Delhi:Invoking recollections of Mahatma Gandhi’s famous Nature Cure campaign of 1946 at the “Nisarg Upchar” Ashram in Uruli Kanchan village near Pune, the upcoming new campus of National Institute of Naturopathy (NIN), Pune will be called “Nisarg Gram”. Located at a distance of 15 Km from NIN’s present premises at Bapu Bhavan, the new Institution will be future-ready, with many novelties and innovations incorporated in the project per se and the curriculum of the Naturopathy courses.
NIN, Pune, an Autonomous Body under the Ministry of AYUSH is the inheritor of a unique Gandhian heritage, having been developed out of a Nature Cure institution of which the Mahatma was one of the founders. The institution was called All India Nature Cure Foundation and was set up under Gandhi Ji’s leadership in 1945 at the same premises where the NIN presently functions. It was subsequently taken over by the Central Government and structured into the present National Institute of Naturopathy. As NIN is in the process of setting up an additional and larger campus at Nisarg Gram, the Ministry of AYUSH is taking all possible efforts to ensure that this campus is empowered to carry forward NIN’s unique legacy into the future. To start with, the new institute’s curricula will be prepared in the light of National Education Policy, 2020. The curricula will be rationalised to bring about qualitative, pedagogical understanding of Naturopathy and allied disciplines at the UG and PG level.
Bachelors and Masters courses in Naturopathy and allied disciplines will be the focal programmes at Nisarg Gram. NIN is analysing the courses currently offered in Naturopathy in India and abroad with the objective of overhauling the curriculum with inputs from modern scientific advances on the one side, and Gandhian thought relating to health on the other. Consequently, the proposed Bachelors and Masters courses will not be just regular academic activities but will involve multi-faceted exposure to different streams of knowledge with an array ofGeneric Electives, Skill Enhancement Courses and Ability Enhancement Courses to choose from. These courses will be in consonance with the current healthcare demands and will conform to modern scientific standards.
The proposed Doctoral programs in Naturopathy at Nisarg Gram will be the first of its kind and will further strengthen the Naturopathy and Yoga education in the country.With students, teachers and patients all staying in the same campus, the pedagogy will see elements of the Gurukul model being introduced into medical teaching. Imbibing nature will be integral to learning at Nisarg Gram, and the ambience of the campus will be designed in that perspective.
Special initiatives are being put together to make the institute relevant to students from other countries. For example, thanks to Naturopathy’s wide base of therapies and procedures, the in-patient and outpatient facilities of Nisarg Gram will provide ample opportunity for foreign students to take up short-term courses to enhance their medical skills, in various streams. There will be opportunity to join social-work based activities also. Further, since Naturopathy is recognized in many countries, the Indian orientation of the training at Nisarg Gram may attract foreign nationals to take up short term courses which can support their core competencies acquired in the respective home-countries. Thus, the Indian idiom in Naturopathy can emerge as the USP of such short term courses.
The institution will place emphasis on the symbiotic relationship between research and teaching and the need to foster this relationship with respect to Naturopathy. The research activities at Nisarg Gram will provide scope for clinical, basic and literary researches.
Collaborations would be a key strategy for growth and development of the Nisarg Gram institute. Research institutions and other Gandhian instituteswill be roped in as partners for training, internship and mentoring. This will save on infrastructure and staffing for Nisarg Gram. The collaborating institutes in turn will gain from a regular inflow of students and research projects. It is expected that collaborations with disciplines like public health, rural development and other social sciences will take Gandhian studies, especially Gandhian concepts of public health, to a different terrain and foster its growth to global significance.
Courses offered at Nisarg Gram will have a unique feel, thanks to the institute’s future-orientation, science-based approach, Gandhian spirit and social relevance.