CHENNAI: Admission to the 1,740 UG seats in the 29 AYUSH colleges across the state will be solely based on NEET 2018.
Of the 29 colleges, six are government ones with 390 seats, in which admissions were done through single-window counselling by the selection committee at the department of Indian Medicine based on Class XII marks.
On Tuesday, AYUSH undersecretary R K Khatri has asked state authorities to publicise that students seeking admissions in undergraduate ayurveda, yoga and natural sciences, unani, siddha or homeopathy courses should clear NEET 2018, which will be conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education on May 6. The cut-off, however, will be decided after the results are declared, officials said. “The step has been taken to ensure only meritorious students come into AYUSH streams,” the letter said.
“All states are requested for strict compliance of the instruction of the ministry and accordingly ensure that admission of students in AYUSH-UG courses shall be mandatorily through the merit list of NEET from the academic year 2018-19,” it added.
In April 2017, the ministry said it would exempt states from implementing NEET that year, but said 2018-19 admission, like MBBS, will be solely on NEET. On January 23, it reiterated its stand on NEET. Earlier this year, the ministry held talks with the CBSE to conduct the examination and sort out regulatory issues. “Since it will be convenient for the aspirants if CBSE conducts the examination it was decided on uniform examination,” said Central Council of Indian Medicine member (state representative for Siddha) Dr B Muthukumar.
While CCIM believes this will improve quality of students and enable them to be geared for proposed policies such as ‘bridge courses’ proposed by the National Medical Commission, experts say this may see a drop in the number of students aspiring to join Indian medicine at last for the next year. “To learn Siddha, one should know Tamil. In several subjects students may have to write 14-18 line poems in Tamil that may not be easy to comprehend. If non-Tamil students from other states join, they may leave the seat,” said Dr Mohammed Hussain, a siddha practitioner.