While the chaos around National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) took a toll on medical and dental admissions in the state, students who enrolled in other health science courses were also affected.
With the admissions to UG courses in Ayurveda (BAMS), Homeopathy (BHMS) and Unani (BUMS) continuing till December — the HSC examination results were out on May 25 — the classes will not start even this month. As a result, Maharashtra University for Health Sciences (MUHS) has decided to conduct the first year examinations of these courses in November-December, instead of June-July, which is a delay of an entire semester.
An official from MUHS said the university decided to push the academic calendar in order to complete the mandatory 240 days of teaching. "The curriculum of health science courses is very vast and the colleges would struggle to complete it before the examination. Given the delay in admissions this year, it won't even be possible," he said.
The admissions for BAMS, BUMS and BHMS are generally held after medical (MBBS) and dental (BDS) admissions, so that the students unable to secure a seat in MBBS and BDS still have a shot at one of the health science course. However, the Supreme Court's decision, in April, to replace the state's common entrance test (CET) with NEET as the criterion for medical and dental admissions, resulted in prolonging the admission procedure. The health science admissions could begin only after September 30.
"The admission procedure was completely jeopardised this year. Our teachers had to sit idle for a long period," said the principal of a Homeopathy college in the city. While the admission to private dental and medical colleges in the state took place on the basis of National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET) the admissions for the state-run medical and dental colleges, as well as all the private and government institutes offering allied health science courses admitted the aspirants through the state conducted CET.
The university and the colleges also blamed Central Council of Indian medicine under minister of AYUSH for delayed the process of granting approval to colleges. "The colleges are required to renew their affiliation with the university and CCIM. The ministry of AYUSH took long to grant the affiliations," said the varsity official.
Meanwhile, the students are disappointed by the extension in their academic calendar. "We were hoping for June-July examinations, as we had already prep[ared for the internal tests. We now stand to lose an entire year," said a student from a Unanai college in the city.