NEW DELHI: Admission to various AYUSH courses will be conducted through the National Eligibility-cumEntrance Test (NEET) from the next academic (2018-19) session.
The decision was taken to standardise the admission procedure and attract meritorious students to the AYUSH (ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha and homoeopathy) stream.
The Ministry of AYUSH has sent advisories to all state governments in this regard.
"The demand for ayurveda, homoeopathy, naturopathy and unani medicines and yoga have increased worldwide and the number of students pursuing such courses have also risen. So there is a need to maintain standard of education in this stream," Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik said.
He said that with the introduction of NEET, private examinations would not be conducted to fill seats in any of the AYUSH colleges.
Ahead of International Day of Yoga (IDY) celebrations on June 21, Naik said data showed that there had been a 30 per cent increase in the number of people practicing yoga in the last two years.
He said that the government would dedicate 100 parks for yoga activities across the country to promote this traditional practice.
These parks will be managed by yoga or other organisations voluntarily.
A group of secretaries in a recent meeting had also suggested to the prime minister that the Medical Council of India re-frame curricula in order to incorporate elements of AYUSH into allopathy and vice versa.
"No decision has been taken in this regards and talks are still on," said a senior Ministry official.
Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, will host the main event of International Day of Yoga this year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in it.
Apart from the prime minister, senior ministers, Uttar Pradesh chief minister and yoga gurus, along with nearly 51,000 people, are expected to take part in the event.
Around 150 countries are expected to participate in the mega event, with Indian missions in those nations coordinating the activities. IDY will be observed at some of the major landmarks like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Trafalgar Square in London and the Central Park in New York among others.
In Delhi, seven main events are being planned in different places in association with NDMC, DDA and yoga organisations.
Apart from this, yoga events will be held in different parts of the country as well as main cities like Paris, London and New York across the globe.
The ministry on its official website has requested the people visiting the web page related to IDY to take a pledge to make yoga an integral part of their daily life.
The first IDY celebration was organised at Rajpath in New Delhi on June 21, 2015 in which representatives of 191 countries had participated. Last year, the main function was held in Chandigarh.
The United Nations General Assembly, heeding to a call by Prime Minister Modi, had made a declaration in December 2014 to observe June 21 every year as International Day of Yoga.