Post By Amritpal Singh
The admission process leading to admission in AYUSH under graduate and post graduate courses passes through a well-established mechanism. The process has been streamlined by timely conduct of entrance tests (NEET and AIAPGET) leading to admissions. However, the real challenge is the timely admissions in the institutions which are constantly delayed in AYUSH institutions. The critical review is largely based on the delayed admission process in AYUSH institutions for academic session 2020-21 and its impact on education in forthcoming times.
Keywords: AYUSH, under graduate, post graduate, MD.
With the purpose of streamlining the admissions and bringing meritorious students, AYUSH Ministry in 2018 directed all State/UT Government to admit students in UG courses through the merit list of NEET only (1,2). In this regard, File No-R13040/33/2016-Tech. (Part) was uploaded on the website of Ministry of AYUSH and forwarded to universities and institutions (1). With the conduction of All India Post graduate Entrance Test by All India Institute of Ayurveda, New Delhi from 2017, it is the only entrance examination leading to PG admissions in AYUSH (3).
TYPES OF COUNSELLING
Central counseling (All India quota) includes the following:
State counseling includes the following:
SCINERIO IN ACADMIC YEAR 2020-21
The academic year 2020-21 has witnessed a different story as far as AYUSH admissions are concerned in comparison to previous years probably due to national lockdown and covid-19 pandemic. The Ministry of AYUSH vide F.No. L. 11011/2/2020 (EP-1) dated 26.10.2020 notified all state authorities regarding counseling for admission in All India Quota of UG and PG courses (4). The Ministry of AYUSH framed counseling schedule for admission in the UG courses for the academic year 2020-21 as per F.No. L. 11011/2/2020 (EP-1) Part 2 (5).
In accordance with various representations received from AIAPGET-2020 aspirants, the last date/cut I off dates for completion of internship was revised from 31st October to 31st December vide F.No.L-14011/18/2019- EP-1 (4). Vide F.No. R.14011/2/2021-EP-I. Ministry of AYUSH based on various representations requesting to reduce the required percentile criteria in the NEET-2020 for the purpose of admission reduced minimum marks at 40th percentile (4).
IMPACT OF DELAYED DEVELOPEMTS
The major side-effect of delayed admissions is deserted look in majority of the AYUSH institutions. The processes of visitation were delayed and till to date the list of recognized colleges for the purpose of admission is neither available on the official website of Central Council of Indian Medicine nor the Ministry of AYUSH. The provisional result of the 3rd or mop up round has been published and admissions are being witnessed in Government institutions (6).
Delay in admissions in undergraduate courses (BAMS, BHMS, BUMS and BSMS) needs immediate attention as compared to postgraduate courses. Approval process from statutory bodies need to be accelerated as till to date in States like Punjab and Haryana only five colleges are approved for the purpose of admission in undergraduate courses. AYUSH institutions are probably heading for fate of engineering colleges and mushroom growth of AYUSH institutions in recent past has a detrimental effect.
THE ADMISSION PROCEES NEEDS METICULOUS STANDARDISATION
The admission process leading to MBBS degree should not be compared with admission process leading to BAMS or allied degrees. It is beyond doubt that demand of AYUSH UG and PG admissions has risen in previous years. With rising fee in case of MBBS courses in private and government institutions, demand of AYUSH courses is self explanatory. However, poor response to AYUSH institutions in current session is posing a threat for coming future.
Keeping in mind, the chaos created by COVID-19 pandemic and similar situation in future, great care need to be exercised for survival of AYUSH institutions and systems of medicine. No doubt, response to PG admissions in academic session 2020-21 is turning out to be better as compared to UG admissions. The Ministry of AYUSH has been instrumental in taking decisive steps for boosting education in AYUSH and process of admission need kind attention too.
IMPACT ON ADMISSIONS IN PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS
Private AYUSH institutions are battling a war for survival. Needless to say, several premier private institutions have never witnessed zero admission. Delayed and poor admission response is putting financial burden on the management of the institutions and faculty employed are facing crisis in defending jobs. It is a well proven fact that human resource department is not very effectively handled in AYUSH institutions. With emergence of National Commission of Indian Medicine (NICM) the significant issue of delayed admission in AYUSH institutions is expected to be handed effectively. Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) and The Ministry of AYUSH brought reforms at rapid pace and AYUSH institutions were probably not able to cope up with the situation. The reforms should have been implemented in phased wise manner giving enough time to AYUSH institutions to improve the deficiencies.
GOVERNMENT VERSUS PRIVATE INSTITUTION CHOICE
NEET aspirants have obvious choice for government institutions for admission purpose. Here a word of caution is necessary for aspirants to extract information about reputation of choice filling in terms of practical education, campus placement drive extra. Certain private institutions have excelled in AYUSH education and centre of excellence and peripheral pharmacovigilance centers have been established. Dhanwantry Ayurvedic College Chandigarh has taken definite lead as compared to other private institutions in setting a benchmark in education and hospital practice. Establishment of COVID centre brought Dhanwantry Ayurvedic College Chandigarh in limelight and this happening contributed immensely in spreading role of AYUSH treatment.
Admissions on sustainability basis are a major challenge for AYUSH education industry. Some institutes were shriving on basis of admission in postgraduate courses. However, admissions have shrunk in several such institutes and several postgraduate courses have been withdrawn. If remedial steps are not taken immediately same circumstances may be witnessed in AYUSH Ph.D fellowships for AYUSH and non-AYUSH streams. Universities admitting students for Ph.D courses in Ayurveda/AYUSH through Pre-Ph.D (entrance) test are also witnessing a decline in admissions.
A couple of years back admission in AYUSH colleges was a routine affair. Recently some AYUSH institutes have been accredited with NABH and NAAC certifications and it has definitely added to the credibility. However, getting NABH and NAAC accreditations is a far dream for institutions located in rural or remote areas. It is beyond doubt that with evident of National Commission of Indian Medicine (NICM), shall shape future of AYUSH education industry in forthcoming days.