Admission to Ayush Undergraduate Courses to be done through NEET from 2018

In a recent announcement, it has been confirmed that admission in undergraduate AYUSH courses will be done through National Eligibility cum Entrance Test from the academic year 2018-19. Till now, state universities have been conducting their own entrance exams for admission in such courses, but from 2018 onwards, students will have to take NEET for admission.

NEET is the premier medical entrance exam of the country and a single gateway to nationwide MBBS/BDS seats except in AIIMS and JIPMER. The decision to admit students in AYUSH UG courses through this examination has been taken to attract a wider pool of talent for these courses. One single entrance exam will have better quality students and this will also increase awareness about the exam. Also, it is to be noted that admission in Post Graduate AYUSH courses is already being facilitated through this examination since 2017.

With the introduction of NEET for AYUSH courses, state universities will not be allowed to conduct any private examinations to grant admission to candidates in these courses. Speaking on the matter, Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha (Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH) said,” We started admission through NEET for our postgraduate courses last year. From the next session, we will have the same for undergraduate courses.”

The ministry is in talks with Central Board of Secondary Education for the test. “Ideally we would like CBSE to conduct the exam, like it does for MBBS/BDS courses, but there are some regulatory concerns that need to be sorted out. It will be convenient for candidates if CBSE holds the exam, but if it doesn’t, we will still go ahead with the implementation.”

With the increasing awareness of Yoga, the demand for AYUSH courses has risen significantly. Having a central level exam will make the process easier for all interested parties, including students, colleges and the ministry itself.

Minister of State of AYUSH, Shripad Yesso Naik, also made an important statement, which somehow gives hint towards the rationale behind this decision. He said,” The demand for Ayurveda, Unani, Naturopathy, Homeopathy medicines and Yoga has increased worldwide and number of students pursuing such courses have also risen. Therefore, we need to maintain standard of education in this stream.”

With this decision, close to 36000 seats under AYUSH will be filled through NEET and not through any other exam.

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