Delhi HC seeks Centre’s views on plea challenging NEET for AYUSH courses

PTI | | | Updated on: Jan 10, 2022
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A bench headed by Chief Justice DN Patel issued notice to the Centre, the National Testing Agency and other respondents on the petition by six aspirants

The Delhi High Court on Monday sought the Centre’s response on a petition by some AYUSH aspirants challenging the common National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to Ayurveda, Homoeopathy, Unani, Siddha and Sowa Rigpa courses.

A bench headed by Chief Justice DN Patel issued notice to the Centre, the National Testing Agency and other respondents on the petition by six aspirants, and remarked that it would hear the challenge alongside the petition by allopathic practitioners against the permission given to AYUSH practitioners to perform certain surgeries.

‘Double standards’

“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,” it added.

The Centre represented by counsel Monika Arora was asked to provide details of the petition by the allopathic practitioners.

The six 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 National Commission for Homoeopathy Act, 2020 is in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

‘Key distinction’

“NEET has been created by the National Medical Commission Act, 2019 which is applicable only to medical Institutions that grant degrees, diplomas or licences 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 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 there are fundamental differences between the framework of both the courses,” the petition stated.

The matter would be heard next on March 30.

Published on January 11, 2022

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