Merit category students in self-financing Ayurveda colleges, who were excluded from opting for merit seats in government colleges, can now heave a sigh of relief.
The Admission Supervisory Committee headed by Justice J M James has directed the government to conduct a fresh allotment to Ayurveda merit seats in government and self-financing colleges. “The Committee has asked the government to direct the Commissioner for Entrance Examinations to conduct another allotment to merit seats in government and self-financing colleges before October 19. The whole process should be completed by October 23,’’ Justice James told Express. Express had, in a series of reports, highlighted that an ‘obstructive’ clause in the deal between the government and the self-financing Ayurveda college managements restricted the number of allotments to three. The students in the merit category in self-financing colleges were also denied the chance of participating in further allotments to merit seats in government colleges. The direction of the James Committee will give merit category students - who have to pay an annual tuition fees of `50,000 - a chance to study in government colleges where the tuition fees is `12,000. Besides, lower ranking students will also get a chance to opt for seats vacated by these students during the fresh allotment. According to the Admission Supervisory Committee, the managements will be entitled to fill merit seats which are still vacant after the fresh allotment process comes to a close on October 23. However, the Committee did not consider the status of those merit seats that have already been filled by some of the managements, citing a clause in the agreement with the government. A Government Order issued by the Department of Health on 29-07-2013, based on the agreement, had empowered self-financing Ayurveda college managements to fill vacant merit seats after the third and final allotment. “Since the total number of seats in self-financing Ayurveda colleges is a matter which is under the consideration of the court, the Committee has not considered it for the time being,” Justice James said. Kerala State Indian System of Medicine Self-Financing Management Association (KISMA) has welcomed the the Committee’s decision. “The confusion could have been avoided if the allotment to Ayurveda seats was done after allotment to MBBS/ BDS courses,” KISMA president E Kunji Raman told Express. However, the Association said the vacant merit seats in its member colleges have been filled as per the agreement with the government and ruled out a “re-think” on such allotments. “Those seats have already been filled and classes have also started. There is no re-think on such seats as they have been filled as per the agreement with the government,’’ Kunji Raman said.