The NDA government, which decided to provide impetus to Ayurveda education, on Thursday told the Supreme Court that no relaxation in rules and regulations would be extended to students for admission into Ayurvedic colleges and that they must scrupulously adhere to it.
Solicitor general Ranjit Kumar said the NDA government was challenging a Karnataka High Court order which had ruled that permission granted to admit students for a particular year would regularize the admissions made in the previous years.
He said permission to admit students for an academic year is given by the authorities after thorough inspection of the infrastructure and faculty strength of each college and the permission was valid only for that year. If the college wanted to increase intake of admission, it has to obtain a fresh permission from the authorities after satisfying them about its infrastructure and faculty. A bench of Justices A R Dave and V Gopala Gowda said: “Is the government not promoting Ayurveda? You are right on the legal front when you say that every educational institution should follow the rules and regulations scrupulously. But, look at the health care infrastructure in the country. It is in shambles and woefully inadequate.”
Kumar stood his ground and said allowing retrospective regularization of admissions on the basis of current permission would result in allowing those who were not properly trained in Ayurveda to start prescribing medicines. The bench agreed to hear the issue at length.
In December last year, the NDA Government had permitted setting up of 18 new Ayurveda colleges attempting to promote traditional forms of treatment and integrate them into the existing health care system.
Of these 18, seven will come up in Uttar Pradesh, three in Maharashtra, two in Rajasthan and six each in other states. The approval was given by Ayush ministry which is in charge of Ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha and homoeopathy.
The UPA regime had given permission to only one college in 2013 against 30 applications seeking to establish new Ayurveda colleges. No permission was given in 2011 and 2012.
At present, there are 281 Ayurveda colleges in the country offering 15,057 graduate and 3,081 post-graduate seats. In September, 2014, the government had notified National Ayush Mission (NAM) to suggest a detailed road map to shore up Ayush infrastructure and regulate the traditional medicine industry.