam for higher studies. NEXT will also be the screening test for students who have studied medicine abroad. It will also be a licentiate exam to permit successful candidates to practice medicine. This could lead to a lot of confusion and irregularities, the association has said. “We are apprehensive of the Central government’s proposal to introduce bridge courses to enable medical practitioners of Indian systems of medicine to practice allopathic system. It will affect the quality of medical service provided,” he said.

They took out a rally to reiterate their demands.