Post By Amritpal Singh
A Public Notice has been issued by Central Council of Indian Medicine dated 26.2.21 with respect to nomenclature of degrees awarded by Indian universities. As a matter of fact, some universities are issuing degree certificates with a different nomenclature not complying with standards of IMCC Act, 1970. For the purpose of inclusion of qualifications in 2nd Schedule of IMCC Act, the awarding university has to submit specimen degree to Central Council of Indian Medicine as a mandatory affair. The nomenclature of degree awarded by universities is directly connected with process of recognition from Central Council of Indian Medicine.
Central Council of Indian Medicine has been raising issues of unrecognized qualifications awarded by some of the Indian universities time to time. Central Council of Indian Medicine letter dated 10.02.2009 is torchbearer in this aspect. Objection was put on degree nomenclature ‘Bachelor of Ayurved with Modern Medicine and Surgery’ awarded by Avdesh Pratap Singh University, Rewa, Indore University, Indore, Jabalpur University, Jabalpur, and Vikram University, Ujjain. These degrees were not included in the 2nd schedule of IMCC Act, 1970 and hence fall in non-recognized category.
Degree issued by Mahatma Gandhi Chitrakoot Vishwavidyala Satna was under scanner in 2002. The degree awarded by this university was Doctor of Medicine MD (Ayurved) whereas the prescribed nomenclature of Postgraduate degree in Ayurveda by Central Council of Indian Medicine is Ayurved Vachaspati MD (Ayurved) in the concerned subject.
If postgraduate degree/diploma is awarded without 1st possessing a recognized degree/diploma in Ayurved then it shall not be treated as a recognized medical qualification and holders of such a qualification shall have not right to practice Indian Medicine or other privileges which are given to practitioners of Indian Medicine as per Section 17.
The role of the university
It is basic duty of the concerned university to initiate efforts for bringing the qualification under the umbrella of recognized medical qualifications for the purpose of IMCC Act, 1970. Here it is worthwhile to consider definition of recognized medical qualification. With the purpose of safeguarding the future of pass outs, it is foremost duty of the degree awarding university to look into recognized status of the qualification. All universities mentioned in the list of Central Council of Indian Medicine must maintain information on inclusion/recognition of degree under schedule 2 of the IMCC Act, 1970.
Following the nomenclature approved by Central Council of Indian Medicine is part and parcel of the process leading to inclusion to the 2nd schedule of the IMCC Act, 1970 and bringing in the list of recognized medical qualifications. Clarification regarding BAMS degree awarded by Guru Ravi Das Ayurved University, Hoshiapur available on the official website of the university is well appreciated. Further, Gazette Notification regarding inclusion of qualification in 2nd schedule to the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970 (48 of 1970) is very much available on the official website of Guru Ravi Das Ayurved University, Hoshiarpur acting as guide for aspirants seeking admission.
The Central Council of Indian Medicine has mentioned list of recognized medical qualifications in the 2nd schedule. The aspirants must take in notice the latest list as schedule amendment is a continuous process and several BAMS, MD/MS (Ayurveda) degrees are included in the 2nd schedule every year. Same is true for other systems of medicine in addition to Ayurveda. Normlay the status of degree is mentioned as ‘upto’ or ‘onwards’. Here upto signifies the year of recognition of the of the degree awarded by the concerned university. Whereas onwards stands for recognized status of the degree awarded by the concerned university.
Here it is worthwhile to mention that some universities are still admitting students despite non recognized status of the course. PhD-Ayurveda degree awarded by Kameshwar Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit University, Darbhanga is recognized from 1974 to 1988. The university authorities must take up issue of recognition of the PhD-Ayurveda degree 1988 onwards for securing the future of degree holders. Again nomenclature issue is on the forefront in case of PhD-Ayurveda degrees awarded by Sanskrit universities. These degrees are highlights PhD-Ayurveda only without mentioning the subject of specialization. Although, Central Council of Indian Medicine has not framed rules and regulations for PhD-Ayurveda but with onset of Ayush PhD fellowship program a well defined mechanism has been created.
Why recognition status is must?
As a matter of fact, recognition of awarded qualification is applicable to all streams of education and AYUSH is not new to it. In addition to B.A.M.S and MD/MS Ayurveda courses, certificate courses, diplomas and postgraduate diplomas are awarded in AYUSH and related streams like pharmacy and nursing. Degree recognition is essential for the purpose of registration and job may be teaching or practice. In this regard, information related to list of medical qualifications included in the 2nd schedule of IMCC Act, 1970 is significant. Further, the aspirants are advised to visit website of Central Council of Indian Medicine seeking recognition status of the college and affiliating university prior taking admission process.
The demand of postgraduate studies in AYUSH system of medicine has increased drastically and upsurge has been observed among graduates of Ayurveda stream for admission in MD/MS courses. Based on growing demand, several colleges have submitted fresh applications for initiating postgraduate courses and some have applied for increase in seats. The public notice served by Central Council of Indian Medicine should be displayed on site dealing with online counseling for Ayurveda/Siddha/Unani/Homeopathy seats (https://aaccc.gov.in) and websites State Universities dealing with process of admission in undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
The message of the public notice served by Central Council of Indian Medicine is well understood. General public has been informed to check whether the nomenclature of degree certificate issued by the university is in accordance to the Schedules of the IMCC Act, 1970 before taking admission in undergraduate and postgraduate courses related to AYUSH systems of medicine. Holder of such qualifications with different nomenclature from Schedules of the IMCC Act, 1970 shall not be eligible for any purpose may be central or state registration, teaching or clinical practice.
Are degree holders with different nomenclature guilty?
Of course, when interview is conducted for selection of faculty, presence of representatives of Central Council of Indian Medicine and affiliating university should be mandatory. Few Ayurvedic or AYUSH universities are working and process of ‘University approved teacher’ should be followed. Here, degree holders with different nomenclature are not at fault. Rather than it is the duty of the vice-chancellor and registrar of the concerned university to look in to the matter and take up the issue with Central Council of Indian Medicine for removing shortcomings like unrecognized status of degree awarded and degree issued with different nomenclature.
As per University Grants Commission (UGC), degrees specified under Section 22 of the UGC Act are fit enough for job purpose but with prior permission of the concerned council. Apex bodies like CCIM, CCH, CCUM in case of AYUSH systems of medicine have been created to safeguard the future of pass outs and in this direction the public notice is well appreciated. With National Commission of Indian Medicine in pipeline, more such notices are warranted.