Ministry of Ayush funds Rs.300 crore for International Research Institute of Ayurveda

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Ministry of Ayush is on an aggressive mode to spur expansion of ayurveda. The latest on its initiative is the International Research Institute of Ayurveda (IRIA), being founded at Kannur in Kerala.

The efforts to grow Ayush systems is palpable. For instance, the International Research Institute of Ayurveda (IRIA), being founded in Kannur, Kerala is the kind of developments on expects to see. “With funds to the tune of Rs.300 crore from state and Central funds, the institute will focus on standards of ayurveda-based medicines. The project is expected to be completed in the 13th Five Year Plan period spanning between 2017 and 2022, Dr. Madan Thangavelu, trustee, Research Council for Complementary Medicine, University of Cambridge, UK told Pharmabiz.

Following the World Ayurveda Congress in New Delhi in November 2014, the formation of a new Ministry and the appointment of a Minister with independent charge are major steps in the promotion of Ayush systems in the country. With increased budgets together with well prepared concept notes and Cabinet notes with demands for newer projects we expect to see many more such activities and developments in the years ahead, he added.

The dialogue with the insurance industry in India has matured and an elaborate list of ayurvedic treatments will now be covered by several insurance companies, said Dr. Thangavelu.

The International Research Institute of Ayurveda, and others such large institutions like the All India Institute of Ayurveda, New Delhi will be looking to explore, discuss and develop large collaborative research projects with teams across the globe related to basic, applied and clinical ayurveda.

Outside India, the Ayush ministry has been extremely proactive organising events like the 2nd European Ayurveda Congress in Koblenz, Germany (October 2016), European Ayurveda Association a the annual symposium and the recently concluded event at London. An Indian ministerial delegation were in Riga, Latvia for the 75th Anniversary of the University of Latvia.

From the perspectives of Ayurveda in academic circles internationally, the Ministry’s Chair for Ayurveda is fully functional in the University of Debrecen in Hungary. The second appointee, Prof. Asmita Wele, an expert in Ayurveda’s Rasa Shastra, took charge in November 2016. Discussions are underway to establish an Institute of Ayurveda in Hungary. Similar academic chairs are now operation in South Africa, Caribbean Far East and South America. These are large and complex operations that require the co-ordinate actions with different countries.

Compared to the potential benefits to be harvested both nationally and globally, it is clear that Ayurveda & other Ayush systems like Siddha will take a few more years to mature to capture this space. There is clearly inadequate patronage among the potential beneficiaries and the policy makers. Scarce support systems and quality issues has led to delays in acceptance. This situation might prevail for some more years but is transforming and will change even more rapidly. For instance, with help of very high quality ‘homegrown’ research efforts like the IRIA, in Kannur will bolster the growth of the sector, he noted.

Organising events outside India and as Silver Sponsors of the World Congress Integrative Medicine & Health 2017 in Berlin from May 3-5th 2017 can only attract further attention to enhance the much needed energies for Ayurveda and Ayush systems in India too, said Dr. Thangavelu.

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