In order to ensure the quality of education to the students of Indian system of medicines and prevent mushrooming growth of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani (ASU) and Homoeopathic Colleges, the Centre has issued stricter parameters for granting permission for setting up or upgrading the existing colleges.

From this academic year (2011-02), the Department of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) has increased the requirement of minimum availability of teachers for under graduate colleges of ASU system from 28 to 32 teachers. In addition, there is now a mandatory requirement of one teacher in all the 14 departments of Ayurveda colleges, 8 departments of Unani colleges and 14 departments of Siddha colleges.

The new registration system has been introduced because many colleges were not complying with the guidelines specified for imparting AYUSH education with some of them attempted to indulge in unfair practices to project availability of infrastructure and teachers, Anil Kumar Secretary, department of AYUSH told reporters here on Tuesday.

India has 499 colleges teaching the Indian system of medicine — 311 colleges for Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha and 188 colleges teaching homeopathy — which will have to follow the new registration system from 2011 academic year.

In view of the improvement in the availability of the higher faculties it has now also been decided to insist upon having minimum 10 teachers in the rank of professors of readers for admission capacity up to 50 students in Ayurveda colleges.

“By 2011 end, the Centre would bring out a gazette notification stipulating the levels of hard and soft infrastructure the colleges should have to receive the recognition. Once the new norms are notified, all colleges will have to follow it,’’ he said.

At present, colleges teaching Indian system of medicine and homeopathy require annual approval to admit new students. With the new notification, the government plans to do away with the annual inspection system. The notification would make it mandatory for all colleges to have the stipulated facilities and faculty.

The new norms, Mr. Kumar said, would be applicable for the current academic year though they are most likely to be retained or strengthened in the final notification expected by the end of this year which would be applicable from the next academic year. The hospitals, too, should be a properly functional one and not a proxy set up created solely for the purpose of inspection.

Since all medical colleges in the alternate system too are required to have a functional hospital, the inspection team would have to look at the patient records like pathological and radiological diagnostics, diet and medicine chart to determine if the hospital is really functional or not.