Maharashtra: BAMS Seats Go Vacant In Colleges Amid Surge In Institutes; Delayed Approvals Cited As Main Cause

Maharashtra: BAMS Seats Go Vacant In Colleges Amid Surge In Institutes; Delayed Approvals Cited As Main Cause

Experts blamed the vacancies on delay in granting approvals to the new institutes by the National Commission For Indian System Of Medicine (NCISM), the apex regulating body for Ayush under the central government.

Musab QaziUpdated: Monday, December 11, 2023, 10:56 PM IST
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Maharashtra: BAMS Seats Go Vacant In Colleges Amid Surge In Institutes; Delayed Approvals Cited As Main Cause | Representational Image

As many as 100 seats of Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), often the second choice of medical aspirants after Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), have been left vacant in colleges across the state this academic year. Last year, all the seats were filled at the end of the admission process.

Increased Institutes and Seats

The surprising vacancies in Ayurveda colleges, which usually witness intense competition among candidates, are recorded after a sharp increase in the number of institutes and seats this year. Data from the state CET Cell shows that 105 Ayurveda colleges, 22 government-run and aided, and 83 private, participated in the centralized admissions this year, offering more than 7,000 seats. By comparison, there were only 5,429 seats available in 2022-23 at 74 institutes.

While 97 of the BAMS vacant seats are in private institutes, three are in government-run and aided colleges. Many of the vacancies are in the new institutes that were granted permission this year.

By contrast, most of the seats in the two other undergraduate AYUSH courses, Homeopathy and Unani, have been taken. While only 25 of around 4,000 BHMS seats are lying vacant, all the 300-odd spots for BUMS have been filled. This is in contrast to the last admission cycle when 266 Homeopathy seats were without any takers.

Causes for vacancies In Ayurveda colleges

Experts blamed the vacancies in Ayurveda colleges on the delay in granting approvals to the new institutes by the National Commission For Indian System Of Medicine (NCISM), the apex regulating body for Ayush under the central government. "The vacancies this year are due to late approvals," said an official from the CET Cell.

As many as 11 Ayurveda institutes were provided recognition in November when the admission process was already underway. A few institutes even got their approvals after the admission deadline of November 30.

"If the Centre has set November 30 as the cut-off date for admissions, it should have granted approvals to the new institutes much earlier," said a counselor from The Admission Link, a Pune-based medical education consultancy firm.

According to CET Cell, the absence of any institute-level admission round was another reason for the vacant seats. "The Ayush Admissions Central Counseling Committee (AACCC) had instructed us to conduct the entire process in a centralized manner. As it is, the institute-level admissions for MBBS have been disapproved," said the official.

Challenges and criticisms of the admission process

The National Medical Council (NMC) has directed the state to cancel the admission of 141 students to private medical colleges who were admitted in the final admission round held at the institute level. The state's eleventh-hour decision to change the centralized admission process and hand over counseling to colleges violated NMC's directive, the regulating body had held. The issue is now being pursued at the Bombay High Court (HC).

The counselor has, however, faulted the CET Cell for letting uninterested candidates continue participating in the admission process. "Many of the students were getting allotted the same colleges round after admission round, but they wouldn't claim their seats. These students should have been removed from the process, and the candidates should have been given an opportunity. The state is now deprived of 100 doctors," he said.

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