Madras High Court sets aside Center’s orders
Madras High Court today granted Tamil Nadu Government Siddha Medical College and Government Ayurveda Medical College in Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts respectively,to continue conducting classes and exams for current academic year. By a January 20 last order, the Joint Secretary in the Union Health Ministy, Department of AYUSH, had rejected the requests by the two institutions for permission to conduct the classes and examination for academic year 2011-12. Justice V Ramasubramanian said a government college teaching alternative systems of medicine should be seen in the context of the initiatives taken by several governments globally, to nurture, protect and preserve alternative indigenous systems of medicine. The judge was giving his ruling on petitions filed by T.Arutselvam, a student of MD (Siddha) and 26 other students in the degree course in Ayurveda. In its impugned order, relating to the Siddha college, the Centre said as against the requirement of 64 teachers, the college had only 60 and as against the bed occupancy of 50 per cent for post graduate courses and 40 per cent for undergraduate courses, the college had only 38.29 per cent. Instead of developing and encouraging indigenous systems of medicine,the AYUSH department’s attempt may be counter-productive and end up with the closure of these colleges, the Centre said. Allowing the petitions,the Judge said the impugned order could not be sustained both on factual as well as legal basis. He directed the AYUSH department to issue fresh orders in respect of both colleges within two weeks, keeping in mind the fact that the institutions satisfied the requirements of regulation 5 (conditions for eligibility of an existing medical college to obtain permission) as it stood today. The Judge said there were 60 teachers in the Siddha College as against the requirement of 61. In the Ayurveda college, there was, however, a problem with regard to redesignation of Tutors as Lecturers which had been subsequently rectified, he said. The petitioners had sought to quash the centre’s order and a direction to allow the students to complete the post graduate course in Siddha and the degree course in Ayurveda. The Director of the National Institute of Siddha, an alumnus of the Government Siddha Medical College, said both colleges had been granted only conditional permission in the previous academic years, but had not fulfilled them. In a counter affidavit, the Director said certain deficiencies pointed out before the cut-off date for admission on October 31, 2011 had not been rectified. By a communication in March last year, it had been made clear that the fulfilment of Minimum Standards Norms should be as on the date of inspection, but not on any subsequent date, the counter said.
Source : Outlook India