Lucknow: The Allahabad high court has quashed the UP government’s decision to admit students to AYUSH undergraduate courses in different colleges of the state through a merit list prepared on the basis of NEET exam for admissions to medical courses.

The Lucknow bench of the court on Tuesday directed the state government to conduct a Common Entrance Test for admissions in Ayush courses and further directed it to complete the admission process by 30 September 2017.

Ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy, unani, siddha and homoeopathy are part of Ayush courses.

A bench of justice D.K. Upadhyay passed the order on a writ petition moved by Amit Kumar and others.

The petitioners had challenged the state government’s order issued on 7 July providing that for academic session 2017-18, the students for AYUSH course would be taken on the basis of the merit list of the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET).

It was argued that the application for NEET was invited on 31 January 2017 which did not mention the said condition that AYUSH admissions would be taken by NEET merit list but all of a sudden, the government issued another order on 7 July, which came as a surprise for AYUSH aspirants.

Besides it, the central government’s order of 26 April 2107 mandated AYUSH admissions from NEET list from academic session 2018-19 whereas it provided that if not possible for session 2017-18, the state government may take admission through a common entrance test.

Considering the circumstances, the bench said, “the state government has chosen to make admission to these courses on the basis of NEET which has taken many students desirous of taking admission to AYUSH undergraduate courses by surprise.

“It has also resulted in denial of fundamental right of their participation in entrance test for the reason that many students might not have made their applications pursuant to the advertisement issued for NEET for the reason that it was never ever made known to them that admission to AYUSH under graduate courses shall be made through NEET even for the academic session 2017-2018," the court said.

The court had asked the state counsel to obtain detailed instruction on the issue on Tuesday. After considering reply of the state government, the court set aside the state government’s order of 10 July 2017.

The court further was of the view that prior to inviting applications for NEET, aspirants were not informed that the selection for admission for AYUSH courses would be made through NEET list.

“Prima facie, the decision of the state government appears to be not founded on any reasonable ground or rationale", observed the bench.