With stringent norms now in place for Ayurveda medical institutes, it looks like only a handful across the country completely qualify to accept admissions for the new academic year.
Students opting for Ayurveda medicine this year will have very few options by way of prospective colleges, as fewer institutes have cleared the benchmark for fresh admissions. Of the 258 Ayurveda colleges in India, only 14 have got permission from the Central Council of Indian Medicine to induct fresh students for the year 2010-11. The permission has been denied owing to the stringent norms laid down by the council.
Appalled by the number of colleges getting the nod to conduct courses, the council has relaxed the norms from 100 per cent to 90 per cent so that more colleges can enroll students. President of the Central Council of Indian Medicine Dr R R Sharma said only 14 colleges got permission with 100 per cent confirmation to the norms. "A new circular has now been issued as per which the colleges that meet 90 per cent of the set norms will qualify," said Dr Sharma.
The council was compelled to take this step as many government colleges too failed to get through the stringent conditions.
Interestingly, five of the 14 colleges in India that fully met the norms of the council are from Maharashtra. The fortunate five are Yerala Ayurveda Medical College at Kharghar, Nalasopara Ayurveda College at Nalasopara, Yeshwant Ayurveda College at Kolhapur and the government colleges at Nagpur and Nanded.
After relaxation of the norms from 100 per cent to 90 per cent, the total figure of colleges to get approval may go up to 85 said Nishikant Patil, secretary of the Association of Ayurveda Colleges in Maharashtra. "The colleges have been ineligible not for the want of infrastructure but for shortage of faculty," said Patil. He explained that the colleges face shortage of experienced faculty in courses such as Bal Rog (paediatric), Shalakya Tantra (ENT), Agad Tantra (toxicology and forensic) and Panchkarma.
"The first batch of post-graduate students who qualify to teach these courses passed out in 2001 and they will have completed 10 years of teaching experience in 2011. Till then, the colleges are bound to face a shortage, owing to the genuine lack of faculty," said Patil.
He added that only 20 per cent of those who clear post-graduate courses take to teaching and thus the shortage of faculty will have to be coped with for some time to come.