AYUSH doctors performing surgeries, validity of NEET for AYUSH courses: HC to hear matter together in March
New Delhi: Responding to the plea challenging the provision of common National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to AYUSH courses, the Delhi High Court bench comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel has pointed out the "double standard" of the AYUSH aspirants when on the one hand, they seek similar rights to operate like allopathic practitioners, and on the other, they are denying to appear in NEET.
"On a lighter side, you on one hand are saying you are competitive. But when asked to appear in NEET, you are saying we are not," the bench, also comprising Justice Jyoti Singh, told the counsel for the petitioner.
"AYUSH (practitioners) want to do operations and now they are saying we are different. See the double standard... Both matters will be heard together," the bench was quoted saying by PTI.
Seeking the Central Government's response on the matter, the bench has issued notice to the Central Government, the National Testing Agency, and other respondents.
This comes after six AYUSH aspirants challenged the NEET entrance for taking admission to Ayurveda, Homoeopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Sowa Rigpa courses. The plea sought directions to quash Section 14 of the impugned National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) Act, 2020 that mandated a common NEET for taking admission in all the disciplines of medical education like MBBS, BDS, BAMS, BSMS, BUMS and BHMS, adds ANI.
The petitioners said that asking them to appear for NEET in order to pursue AYUSH courses in medical institutions governed by National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Act, 2020 and the National Commission for Homoeopathy Act, 2020 is in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
"NEET has been created by NMC Act which itself is applicable only to the Medical Institutions that grant degrees, diplomas or licenses in Modern Scientific medicine, which is different from Medical Institutions that grants degrees, diplomas or licenses in Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha or Homoeopathy Medicines," their petition said.
It is asserted that the scope of NEET under the National Medical Commission Act, 2019 (NMC Act) is restricted to "Modern Scientific medicine" and does not include "traditional system of medicine".
"By notifying a common NEET examination for MBBS/BDS as well as AYUSH courses, the Respondents have completely overlooked the pivotal fact that both these courses operate in different fields and there are fundamental differences between the framework of both the courses," the petition stated.
NEET is "not structured" to take into account the eligibility criteria for admission to AYUSH courses, it said.
The HC bench has remarked that it would hear the challenge alongside the petition by allopathic practitioners against the permission given to AYUSH practitioners to perform certain surgeries, adds PTI.
The lawyer appearing for the petitioners told the court that the petitioners were "not against NEET".
The central government was represented by counsel Monika Arora who was asked by the court to provide details of the petition by allopathic practitioners.
The matter would be heard next on March 30.