Punjab is reported to have withdrawn management and NRI quota for undergraduate courses in private AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) colleges following a directive from the Union Government. Earlier, admissions which were conducted through a statewide entrance test by Hoshiarpur-based Guru Ravidas Ayurved University, will now be done through the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET). There are 800 seats to be filled this year, both in private and government AYUSH colleges.
Dr Sujata Sharma, Director, Research and Medical Education revealed that these changes had been undertaken after the centre’s decision to bring AYUSH under NEET, besides the motive of making education more affordable.
“The new fee structure is being worked out after withdrawal of management and NRI quota seats that had higher fee than government seats,” she said.
Punjab also has four private homeopathic colleges and a unani college.The state has just one government-run ayurvedic college and 15 private colleges. In the private healthcare institutions, where 50% quota is fixed for management seats, was in the past allotted to students at Rs 1.20 lakh per annum; and Rs 80,000 was the price to be paid for a government quota seat. The 15% NRI quota admissions, were given away for Rs 2.4 lakh per year to students.
Principal,Guru Nanak Ayurvedic Medical College and Research Institute, Dr Y.N. Sharma said the decision would be a financial setback, as management and NRI quota seats were their only source to collect funds for better facilities. “The state should take a call on deciding our fee structure since it will directly affect our working and facilities to students,” he added.
Other colleges argue that fee for AYUSH courses for the last five years had not been revised for the last five years by the state government, while the fee for MBBS and MD courses had been revised twice during this period.
Registrar of Guru Ravidas Ayurved University, Jatinder Garg, when contacted by HT said,“The state government has sought our opinion on the new fee structure. We will respond by Monday.”