From this academic year, students who are willing to pursue Indian medicine courses such as Siddha, Ayurveda, Unani and Homeopathy will be admitted based on their NEET scores, said C Vijayabaskar, Health Minister of Tamil Nadu, on Friday (May 31).
Initially, the Centre brought NEET exams for allopathy medicine and dental courses in 2017. A year later, they implemented NEET for Indian medicine courses.
The move to implement NEET for Indian medicine courses in the state came in 2018. However, the state government has opposed the decision. But, the Centre gave exemption to the state for one year. In 2018, the students were admitted to these courses based on their Class 12 marks.
Addressing the press on Friday, Vijayabaskar said that from this academic year, except Yoga and Naturopathy courses, students will be admitted based on their NEET performance. The minister’s announcement came after the Ministry of AYUSH had sent out a notice on April 1, 2019, stating that only NEET merit list will be followed during the admission for these courses. They also added that, NEET marks will be taken into account for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
The announcement created a commotion among the students, who believed that they will be admitted based on their Class 12 results. It is to be noted that the doctors in the state opposed the NEET exams for Indian medicine courses, particularly Siddha, since the subjects were being and taught in Tamil.
Speaking to The Federal, a government Siddha practitioner said that the admissions to AYUSH courses based on the NEET marks will affect the rural students from Tamil Nadu who are willing to take Siddha.
“Siddha course are taught only in Government Colleges, in Tamil Nadu. If admissions were based on NEET results, it will affect the rural students who score less or who did not appear for NEET. Whereas, Ayurveda is taught in Sanskrit in many private colleges. Since, the medium of teaching the Unani is mainly in Urdu, the Muslim students prefer to join the course. Likewise, Homeopathy is being taught in English and in private colleges,” he said.