NEET applies for undergraduate courses in alternative medicine: Supreme Court

Photo: Twitter/@moayush

Photo: Twitter/@moayush  

Lack of minimum standards would result in half-baked doctors, it says

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the validity of applying the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to under-graduate courses under the Union Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa and Homoeopathy (AYUSH).

A Bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao agreed with the government that admissions to BAMS, BUMS, BSMS and BHMS would require candidates to score minimum qualifying marks for NEET.

The court declared this in a judgment challenging notifications issued by the Central Council of Indian Medicine and Central Council of Homoeopathy prescribing an-all India NEET for admission to the under-graduate courses (BAMS, BUMS, BSMS and BHMS) and minimum qualifying marks in the examination from the academic year 2019-2020.

“Doctors who are qualified in Ayurvedic, Unani and Homeopathy streams also treat patients and the lack of minimum standards of education would result in half-baked doctors being turned out of professional colleges. Non-availability of eligible candidates for admission to AYUSH under-graduate courses cannot be a reason to lower the standards prescribed by the Central Council for admission,” Justice Rao observed in the judgment.

The Central Council had introduced the Indian Medicine Central Council (Minimum Standards of Education in Indian Medicine) Amendment Regulations of 2018, which had amended the 1986 regulations.

“Prescribing a minimum percentile for admission to the under-graduate courses for 2019-2020 was vehemently defended by the Central Council and the Union of India by submitting that the minimum standards cannot be lowered even for AYUSH courses. We agree,” the court held.

However, as one-time measure and in view of the admission of a large number of students to the AYUSH, the court has permitted them to continue provided they were admitted prior to the last date of admission, i.e., October 15, 2019. The same direction is applicable to students admitted to the post-graduate courses before October 31, 2019.

“This is a one-time exercise permitted in view of the peculiar circumstances. This order shall not be treated as a precedent,” the court clarified.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 9:31:27 PM |

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