Bengaluru: Medical aspirants, who intended to pursue Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) courses, but failed to appear or qualify the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), can now seek admissions directly in the private medical colleges in Karnataka.
This decision by the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) has been taken in view of the huge number of vacant AYUSH courses seats at the private medical institutions running across the state.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the as per a government order issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare in February this year, NEET was made mandatory to opt for AYUSH courses.
It was reported that the Ministry of AYUSH in its official notification announced that in the process of streamlining the admissions and to bring meritorious students to the AYUSH systems of medicine in the country, the Ministry had requested all the State Governments to admit students in AYUSH Under Graduate Courses from the academic year 2018-19 through the merit list of NEET only.
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However, pursuant to this notification, the medical colleges, conducting AYUSH courses in Karnataka, moved the State High Court pointing out that the there were no sufficient number of NEET qualified candidates and also there was an initial confusion regarding the qualifying exam for AYUSH.
Taking consideration of the same, the HC had passed an interim order allowing even non-NEET students to take admissions in AYUSH courses this year. Additionally, the HC had stated that all the admissions in AYUSH colleges should be completed by October 31.
According to KEA statistics, all the 1,577 government quota AYUSH seats have been filled this year, while only 70 of the total 894 private quota seats in private colleges have been filled, which makes a total of 824 seats lying vacant under the said quota.
A KEA official informed The Hindu that they conducted the second extended round for 40% of the seats in private colleges and all seats in government colleges. This was applicable only for eligible NEET candidates. After this round is completed, colleges can fill seats accordingly.
“We always give first preference for candidates who are eligible under NEET and only if there are any seats which are vacant then seats will be allotted to candidates who did not qualify for NEET. If the seats still remain vacant, then those seats will be allotted to students who did not appear for NEET but have academic eligibility to participate in the counselling,” the official added to the statement while speaking to Mirror regarding the decision.
The government stated that it would inform the Centre about the decision through proper communication, adds Mirror.
The move has reportedly received a mixed response from the medical colleges, students and faculty members.