12 Aug 2012

Propagation of Ayush in Foreign Countries

he Department of AYUSH has stepped up its activities to achieve its mandate in certain specific areas such as improvement of educational standards, strengthening of the regulatory mechanism, protection of consumers’ interests, quality control, research and for propagation of AYUSH
on the international front. This was stated by Shri Anil Kumar, Secretary, AYUSH in New Delhi today. 
Addressing media persons, he said that within a short time frame, the Department has streamlined the system of dealing with applications received from Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani educational institutions for taking student admissions. Procedures have been streamlined to make the annual inspections of the educational institutions more effective inducing institutions to improve their infrastructure. The impact of the various measures taken has already percolated down to the colleges which are making concerted efforts to improve their functioning, thus having a beneficial impact on the quality of education. For the first time ever, Minimum Standard Requirements for Ayurveda colleges have been notified. Similar standards for other streams of medicines are also under preparation. Improvements have also been brought about in the Homoeopathic education stream, and the existing Regulations are being re-examined through the Regulator CCH in consultation with the State Governments to rationalize the requirements for educational institutions. Concerted efforts have been made within the last two years to bring about functional improvements in both the regulatory bodies (i.e. CCIM, the Central Council of Indian Medicine and CCH, the Central Council of Homoeopathy) which together oversee the functioning of over 500 colleges in the streams of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy. Such steps have included the holding of elections in the CCIM as per the directions of the Judiciary by adopting innovative steps to ensure that elections took place, which in many cases have been held after a gap of more than 15 years. Elections in the CCH are currently underway. For the first time ever after their publication in 1975, the Rules governing the elections to the regulatory bodies have been amended to remove ambiguities in the conduct and procedure of elections. 
Recognizing the felt need to more effectively protect the interests of consumers and patients, he said that the Department of AYUSH has taken a series of measures in the recent past to deal with quality control issues of ASU and H drugs. These include notification of the shelf life for the ASU (Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani) medicines, amendment in the labelling and licensing provisions, imposing a legal ban on the misleading use of prefixes or suffixes in ASU medicines, initiating action for setting up of a more effective central regulatory mechanism etc. Such measures have been taken by the Department notwithstanding that the major licensing and other powers vest with the State Governments under the relevant legislations. 
To enable the numerous Central Research Councils and National Institutes to develop themselves and to deliver their specified mandates more effectively, the Department has given complete functional autonomy to these organizations since early 2011. Support has also been provided to strengthen the institutional and infrastructural capacities of these organizations. All the schemes implemented by the Department were also revised in 2011 to ensure their better implementation in a more clear and transparent manner, and with greater accountability. 
Shri Kumar said that the Department has re-defined its strategy for International Cooperation. In addition to taking part in seminars and conferences, the Department is now increasingly engaging with other countries in a more structured and concrete manner by entering into MoUs for cooperation in Traditional Medicine as well as for setting up of Academic Chairs in educational institutions abroad. Thus as compared to the previous years where only one MoU had been signed with China in 2008, MoUs on Traditional Medicine have already been entered into with Malaysia and Trinidad & Tobago in the recent past. An MoU with Nepal is currently under Government’s consideration. Furthermore, MoUs with Nepal and Serbia are also in the pipeline. In addition, Academic Chairs have already been set up in South Africa, and are in the process of being set up in Germany and Trinidad & Tobago. Chairs will also be set up in Nepal and Sri Lanka after the MoUs have been signed. 

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