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PATNA: The Patna high court on Wednesday set aside the order of Union ministry of AYUSH through which it had made mandatory for colleges offering courses in Bachelor of Unani Medicine and Surgery (BUMS) to take admission of candidates only through National Eligibly cum Entrance Test (NEET). AYUSH is the acronym of Ayurvedic, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopath.
The judgement by the bench of Justice Chakradhari Sharan Singh would have wider ramifications across the country. Unani Tibbi College at Kadamkuan in Patna is the lone college to offer the BUMS course in Bihar.
The ministry had issued a letter on February 12 this year, directing all state governments according to revised guidelines that admission into various courses including BUMS would be taken on basis of NEET.
Following the letter, the state government for the first time came out with a press communique over the issue on March 23 this year. However, till then the last date for submission for NEET application, which was March 9, had already passed.
The association of Bihar Private Unani Medical Colleges thus filed a writ petition challenging the ministry’s order before the Patna high court.
The colleges were represented by counsels Abhinav Srivastava and Raushan. Additional solicitor general SD Sanjay represented the central government in the case.
Srivastava, during the course of hearing, submitted before Justice Singh that Central Council for Indian Medicine is the regulatory body in respect to the AYUSH colleges and it had framed regulations with respect to admission in AYUSH courses in 2016.
Under the regulations, the council had not made NEET a mandatory requirement for admissions in BUMS courses.
The court agreed with Srivastava’s submission that unless the regulations of the council get amended making NEET as essential qualification, the ministry could not impose such condition by executive orders.
Based on above submissions, high court had asked central government to reply if without introducing any amendments in the regulations, could NEET be made a compulsory test for admission to BUMS courses. Along with it, court had also ordered the central government to reply two more queries.
The central government’s reply on the issue failed to satisfy the court following which it quashed the ministry’s order making NEET compulsory for admission in BUMS courses.