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Tuesday, 16 July 2013

ICMR, Ayush Dept to form joint decision-making body for trans-disciplinary research, practice

With a view to promoting trans-disciplinary research and practice, Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and the Department of Ayush  will set up a joint high-level decision-making body as the Government has already sanctioned Rs. 500 crore for the trans-disciplinary and integrated research during the current five year plan.
The joint panel, that will basically coordinate the efforts in both the sides, will have representation of all research councils in areas of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy so that research and practices could be promoted in the areas of national interest.
Besides, the ICMR with its existing infrastructure facilities will also help scientifically evaluate at least 800 selected outstanding practices already used by the traditional and other practitioners in the country as the Government is keen to integrate Indian streams of medicines into the national programmes for optimal use of the vast infrastructure of hospitals and physicians. 
“Achievement of national health goals requires an integrated delivery of health services utilizing the mutual strengths of bio-medical and Indian Systems of Medicine. The National Health Policy (2002) noted that ‘Under the overarching umbrella of the national health frame work, the alternative systems of medicine have a substantial role. Because of inherent advantages, such as diversity, modest cost, low level of technological input and the growing popularity of natural plant-based products, these systems are attractive, particularly in the under-served, remote and tribal areas,” said the proposal in this regard.
“Trans-disciplinary research and practice require standardization of terminologies and of classical therapies, and development of Standard Treatment Guidelines, which must be taken up as a priority. Also, classical drugs listed in formularies and therapies should be validated for their safety and efficacy, as recommended in the National Health Policy of 2002,” the proposal said.
The ICMR has already tied up with the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) which is engaged in the scouting of traditional practices and grassroots innovations. NIF has database of approximately 80,000 traditional herbal practices from over 540 districts. The necessary funding has been approved for evaluating 800 practices during the current 12th Five Year Plan as the present century is going to be that of herbal drug discovery.


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