A fiat by Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) directing students to compulsorily pass Urdu entrance examination before seeking admission to Unani course has put the Karnataka state government in a bind. A directive by department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) to introduce this rule from the current academic year as per the above fiat has left the Karnataka Examinations Authority in confusion.
Moving in to damage control mode from media reports in this regard, minister for health and family welfare U T Khader who go in touch with Vijayakumar Gogi, director, AYUSH and sough clarifications said the department is merely acting on instructions from the Council. "Urdu and Arabic is the base to understanding the nuances of this system of medicine based on which the Council has come out with such a recommendation," Khader said. Noting that examination, as and when it is held will be a basic test of a student's knowledge of Urdu taught at the 10th standard level, Khader said he would get in touch with Dr Harsha Vardhan, union minister for health and sort out this confusion. "It does not make sense to implement such a rule without due notice," Khader said, adding the department would appeal to the union minister to defer its implementation by at least three years.
Incidentally, this CCIM passed this directive when the UPA government was in power and this makes the situation all the more piquant for the department of AYUSH in general and the state government in particular. The department wrote a letter to KEA to conduct the Urdu examination leaving the latter non-plussed. Faced with the prospects of implementing it, the minister now feels that it is best left for Dr Harsha Vardhan to take a call on it. Initially directing Gogi to keep the file on this directive pending, Khader later said it makes sense to thrash out a solution by discussing the issue with the union ministry of health. "We can ask the principals of respective unani colleges to conduct the test at their level," he said, adding the modalities of the same will be discussed and implemented so as to best protect the interests of students who opt for unani course through Common Entrance Test.