The National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET), which was introduced for medical and dental entrance last year, will now be applicable for Ayush courses (Aurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy ) from the academic year 2017-18.
The new introduction has been made to streamline admissions process for AYUSH and introduce meritorious students to AYUSH systems. Based on the ranks of the candidates, they will be allotted to 544 colleges across the country offering 32,256 seats in the AYUSH courses. While only a 102 government colleges offer these courses across the country, 442 private/deemed university/institutes are open to aspirants who choose to join these allied Health Science courses across states.A Central Council of Indian Medicine notification about the same has been sent to Chief Secretaries and Health Secretaries of all States.
It is reported that besides introducing NEET as entry point for the admission to these courses , the NRI or management quota is to be eliminated.
“In order to bring meritorious students to the AYUSH systems of medicine in the country through National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), a decision has been taken that the entrance exams being conducted by private associations may be stopped from the academic session 2017-2018 and all UG seats may be filled by considering the merit list of NEET,” a letter written by R.P. Shukla, Under Secretary ,Government of India, reports Hindu
“The Madhya Pradesh government has already issued a notification for state aspirants based on the CCIM letter for Ayush courses,” said Dr Umesh Shukla, Executive Committee Member , CCIM, Directorate of medical Education and Research.
Maharashtra has also followed suit, by notifying its aspirants on December 6 about NEET being applicable for admission to all allied health science courses in the state.
While most state medical authorities have accepted the change being brought about in the admission procedures, Karnataka authority stance regarding Ayush seems to have taken on complex overtones. Officials of the Examination Authority have already invited applications for the Common Entrance Test(CET), in a letter issued on January 01, 2017, stating that those aspiring for government or government quota AYUSH seats could bag them through the KEA .
The letter does not mention about the requirement of NEET ranks for admission in AYUSH courses. Last year, there were around 1,338 seats in 78 colleges in the State. Karnataka, through its 78 colleges, offers the second highest number of AYUSH course seats, totaling 4425 after Maharashtra with its kitty of 7960 seats.
The aspirants in Karnataka for AYUSH courses are a confused lot about whether to apply for NEET, as many of them have already applied for the KEA-conducted state CET (Common Entrance Test). Students feel that the announcement has come a little late, placing them at a disadvantage .
The last date of online application for the KEA-conducted CET is February 27, while the NEET application procedure is getting over on March 1.
AYUSH course admissions being included in National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) has come as a bit of a surprise for private colleges in Karnataka as well.These institutions pass on only 20 per cent seats to the government, with the remaining being filled by them. Aided colleges give away 80 per cent seats while 20 per cent is filled by them.
When the AYUSH ministry had sought an opinion from all states in December 2016 to conduct NEET for Ayush, Karnataka had responded positively.