Delhi HC Refuses To Allow Ayurveda Aspirants Having Low NEET Percentile To Participate In Counselling

Delhi HC Refuses To Allow Ayurveda Aspirants Having Low NEET Percentile To Participate In Counselling

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to allow two Ayurveda course aspirants having low percentile in the NEET examination to participate in the counselling process for admissions to Ayurveda courses. The court declined to give any interim relief on their plea which claimed that it is unfair to subject them to the same entrance examination which is for admission to the MBBS course. A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi noted that the objective behind a common entrance was to “raise the standard” and their case proceeded on the assumption that the courses in the Indian system of medicine were inferior to that of modern medicine.

The bench, also comprising Justice Navin Chawla, issued notice to the central government, National Commission for Indian System of Medicine, National Testing Agency, and other respondents on the petition which challenges the law and regulation mandating a common National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for taking admission in Ayurveda courses and asked the concerned authority to disclose the number of seats available in the various courses of Indian system of medicine and the seats filled.

The whole objective is to raise the standard. You want incompetent people to get into these institutions and therefore kill this branch completely. When it comes to seeking rights while in service you say we are equally qualified doctors,” the court said. “We are not inclined to give (favourable) interim order,” it stated.

The petitioners, represented by lawyer Animesh Kumar, argued that there should be a different entrance examination for aspirants of the Indian system of medicine and claimed that presently a large number of seats in such courses go vacant after the aspirants fail to meet the cut-off percentile which is decided based on relative merit.

He urged the court to either allow the petitioners to participate in the counselling process as an interim measure or direct the authorities to prepare a separate merit list of the candidates willing to take admissions in Ayurveda courses. “That is the exact point. All these judgements (of the Supreme Court) are saying they are not to be distinguished. They are equally doctors. The point that you are trying to make is creating a class between the two…,” said the court.

The court noted that the minimum qualification prescribed for admission to undergraduate MBBS and Indian medicine is the same i.e 10+2 and the applicable regulations prima facie do not mandate the holding of separate entrance tests for the two streams of medicine. “The submissions of the petitioner precede of the assumption that the Indian system courses are inferior to the MBBS course,” the court said Counsel for the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine said that Indian medicine courses are “not inferior” as they also “treat human lives” and study similar subjects during the course and that the Ayurveda doctors are even permitted to perform certain surgeries.

The court was informed that the admission to both AYUSH and MBBS courses is on relative merit and “enough seats” are filled in the courses based on a qualifying percentile which is reduced to a certain extent to fill in case of vacant seats. In the present case, the cut-off percentile of fifty has already been reduced by five, and it was added. In the petition, the petitioners have challenged the legality, propriety, and validity of Section 14 of the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Act, 2020, Indian medicine Central Council (Minimum Standards of education in Indian Medicine) Amendment Regulation, 2018, and Information Bulletin NEET (UG)-2021 insofar as the same mandates a common NEET for taking admission in Ayurveda in medical institutions governed by the Act.

By notifying a common NEET examination for MBBS/BDS as well as AYUSH courses, the Respondents have completely overlooked the pivotal fact that both these courses operate in different fields and there are fundamental differences between the framework of both the courses, The matter would be heard next on July 19.

The Petition Has Said.

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