23 September 2011

150 AYUSH colleges barred from admitting new students

150 AYUSH colleges barred from admitting new students
Economic Times, 2nd Sepember 2011



NEW DELHI: The government has barred more than 150 colleges offering alternative and traditional medicine courses from admitting any student in the next academic session after these colleges were found violating regulatory norms. 

Spread across the country, these colleges were together taking in nearly 10,000 students every year. The alternative and traditional medicines refer to practice of ayurveda, yoga & naturopathyunani,siddha and homoeopathy, or AYUSH. 

"Most of the colleges providing these courses did not have the mandatory hospital and adequate faculty, among other basic infrastructure," said an official with the department of AYUSH. There are about 310 AYUSH colleges in the country, with each admitting 50 students a year. 

According to the department's website, as on August 30, it has not permitted new admission to 112 colleges. Most of these educational institutes, private- and government-owned, offer under graduate and post-graduate courses in ayurveda and unani. 

The department, however, has allowed these colleges to continue teaching the existing students. About 108 other colleges have been permitted to admit students for the next academic session, but only if they address their deficiencies within two months. 

A senior industry executive said the government is partly to be blamed for the violation of norms by these institutes as it never dealt with them sternly before. 

Government officials say the industry was earlier regulated by a council that was not very effective. The department got the authority only in 2003 after an amendment in the Indian Medicine Council Act 1973. 

During a separate inspection, the department has also found about half of the country's 9,000 AYUSH manufacturing units violating the norms. They said action will be initiated against them soon. The AYUSH industry is estimated to be worth between Rs 8,000 crore and Rs 10,000 crore and is growing at about 15%. 

Ranjit Puranik, CEO of Mumbai-based Shree Dhootapapeshwar Ltd, a manufacturer of ayurvedic products, said several obscure colleges and firms were allowed to flourish without the basic mandatory infrastructure.

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