Report by India Education bureau, New Delhi: Minister of Health and Family Welfare , Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad here today inaugurated the new office building of the Department of AYUSH. Shri S. Gandhiselvan, Minister of State for Health & Family welfare; Shri Anil Kumar, Secretary, AYUSH; Shri Sayan Chatterjee, Secretary & DG, NACO; Shri P.K. Pradhan, Secretary, Health & Family Welfare; Dr. V. M. Katoch, Secretary, Health Research and DG, ICMR; Dr. Jagdish Prasad, DGHS and senior officers from AYUSH and other Departments of the Ministry were also present on the occasion. Following is the text of the speech of Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad delivered on the occasion:
“ I am extremely happy to be present on this momentous occasion of inauguration of new office building of the Department of AYUSH.
The Department of AYUSH was created in 1995 as the Department of Indian Systems of Medicine& Homeopathy and was renamed as Department of AYUSH in the year 2003.
For any communication, two things are most important; name and address. Though the Department got its name when it was set up and was also re-christened after some time, it had to wait for 17 long years for its permanent address.
My heartiest congratulations to Shri Anil Kumar, Secretary, Department of AYUSH, and his entire team of officers for this achievement.
Over the past three decades, there has been a tremendous increase of peoples’ interest in AYUSH Systems of Medicine in many parts of the world, including developed countries which are home to the modern allopathic system of medicine.
The increasing popularity of the AYUSH systems can be gauged from the fact that the number of AYUSH colleges and registered practitioners has grown significantly over the years.
Today, we have as many as 504 AYUSH educational institutions, including 111 post-graduate teaching centres, where about 27,000 students are admitted annually.
The broad policy support of Government of India has ensured organized development of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy based on their inherent merits and strengths. Recently, the Government has also recognized the “Sowa-Rigpa” system of Medicine, practiced in the sub-Himalayan regions of the country.
Under NRHM, mainstreaming of AYUSH is one of the core strategies to augment effective provision of the health care to the masses and bring about physical integration of health facilities of various systems.
With this strategy, AYUSH services are being introduced in the Primary Health Centers (PHCs), Community Health Centers (CHCs) and District Hospitals across the country with AYUSH doctors being utilized in various national health programs.
The Department of AYUSH, since the past few years have been laying great emphasis on improving the quality of education of AYUSH systems of medicine through normative reforms and standardization.
I am sure that the uniform implementation of these rationalized norms will further improve the quality of teaching and the practice of AYUSH systems.
During the past few decades, there have been environmental, ecological, demographic and epidemiological transitions, resulting in formidable health challenges.
Our life styles have been adversely impacted resulting in various life style diseases which are not easy to cure and require life-long and expensive treatment and management.
The emerging burden of lifestyle diseases is an important subject of multi-dimensional research and I call upon AYUSH researchers and institutions to come forward and undertake Research &Development in order to prove the worth of traditional and time-tested knowledge.
The other major challenge before AYUSH relates to the standardization and quality control of drugs.
In this direction, we have geared up the Pharmacopoeial work of Ayurveda Siddha and Unani drugs by setting up Pharmacopoeial Commission of Indian Medicine and instituting regulatory reforms. Enforcement of Good Manufacturing Practices has been given utmost priority and a Centrally Sponsored Scheme is being implemented to support Licensing Authorities, State Pharmacies, Drug Testing Laboratories and Private Drug Manufacturers for strengthening quality control measures.
The Ministry of Health would like to see that necessary steps are taken in all spheres of Indian Medicine and Homeopathy for their overall development and optimal utilization in dealing with current and emerging health challenges.
Before I conclude, I once again congratulate and compliment the officers and staff of the AYUSH family on this move to their own premises, which is aesthetic and comfortable. It is sure to add to the productivity of the officers and staff and on this historic day, I wish for their continued success.”