The Union government has planned to introduce a joint entrance test on the lines of National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for courses in Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (Ayush), according to The Hindustan Times.
The move comes close on the heels of the Centre introducing a common entrance exam for studies in modern medicine. The ministry of Ayush has sent an advisory to all states, intimating them about the new plans.
“We are also moving towards a common entrance for courses in Indian system of medicine on the lines of NEET. We have written to states to take candidates from NEET this year, if possible, but since it is too short a notice we plan to roll it out from next year,” said Ayush minister Shripad Yesso Naik. He was talking on the sidelines of a conference held in the run-up to the International Day of Yoga that is observed on June 21.
Last year, the Union health ministry had implemented NEET, which makes it mandatory for all medical colleges in the country to admit students in medicine and dental courses through a common entrance examination.
The aim behind the government’s latest directive is to maintain the quality of students at the undergraduate and post-graduate level.
“All colleges and institutions offering courses in the Ayush discipline will come under this new test pattern,” said Naik. The test will be mandatory even for the private institutions.
“It will be implemented in all recognised colleges and institutions, including the private ones,” said Naik.
There are close to 500 institutions offering courses in Ayush system, and the government has plans to increase the numbers, given the huge interest of people in traditional medicines.
“Our ministry has been focusing on the quality of AYUSH education, and we have advised state governments to closely monitor and ensure the quality of education is being imparted in AYUSH colleges. Introduction of a test on the lines of NEET is a step in that direction,” said Naik.