Medical aspirants from Karnataka confused over NEET norms for AYUSH courses

The Ministry of AYUSH (Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) has made it clear that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) will be the single entrance test. Based on the ranks of the candidates, they will be allotted to 544 colleges across the country offering 32,256 seats in the AYUSH courses. While there are only 102 government colleges offering the courses, 442 private/deemed university/institutes offer the AYUSH courses across the country. Not only will the admission to these courses be done thorough NEET scores, NRI or management quota will also be diminished.
Due to the regulations from the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM), which is the authority responsible for admission in AYUSH courses, the state medical authorities would also have to comply. While most of the state medical authorities have accepted and notified the students about the change in their admission procedure, Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) has continued its own admission procedure. Karnataka, through its 78 colleges, offer the second highest number of AYUSH course seats (4425) after Maharashtra (7960 seats).
A letter sent by CCIM recently has ordered the entrance exams conducted by private associations to be stopped from the academic year 2017-18 and declared that all the UG medical and health services seats will be filled through merit list of NEET.
“Letters to various state medical authorities has already been sent by CCIM and it was made clear beforehand that admissions will be conducted based on NEET. Madhya Pradesh state government had also issued notification according to the letter sent by CCIM for health services courses,” said Dr Umesh Shukla, an executive committee member of CCIM.
Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), Maharashtra has also notified state medical aspirants on December 6 about the same. But, Karnataka Examinations Authority in their official notification for admission in professional courses in Karnataka, issued on January 01, 2017, hasn’t mentioned about the requirement of NEET ranks for admission in AYUSH courses. The aspirants in Karnataka are in a fix, whether to apply for NEET as many of them have already applied for the KEA-conducted state CET (Common Entrance Test). The last date of online application for the KEA-conducted CET is February 27, while the NEET application procedure is getting over on March 1.
On asking whether it would be difficult for such students, who are interested in allied health courses, taking NEET, Dr Shukla said, “It is not about difficulty in the entrance examination that aspirants must worry about, as both NEET and state conducted CET are of standard 12 level. Those candidates interested in health sciences and allied medical courses will opt for the same according to their ranks.”