The future of students of Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) passing out from colleges affiliated to Guru Ravidas Ayurvedic University, Hoshiarpur, hangs in balance as the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM), a statutory body under the department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has refused to recognise the degrees obtained after the year 2012-13. It renders them ineligible for registration for medical practice. Reason being- neither the university nor its affiliated colleges have so far been included in the Second Schedule of the Indian Medicine Central Council (IMCC) Act, 1970. The Second Schedule includes the medical qualifications granted by any university, board or other medical institutions in India.
Hundreds of students and interns, who had come from various districts, held a demonstration outside the office of university vice-chancellor (VC) OP Upadhyaya on Monday. They said the government was playing with their future as the university itself was to get due recognition from the UGC. Students were all the more agitated when the VC turned down their request to give a written assurance and passed on the blame to the CCIM.
"The university has issued dates for counselling of a fresh batch whereas the previous batches have so far been given provisional registration only. In the advertisement, the university is again misleading people. It claims the authorisation of the UGC which is incorrect," said student leader Hanish. "The CCIM registration officer has confirmed that only those who have passed before 2013 are eligible for medical practice. It is a big injustice to those who have enrolled themselves after that," he asserted.
Students revealed that the problem arose after the establishment of Guru Ravidas University. "Earlier the admissions were done through PMET test by Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot. In 2011, when Guru Ravidas University came in to being, admission and examination work was transferred to it. The CCIM is not recognising degrees awarded by the state university," he said.
The VC, however, claimed that the deficiency lied with the CCIM. "We admit that students are facing problem of registration but we are doing our duty. We have written to the AYUSH department and the latter has sought recommendations of the CCIM to include BAMS degrees awarded by our university in the Second Schedule of the IMCC. The matter is pending with the CCIM," he claimed.
After the day-long confrontation, it was ultimately decided to send a four-member team, including two representatives each of the university and the students, to Delhi to take up the matter with the authorities concerned.