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Amid Coronavirus scare, the Lok Sabha has passed an Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Bill, which aims to provide the status of Institute of Eminence (IoE) to a cluster of institutions in Gujarat that offer education in AYUSH courses.
In a statement by Union Minister Shripad Yesso Naik, Ayurveda, which originated in India, has been gaining attention across the globe. The Minister of State for AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy), announced that the Bill has been designed with the objective of increasing research in the area. He added that the step will help in bringing light to the hidden capabilities of Ayurveda. The Minister also claimed that the growth of Ayurveda will help in cutting down the expenditure on healthcare.
Through the Bill, the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Jamnagar will be conferred the status of Institute of Eminence. This will be done by consolidating the cluster of Ayurveda Institutes at the Gujarat Ayurveda University Jamnagar.
There are three institutes at the Gujarat Ayurveda University, which will be brought together to form the new IoE tagged institute. The three institutes include the Institute of Postgraduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Institute of Ayurveda Pharmaceutical Sciences and Gulabkunwerba Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya.
Commenting on the promotion of Ayurveda internationally, Union Minister Naik stated that the 14 nations have signed agreements regarding Ayurveda. Meanwhile, 28 information centres in 58 countries are currently working towards the promotion of Ayurveda.
Various opposition leaders welcomed the Bill, however, few urged that the government take more steps towards the promotion of Ayurveda both domestically and internationally. Commenting on the lacking areas in Ayurveda, Dr Shashi Tharoor stated that a large chunk of rural India depends heavily on Ayurvedic products. He added that there has been a dearth in the provision of protecting the practitioners of Ayurveda. He further criticised that the promotion of Ayurveda cannot merely be relied on awarding an IoE tag to one Ayurveda Institute.
Other suggestion also flowed in during the passing of the Bill, where K Veeraswamy of DMK stated that a council needs to be put in place to monitor the practitioners of India’s oldest medical practice. He added that among the ways to promote Ayurveda is to establish a council, like the Medical Council of India, to monitor Ayurveda practitioners. He also added that more journals need to be introduced as well.