Year-end review: Ministry of Ayush

 Year-end review: Ministry of Ayush
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  • WHO – Global Center for Traditional Medicine – First such center established in India
  • Three National Ayush Institutes of eminence in Ayurveda, Homoeopathy and Unani inaugurated by Modi

New Delhi, Dec 21, 2022: The year 2022 was a landmark year for Ministry of Ayush as it strongly reinforced its vision & mission, effectively, not just at the national but at the global level.

This year has been an epoch making for propagation of Indian tradition medicine national as well as also at global stage. Be it establishment of WHO’s Global Center for Traditional Medicine in India or successful organization and outcome of First Global Ayush Investment & Innovation Summit. These are some of Ministry’s initiatives and achievements among many.

WHO – Global Center for Traditional Medicine (WHO – GCTM), a first such center in a developing country is taking shape in Jamnagar, Gujarat, India. Director General-WHO had announced establishment of WHO – GCTM in India with a vision of “Traditional Medicine for improving global health and achieves Universal Health Coverage” on 13th November 2020. It was fulfilled with laying of foundation stone by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the presence of PM Mauritius and DG-WHO in April 2022 and an interim office made functional at ITRA, Jamnagar in Gujarat.

Creating a history, the India’s first Global Ayush Investment and Innovation Summit 2022 held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat witnessed letter of intents (LoIs) worth more than Rs. 9000 crore in major categories like FMCG, Medical Value Travel (Heal in India), Pharma, Technology & Diagnostic and Farmers & Agriculture. The first ever mega event of this scale in Ayush sector facilitated agreements with international and national institutions and various other sectors, fuelling financial considerations, mutual research and increasing Ayush reach globally.

Many new initiatives in Ayush sector was announced by the Prime Minister at GAIIS 2022. In a major initiative, government announced introduction of a special Ayush Visa category for foreign nationals, who want to come to India to take advantage of Ayush therapy. A special Ayush mark for Ayush products, developing of a network of Ayush parks to encourage the promotion, research and manufacturing of Ayush products across the country. A new category named ‘Ayush Aahar’ was announced which will facilitate the producers of Ayurvedic nutritional supplements.

The year 2022 will be a historic year in terms of creation of Ayush healthcare infrastructure and institutes. Three National Ayush Institutes of eminence in Ayurveda, Homoeopathy and Unani were inaugurated by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. All India Institute of Ayurveda in Goa, National Institute of Unani Medicine in Ghaziabad, and National Institute of Homoeopathy at Delhi from Goa. These institutes will collectively create a pool of quality human resources and availability of trained Ayush professionals. Through these institutes nearly 400 students would be benefitted and 550 additional beds will be added for patient care.

Earlier in the year Ayush building complex at Kharghar in Navi Mumbai was inaugurated, which will house Regional Research Institute of Homoeopathy (RRIH), under Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) and Regional Research Institute of Unani Medicine (RRIUM) under Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM). Union Minister of Ayush Shri Sarbananda Sonowal also laid foundation stone of the new complex of National Institute of Sowa-Rigpa (NISR) at Saboo Thang area in Leh.

A significant step to achieve cooperation and facilitation of “One Herb, One Standard” was taken with the signing of MoU between Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy (PCIM&H) and Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC). This harmonization of standards will fulfill the objective of “One Herb, One Standard and One Nation” and improve ease of doing business in India and also improve overall trade of Indian botanicals.

It is believed this will further facilitate collaboration for promoting exchange of information in the area of standardization of Traditional medicine. The sole authority of publication of monographs will lie with PCIM&H, but monograph(s) developed by PCIM&H and IPC will be identified accordingly; IPC’s contribution in the respective monographs shall be recognized at appropriate place. The technical content of the monographs will be jointly developed by PCIM&H and IPC.

The focus of Ministry of Ayush has been on evidence based research in all Ayush systems. In accordance with this a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Ministry of Ayush and Department of Biotechnology, Government of India for mutual collaboration to explore the possibility of cooperation, convergence and synergy to bring out the expertise under one platform towards evidence based biotechnological interventions in Ayush sector. A MoU was signed between Ministry of Ayush and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) for providing technical support to Ministry of Ayush for digitalisation of Ayush Sector under the Ayush Grid project. Ministry of Ayush has conceptualized ‘Ayush Grid’ Project, as part of the Digital India Program, which leverages ‘Information and Technology’ to transform operational efficiency, improve service delivery and enhance quality of services.

For creating a stronger presence for International Organization for Standardization (ISO) of Ayush, a dedicated Working Group (WG10 – Traditional Medicine) created in ISO under ISO/TC 215 – Health Informatics to formulate International Standards on Ayush Informatics. Taking this further, Talking Group (TG) for AI for traditional medicine has been formed under Focus Group on Artificial Intelligence for Health (FG-AI4H) at W.H.O/ITU-Focus Group on AI in Health. Ministry of Ayush would lead this work together with other traditional medicine partners.

Ministry of Ayush and Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), India’s apex body for food regulation formulated regulations of safety & quality standards for food products under ‘Ayurveda Aahara’ category. This comprehensive initiative will ensure manufacturing of quality Ayurveda food products and help in expanding the international market for Make-In-India products. According to the regulation, manufacturing and marketing of ‘Ayurveda Aahara’ products will now adhere to strict Food Safety and Standards (Ayurveda Aahara) Regulations, 2022 rules. A special logo has been created for “Ayurveda Aahara” category, which will enable easier identification and reinforce quality in Ayurveda food products.

International Day of Yoga 2022 (IDY 2022) returned in physical form after a gap of 2 years due to COVID-19 pandemic. The theme for IDY 2022 was ‘Yoga for Humanity’ and this edition highlight the importance and contribution of Yoga in serving the humanity all over the world, and in mitigating the people’s sufferings during pre and post COVID period. The main event was organized at Mysuru Palace, Mysuru with Prime Minister leading the mass yoga demonstration.

This year saw many new initiatives, the ‘Guardian Ring’ program, which was collaborative exercise between 79 countries and United Nations organisations along with Indian Missions abroad to illustrate Yoga’s unifying power that surpasses national boundaries. Integrating the “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” with celebrations of IDY, Mass Yoga demonstrations were organised at 75 iconic locations across the country. The events saw a massive participation, from over 22.13 crore individuals. The global outreach through the Ministry of Ayush’s initiatives, with various stakeholders, was around 125 crore.

Similarly, the 7th Ayurveda Day was celebrated on a magnificent scale in India and at international level. It was celebrated with the theme “Har Din Har Ghar Ayurveda” so as to propagate benefits of Ayurveda to larger and grass root community. The programme were organised with the aim of 3Js – Jan Sandesh, Jan Bhagidari, and Jan Aandolan and six-week long celebrations saw huge participation from across the country, more than 5000 events were organized by Ministry of Ayush institutes/councils with support of more than 26 ministries of Government of India and Ministry of External Affairs India missions and embassies.

Our Prime Minister has been emphasizing on Holistic Health care approach. This can only be achieved though integration of Ayush system with our modern healthcare. Inter-ministerial co-ordination between Ministry of Ayush and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare generated requisite momentum for achieving synergy and effective coordination to strengthen and fast track process of the integration so that people get benefitted by the extended healthcare services. PM has further reiterated that Amrit Kaal of next 25 year will prove to be the golden period of traditional medicines. The policy initiatives undertaken by Ministry of Ayush will enable wide acceptability of Ayush and it is believed that the Indian Ayush sector will capture a market of no less than USD 23 billion by 2023.

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