Paramedical courses in Maharashtra to include acupuncture
Acupuncture and massage therapy are now certified paramedical courses, the Maharashtra medical education department has announced, in a move that could not only add credibility to such fields, but also boost tourism in the state and provide a back-up option for medical aspirants who don’t score high enough for a medical or dental seat.
“Areas like the Konkan are quickly becoming very tourist-friendly, which is why there is a demand for professionals certified in acupuncture as well as recreational therapy,” said Dr Pravin Shingare, director, Directorate of Medical Education & Research (DMER). “There has been a lot of demand from students for such courses to be recognised, and the government finally accepted their demand,” he said and added that students who want to pursue these courses need not appear for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), instead apply with their Class 12 marks.
Paramedical courses are currently affiliated with the Paramedical Council of India and are taught over a two-year duration, followed by a six-month internship period. With the Maharashtra government’s recognition for these courses, students will now get certificates approved by the Paramedical Council of India, as well as the Maharashtra government.
Experts and parents highlighted how the option will be useful for NEET candidates who do not score enough for a medical seat.
“Often, students with low marks end up taking a BSc course, leaving them with few job opportunities after graduation,” said a senior official from the state medical education department. “These courses are now more in demand in comparison and will fetch open up more opportunities.”
Parents of medical aspirants said the move will benefit many students, who end up losing a year to attempt NEET again. “These courses will generate demand as there are several jobs in the field. Students can consider a back-up plan now, in case they don’t score well in the entrance exam,” said Sudha Shenoy, a parent.