Review of Ministry of AYUSH
- Part 1 -

Press Information Bureau *

RS. 89.92 crore provided for 1,032 AYUSH Health & Wellness centres 91 integrated AYUSH Hospitals being set up - Financial Assistance Provided Integrated Health Research & Scheme (Sihr) in Collaboration with NitiAayog& Invest India drawn up 140 Classical Medicines validated for 70 conditions during 2019 by central councils

AYUSH systems of healthcare represent an important resource for public health in India, owing to their roots running deep into our culture and tradition and the trust that the common people repose in them in different regions of the country. Their relevance is particularly significant in the management of lifestyle related chronic diseases and treatment of ailments of ageing citizens, both of which are growing health concerns of our country.

In the fifth year of its inception, the Ministry of AYUSH embarked on the drive to consolidate the gains made in the direction of popularizing the alternative system of medicine and prepare a robust and all encompassing structure for the same. The Ministry through the year 2019, continued its efforts to mainstream the AYUSH systems, and achieved considerable success in the same.

These efforts covered seven broad areas of activity, namely, Improving Access to AYUSH Healthcare, Promoting AYUSH Research, AYUSH Education, AYUSH Drugs and related matters, Creation of Awareness, Efforts for Globalisation of AYUSH Systems, and Induction of IT into the AYUSH Sector.

Improving Access to AYUSH Healthcare:

The Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM) is the main vehicle for promoting access to AYUSH Healthcare. The scheme supports the efforts of State/UT Governments for the development of AYUSH sector. It has also been decided to operationalize 10% of the Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) of the Ayushman Bharat Scheme through the Ministry of AYUSH through State / UT Governments.

In pursuance to this decision the Ministry has provided Grant-in-aid of Rs. 89.92 crore to 1,032 AYUSH Dispensaries under existing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of NAM to upgrade them as AYUSH Health and Wellness Centres. The Prime Minister launched 10 AYUSH HWCs in the State of Haryana on 30th August, 2019 through digital mode. These 1,032 AYUSH HWCs will make a significant impact in increasing the accessibility of AYUSH Healthcare to the public, even in far-flung areas of the country.

For inclusion of AYUSH insurance packages under Pradhan Mantri Jan ArogyaYojana (PM-JAY), the proposal of 19 Ayurveda, Siddha & Unani and 14 Yoga & Naturopathy treatment packages has been forwarded to National Health Authority (NHA).In order to mainstream AYUSH healthcare services with public health care co-location of AYUSH facilities at Primary Health Centres (PHCs), Community Health Centres (CHCs) and District hospitals (DHs) are being implemented under NAM and National Health Mission (NHM) as well.

Under mainstreaming of AYUSH component as on 30th June 2019, 7620 PHCs, 2758 CHCs and 495 DHs have been co-located with AYUSH facilities, thereby making AYUSH treatments available to the public in different parts of the country.

In order to energise secondary/tertiary health care through AYUSH, the Ministry of AYUSH is supporting the efforts of State/UT Governments for setting up of 50 bedded integrated AYUSH hospitals in the country. Ministry has provided financial assistance for setting up of 91 up-to 50 bedded integrated AYUSH hospitals including 6 such hospitals assisted in the current year.

The Ministry of AYUSH has also assisted 48,050-hectare area of cultivation of medicinal plants in farmer’s land to reduce the pressure on forest and fulfil the demand of ASU& H industries. For this purpose, subsidy has been given to the 56,711 farmers under 1,544 clusters. The Ministry of AYUSH has also supported 190 nurseries throughout the country for distribution of quality planting material.

Approval has been granted for the establishment of the National Institute for Sowa-Rigpa in Leh is an important step in reviving the tradition of Sow Rigpa and making it accessible to larger sections of the population. Sowa-Rigpa is a Traditional Medical system of the Himalayan belt in India.

It has been popularly practiced in Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling (West Bengal), Himachal Pradesh and Union Territory of Ladakh. The setting up of the National Institute of Sowa-Rigpa will provide an impetus for the revival of Sowa-Rigpa in the entire Indian Sub-continent.

The Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY), Ministry of AYUSH in association with Prison Headquarters, Central Jail, Tihar, New Delhi conducted IDY Yoga Training at Tihar Jail for the observation of International Day of Yoga, 2019 where more than 16,000 Jail inmates received detailed Yoga Training based on the Common Yoga Protocol.

The National Institute of Naturopathy (NIN), Pune utilized the occasion of celebration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi to reach out to the public with Naturopathy therapies and practices which were close to the Mahatma’s heart. NIN has taken up a programme to conduct 150 Naturopathy Camps under the theme “NisargopacharMahaotsav”, which will be carried out across India for one year starting from 2nd October 2019.

The first among these camps were conducted in Goa during 30th September to 2nd October, 2019 in which nearly 5000 people participated, and gained from Naturopathy treatment.

Promotion of Research Activities in the AYUSH Systems:

The Central Councils of Research dedicated to Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy, which are Autonomous Bodies making under the Ministry continued to be the mainstay of AYUSH Research. The Central Research Councils of Ayurveda, Unani, Homoeopathy and Siddha together validated 140 classical medicines for 70 conditions during this period, by generating evidence on clinical safety and efficacy.

In a development with huge potential impact for future, the Scheme for Integrated Health Research (SIHR) has been drawn up in collaboration with NITI Aayog and Invest India (AGNI Platform). This will address the untapped potential of integration AYUSH Systems with modern medicine and addressing Public Health challenges through evidence based integrative practices.

An outlay of Rs. 490 cr. is anticipated over two years for this project, which is expected to create a world-wide impact. A high impact Research project on introducing Ayurveda intervention in Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) in Public Health was operationalised in Primary Health Centres of Gadchiroli District of Maharashtra. This will have 10,000 expecting mothers as subjects, a huge sample size for a medical research project.

In this year, the AYUSH Minister Shri Shripad Yesso Naik, inaugurated National Research Institute of Unani Medicine for Skin Disorders, upgraded from the erstwhile Central Research Institute of Unani Medicine at Erragadda, Hyderabad. The Minister also inaugurated the Siddha Clinical Research Unit and Unani Medical Centre in Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi providing avenues for integrative medical research.

The Ayurveda Palliative Care Unit at Palliative Care Centre at Base Hospital, Delhi Cantt., New Delhi is another promising institution that was launched this year. In a significant research activity, the Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy completed projects on studies on Brain Fever(Encephalitis) in endemic area of Guarakhpur and Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever with successful outcomes during 2019.

AYUSH Education:

The Ministry succeeded in steering the AYUSH education sector along a path of growth and modernisation during 2019. Comprehensive implementation of the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) for admission into Undergraduate Courses in all Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy Educational Institutions was an achievement that will have long-lasting impact on the quality of AYUSH education in the country.

The All India Post Graduate Entrance Test (AIPGET) for admission into Post Graduate Courses in Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy Post Graduate Institutions was streamlined held smoothly. It was conducted by National Testing Agency (NTA).

Online Counseling including registration, allotment and reporting for minimum 15% all India quota seat of UG and PG courses were conducted by the Central Government for the first time in 2019, benefitting student-applicants to Government, Government aided and Private colleges, as well as Deemed Universities, Central Universities and National Institutes.

The process of granting permission to AYUSH educational institutions was streamlined, because of which this annual process was completed much earlier than previous years. The 10 National Institutes functioning under the Ministry of AYUSH are of special significance as they serve to set benchmarks for education in their respective disciplines. These National Institutes had an extremely productive year, and have come up with some significant achievements.

The upgradation of National Institute of Ayurveda (NIA), Jaipur is under way, and procurement of 1.37 acres of land for building 2nd campus of NIA, Jaipur finalized. Simultaneously, the application for Deemed to be University status has also been submitted by the Institute to UGC.

The National Institute of Siddha (NIS), Chennai has taken some steps to promote and revive the ancient practice of Varmam. A National Conference on History of Varmam Science in Siddha system of medicine and exploring its therapeutic values was held in August 2019, with tremendous response from the public and doctors. Varmam is found effective for many neurological, degenerative and orthopedic conditions.

NIS also compiled a “Text Book of Varmam Science” containing comprehensive information on Varmam practice. The Institute has also started a specialized OPD for Varmam. During 2019, 10 significant research projects on healthcare and disease conditions like chikungunya, psoriasis etc. have been launched by the different National Institutes.

To be continued ....

* Press Information Bureau wrote this article which was published at The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on February 28, 2020.

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