With the government still dragging its feet on amending an ‘obstructive’ clause in the agreement it entered into with self-financing Ayurveda college managements, students who have taken admission to merit seats in these colleges have been left in the lurch, as they have been excluded from opting for seats in government colleges which offer better facilities with much lesser fees.
Though the Commissioner For Entrance Examinations (CEE) issued a notification on Friday for allotment to vacant merit seats in government and aided professional colleges for courses including Ayurveda, it stated that students who have already taken admission to merit seats in self-financing Ayurveda colleges will not be eligible for it.
According to sources, the CEE’s decision will deny around 75 to 80 merit category students, who have to pay an annual tuition fees of Rs 50,000 in self-financing Ayurveda colleges, a chance to study in government colleges where the annual tuition fees is Rs 12,000.
It will also pave the way for students who have got much lower ranks in the entrance examination to get admission to these seats.
The reason for this anomaly is a Government Order issued by the Department of Health on July 29, 2013, which limited the number of allotments in self-financing Ayurveda colleges to three, after an agreement with the managements.
As per the agreement, the managements were also entitled to fill vacant merit seats after the third and final allotment. Express had in a series of reports pointed out how this order which imposed restrictions on the number of allotments would prove detrimental to the interests of merit category students in these colleges.
“We have specific time-frames for allotment to each category of seats. As per the agreement, the allotment process in self-financing Ayurveda colleges is over,” Joint Commissioner for Entrance Examinations S Santhosh told Express.
Though Health Secretary K Ellangovan recommended to the government to amend ‘obstructive’ clauses in the agreement with self-financing colleges, the government seems to be dragging its feet. According to sources, the government is in a ‘Catch-22’ situation.
If it does not permit merit category students in self-financing Ayurveda colleges to opt for seats in government and aided colleges, aggrieved students may approach court. On the other hand, if the clause in the agreement is amended, the managements might also seek legal recourse.
“A meeting, chaired by the Chief Minister, will be convened soon to discuss the matter,” said Health Minister V S Sivakumar when contacted by Express. However, time is running out for merit category students in self-financing colleges.