Creating a feel of absolute humiliation to all the stakeholders of Siddha system, all the candidates who took the first Ayush National Eligibility Test (Ayush NET) examination for Siddha for award of Ph D fellowship have failed miserably. Not a single candidate could score the minimum cut-off mark approved by the Ministry of Ayush.
The Ministry of Ayush introduced Ayush NET exam for award of Ph D fellowships for Ayush streams from this year, for which the applications were invited in November last year and the test was conducted on January 8, 2017.
Whereas, other streams in the Ayush – Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani and Homoeopathy have made good results. Most of the candidates took the test for Siddha were from Tamil Nadu which claims to be the hub of Siddha system.
The National Institute of Siddha (NIS) and the Central Council of Research in Siddha (CCRS) are working in Chennai, and both the institutes are doing researches on several areas of Siddha expending huge amount of money from the central government. The total failure of the candidates in the national eligibility test reveals that no scientific training or quality teaching/guidance is provided in these institutes, and the situation demands the attention of the central Ayush ministry in the conduct of each programme going on here.
According to sources, since no candidate of Siddha could qualify the Ayush NET even up to the minimum cut off marks as approved by the government, no rank list of qualified candidates and panel list for consultant, senior research fellows (SRF) and research associates (RA) for Siddha could be made.
When contacted Dr. R.S. Ramaswamy, the director general of CCRS, said he did not know the details of the result and wanted time for verifying.
The research councils under the Central Council of Indian Medicines (CCIM) will select candidates from the panel list for the post of Consultant, SRF and RA. The Ministry has earmarked five fellowships for Siddha this year. Since zero result is there, no Ph D fellowship could be given for Siddha candidates this year.
According to the list of results published by the Ministry of Ayush, 18 candidates have cleared the NET in the stream of Ayurveda, in which 32 posts were earmarked. In Unani, two out of three candidates have cleared the test, and in Homoeopathy six out of 12 have won.
Total 60 out of 937 candidates cleared the first Ayush NET conducted by the MoA in all streams. Total marks for the test were 120, out of which 90 marks for the subject and 30 marks for research aptitude including research methodology and general science.
Responding to the failure of the test, Dr. Arul Amutham, a research fellow in the Manipal University, said most of the Siddha physicians are interested in clinical work, and not interested in research. According to him, the CCRS in Chennai is not providing any scientific guidance to the research fellows and the attention of government is urgently required there.