Students who are aspiring for a seat in any of of the AYUSH streams (ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha and homoeopathy) for 2017-2018 academic year will also have to appear for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).
Students say that this announcement has come too late and will place them at a disadvantage.
The single entrance exam of NEET, which began last year for medical and dental seats, will now also be applicable to other allied courses, says the letter by the Central Council of Indian Medicine sent to Chief Secretaries and Health Secretaries of all States.
“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 to the Government of India, stated.
The letter has put officials of the Karnataka Examinations Authority in a spot as they have already invited applications for the Common Entrance Test and said that those aspiring for government or government quota AYUSH seats could bag it through the KEA route. Last year, there were around 1,338 seats in 78 colleges in the State.
Incidentally, the applications for NEET are already open and the application process for NEET ends on March 1. The State government, however, is yet to finalise the modalities, and students are left in the dark.
Poojitha S., who hopes to pursue naturopathy and yoga, said, “I have already applied for CET. It is shocking for us to learn that we have to write NEET. The State government needs to inform us quickly so that we can apply for NEET.”
The letter issued by Mr. Shukla also states all students should be admitted to AYUSH using their NEET scores and that there will be no management or NRI quota. This has come as a shocker to private colleges as they currently only give 20 per cent of the seats to the government, and remaining are filled by them. Aided colleges give 80 per cent seats and 20 per cent is filled by them.