AYUSH Systems of Medicine: Latest Developments

IAS Prelims 2023

The Ministry of AYUSH made a number of important strides in the year 2016 to strengthen and popularise the alternative systems of medicine. Only two years old Ministry organised a series of programmes in the direction of providing affordable, reliable and easily accessible medical facilities to the masses.

Schemes were introduced to boost research and MOUs were signed to enhance cooperation with other countries in the field of Homeopathy, Ayurveda and other traditional systems of medicine.

The patient-centric approach of the AYUSH systems of medicine, namely Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha & Sowa-Rigpa and Homoeopathy hold significant potential for finding solutions to India’s public health challenges. The Ministry continued to make special efforts to promote these Systems.


Government of India continues to take global leadership in the observation of the International Day of Yoga on 21st June every year, and uses the occasion to propagate this holistic approach to health and well-being across the national boundaries. In India, an estimated 50 lakh people participated in yoga training programmes of up to 1 month duration held as part of the observation of the International Day of Yoga in 2016, making it an unprecedented exercise in promotion of preventive healthcare in India.

The second International Day of Yoga was celebrated by organising various events concerning Yoga including Mass Yoga Demonstration at National and International level. The main event of Mass Yoga Demonstration was organized at Capital Complex, Chandigarh on 21st June, 2016. Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared two Awards- International and National Awards for outstanding contribution in Yoga. Prime Minister also declared to focus on Yoga for diabetes during the current year.

A National Yoga Olympiad was also jointly organized by National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) under the Ministry of Human Resource Development and Ministry of AYUSH.

191 United Nations (UN) Member-States celebrated the 2nd International Day of Yoga spread across an entire week from June 18-26, 2016.


The Ministry of AYUSH celebrated the First National Ayurveda Day on 28th October, 2016 by organizing the daylong Seminar on Ayurveda & Diabetes.

A Seminar on theme “Ayurveda for Prevention and Control of Diabetes” was organized during the celebration of National Ayurveda Day at Constitution Club of India, New Delhi. A documentary film on ‘Ayurveda and diabetes’, “A Protocol for prevention and Control of Diabetes through Ayurveda” and a Compendium of selected research papers on Ayurveda for diabetes care were released during the Seminar. “Mission Madhumeha through Ayurveda” was also launched for prevention and control of diabetes through Ayurveda.


The Government of India has approved and notified National AYUSH Mission (NAM) on 29.09.2014 which envisages better access to AYUSH Services; strengthening of AYUSH educational institutions, facilitate the enforcement of quality control of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani & Homoeopathy (ASU &H) drugs and sustainable availability of ASU & H raw-materials in the States/UTs during 12th Plan.

The National AYUSH Mission (NAM) inter-alia makes provision for the following:-
1. Co-location of AYUSH facilities at Primary Health Centers (PHCs), Community Health Centers (CHCs) and District Hospitals (DHs).
2. Up gradation of exclusive State Government AYUSH Hospitals and Dispensaries.
3. Setting up of up to 50 bedded integrated AYUSH Hospital.
4. Upgradation of State Government Educational Institutions.
5. Setting up of new State Government AYUSH Educational Institutions including Yoga and Naturopathy in the State where it is not available.
6. Strengthening of State Government/ Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy (ASU&H) Pharmacies and Drug Testing Laboratories (DTL).
7. Cultivation and Promotion of Medicinal Plants.
8. Provision has also been kept for flexible components under.

NAM for which 20% of the resources have been earmarked, an amount of Rs. 331.01 Crore has been released to 33 States/UTs during 2015-16 under NAM. Further, till date an amount of Rs 290.09 Crore has been released to 28 States/UTs during 2016-17.


The Ministry of AYUSH took the following activities to globalized the popularity of AYUSH Systems of medicine:-

A two-day India-US Workshop on Traditional Medicine was organized at New Delhi on 3-4 March, 2016 in association with DHHS, US Embassy, New Delhi. The event would pave way for the future collaborations with US in the field of Traditional systems of Medicine.

The Ministry of AYUSH supported the organization of ‘International Convention on World Homoeopathy Day’, on 9-10 April, 2016 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi organized jointly by the Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) and Liga Medicorum Homoeopathica Internationalis (LMHI). LMHI is an International registered professional organization, committed to development, promotion and research in Homoeopathy in various parts of world through its worldwide network and has representation in different countries.

The Convention provided an excellent platform to deliberate on the existing scenario of Homoeopathy in India and other countries; evolve framework and strategy for development of Homoeopathy; interdisciplinary and international research co-operations; and to promote appropriate integration of Homoeopathy into health care system in different countries.

An MoU for setting up of a Homoeopathy Chair at Yerevan State Medical University (YSMU), Armenia and an MoU on cooperation in the field of Research & Education in Homoeopathic Medicine with College of Homoeopathy (COH), Ontario was signed on 9th April, 2016 during the “International Convention on World Homoeopathy Day” at New Delhi.

The Ministry of AYUSH signed a Project Collaboration Agreement with the World Health Organization (WHO), Hqs, Geneva on 13th May, 2016. Under the agreement benchmarks would be developed for training in Yoga and practice in Ayurveda, Unani and Panchkarma.

The Ministry of AYUSH has signed an MoU on cooperation in field of Traditional Medicine with the Ministry of Health & Sports of the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar on 29th August 2016 in the presence of Prime Minister of India, and President of Myanmar at New Delhi. The MoU will provide a structured framework to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the areas of traditional medicine.

Five AYUSH Information Cells have been set up by the Ministry to disseminate authentic information about AYUSH Systems of Medicine in Israel, Tajikistan, Peru, Russia and Tanzania.

An MoU for cooperation in the field of Traditional medicine was signed between United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Convention, USA and Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian medicine (PCIM) on 24th August, 2016 at Ministry of AYUSH, New Delhi.

The Ministry of AYUSH in collaboration with Ministry of External Affairs, RIS and others organized a two-day BRICS Wellness Workshop at Bengaluru during 10-11 September, 2016. Traditional Medicine / Wellness experts from the BRICS countries participated in the BRICS Wellness Workshop. Simultaneously, a four day AROGYA fair, a comprehensive Health and Wellness Fair showcasing strengths of Traditional Systems / Wellness sector in India as well as other BRICS partner countries was also organized by the Ministry of AYUSH during 10-13 September, 2016 at Bengaluru.

CCRH has signed an MoU with University of Maimonides, Argentina for cooperation in the field of Homoeopathy.

CCRAS has signed two MoUs one each with the University of Latvia and Instituto Universitario del Gran Rosario and The Government of Fundacion de Salud Ayurveda Prema, Argentina for setting up of Academic Chairs in Ayurveda; and two MoUs one each with The TEL AVIV SOURASKY MEDICAL CENTER (TASMC), ISRAEL and University of Alberta, Canada for Cooperation in the field of Ayurvedic Medicine.

Ministry of AYUSH organized the 9th Annual meeting of the International Regulatory Cooperation for Herbal Medicines (IRCH) during 8-10 November 2016 at New Delhi. IRCH has been working to protect and promote public health and safety through improved regulations for herbal medicine across the globe. India is one of the 33 members of IRCH and has regularly been participating in the Annual IRCH working group meetings. The meeting was attended by 17 Member Countries with 33 delegates including 3 WHO officials. Quality of herbal material & products and vigilance of herbal medicines were deliberated in detail for promotion and facilitating the safe use of herbal medicines. The event provided an excellent platform to showcase the strengths of AYUSH systems of medicine.

As a result of concerted efforts made by the Ministry of AYUSH in collaboration with Ministry of Culture and Ministry of External Affairs, Yoga has been inscribed in the UNESCO’s representative list as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on 1st December, 2016 which would further propagate ideas of peace and tolerance in other countries.

The Ministry of AYUSH organized the “BRICS High Level Meeting on Traditional Medicinal Knowledge” on 16th December 2016 at New Delhi as part of the 6th BRICS Health Minister’s Meeting. The High Level Meeting was organized as a follow up to the “Goa Declaration” adopted at the 8th BRICS Summit. There were country presentations from each of the BRICS countries on the status of Traditional/Alternative Medicine in their respective countries followed by the discussions on way forward for bilateral and multilateral collaboration among the BRICS countries on Protection of Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge at International Forum; mutual recognition of pharmacopoeias, practice and practitioners; and import/export of Traditional/Alternative Medicines etc. An extensive deliberations led to finalization of the Action Plan which was unanimously adopted by the BRICS Member Countries.


The National Research Development Corporation has licensed Ayurvedic formulation ‘AYUSH-82’ for management of Diabetes and Ayurvedic Drug ‘Ayush-64’ for treatment of Malaria. Both the medicines are developed by Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) an Autonomous Organisation under the Ministry of AYUSH.

NRDC has licensed five companies during the year 2016 for manufacture of AYUSH-82.

National Research Development Corporation has so far licensed 13 Ayurvedic technologies developed by CCRAS, M/o AYUSH to more than 33 companies in India.


An important initiative of the Ministry for promoting and propagating AYUSH systems is organization of Arogya Fairs, which began in 2001, has spread to all parts of the country. During the year 2016-17, two State Level Arogya fairs have been organized at Shillong & Shimla and two National Level Arogya fairs at Bangalore and Kolkata in collaboration with the State Government and the collaborative Trade Promotion Organizations like FICCI, CII, World Ayurveda Foundation, ASSOCHAM etc.


North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda & Homoeopathy- Shillong has been inaugurated by Honble MOS(IC)(AYUSH) on 22nd December, 2016. It is a state of the art institute consisting of Ayurveda College and Homoeopathy College along with attached hospital is of Ayurveda and Homoeopathy of 100 beds and 50 beds respectively. The objective of the institute is to provide better medicinal/clinical facilities to the people of North East Region and Sikkim.

The following two new Institutes are to be operational during the current year(2016-17):

(i). The All India Institute of Ayurveda established at New Delhi has been conceived as an Apex Institute of Ayurveda with 200 bedded referral hospital for imparting education in the field of Ayurveda at M.D. and Ph.D level.

(ii) North Eastern Institute of Folk Medicine (NEIFM), Pasighat-Arunachal Pradesh: It is the Centre of Excellence and Apex Research Centre for all aspect of Folk Medicine knowledge. The objective of the institute is to provide better medical/clinical facilities in Region

The Ministry of AYUSH has also planned to establish an All India Institute of Homoeopathy at Narela, Delhi, All India Institute of Unani Medicine at Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) and an All India Institute of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy each at Goa and Panchkula(Haryana).


The Ministry has taken a policy decision for processing of the cases of ASU Colleges for grant/denial of permission to take admission in UG/PG courses under section 13C/13A of the IMCC Act, 1970 for the academic session 2016-17.

During the academic session 2016-17, permissions have been granted as per the provisions of section 13A of the Indian Medicine Central Council (IMCC) Act, 1970:

i. To establish forty two new Ayurveda colleges with total 3200 seats in UG (BAMS) course, four new Unani colleges with total 260 seats in UG (BUMS) course and one new Siddha college with total 100 seats in UG (BSMS) course,

ii. To increase the admission capacity by 800 UG (BAMS) seats & 12 PG seats in the existing 32 Ayurveda colleges and by 94 UG (BUMS) seats in existing 04 Unani Colleges, and

iii. To open new Post-Graduate Courses in existing 24 Ayurveda colleges with 330 PG seats.

Out of 297 existing ASU Colleges, the permission for the period not exceeding five years was accorded to 81 Ayurveda colleges, 14 Unani College and 05 Siddha colleges from the academic session 2016-17 and conditional permission was accorded for the academic session 2016-17 to 135 Ayurveda colleges, 23 Unani colleges and 03 Siddha colleges. For the Academic Session 2016-17, permission denied to 36 ASU (31 Ayurveda, 01 Siddha & 04 Unani) Colleges


Five autonomous Research Councils, namely, Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), Central Council for Research in Yoga & Naturopathy (CCRYN), Central Council for Research in Unani Medicines (CCRUM), Central Council for Research in Siddha (CCRS) and Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) with the mandate to under-take research in their respective system are functioning under the Ministry of AYUSH.

Besides major works undertaken by these Research Councils relating to clinical research, fundamental research, collaborative research, outreach programmes, seminar, publications, infrastructure development, the Research Councils initiated a string of actions towards promotion of AYUSH system. Some of the major achievements are as below:-

(i) An award scheme has been approved by the Ministry of AYUSH whereby CCRAS during the Dhanwantri day, conferred honours to pioneers in the field of Ayurveda viz., best research paper award; young scientists award; life time achievement award and best teacher award. Similar award system has been approved for Homoeopathy also.

(ii) Further, in order to establish a merit oriented research work-force; induction of quality researchers for its projects; and help universities and scholars to conduct quality research work, the Ministry of AYUSH has approved fellowship scheme for providing grants to eligible research scholars for pursuing Ph.D programmes from an institute of their choice. For selecting scholars from AYUSH stream, an all India competition is being conducted by the Research Councils, namely, AYUSH NET is scheduled to be held on 8/1/2017.

(iii) To furtherance the cause of education related to AYUSH system, the Ministry has approved starting of M.D and Ph.D programmes at CCRUM’s clinical centres at Srinangar and Hyderabad. The Homoeopathy institute under CCRH at Kottayam have been identified as a potential education centre for mental disease and it has been decided to strengthen its infrastructure accordingly.

(iv) In order to align the system of AYUSH with modern medicines, it has been decided to jointly study the leads available with the AYUSH for drug development. The leads have been identified by experts from AYUSH and ICMR.

(v) During recent years, Ministry has proactively publicised the treatments available with AYUSH system in leading newspapers for prevention and management of dengue and chickungunya. The Central Research Councils have developed guidelines for management and prevention of dengue, chickungunya with their respective system of medicine to counter these diseases. Wide publicity through prominent newspapers have been carried by these councilsduring July, 2016 to October, 2016. CCRH has also developed guidelines for prevention and management in the case of Japanese encephalitis.

(vi) CCRYN through various organisations related to Yoga in the Country conducted Yoga camps throughout the Country during the International Yoga Day. Around 10 Lakh participants benefitted from this programme. Further, during 2nd October, 2016, the CCRYN conducted National Campaign on Diabetes through various Government/ Non Government organisations. A multi-centric trial on diabetes has been initiated through CCRYN at a total cost of Rs. 5.6 Crores.


National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) set-up under a resolution of Government of India, has been implementing the following scheme for development of the medicinal plants sector in the country.


In the collaboration with CDAC- Hyderabad, NMPB has launched an online virtual platform ‘www.e-charak.in’ and a mobile application ‘e-charak’ which could be downloaded through google play store in any android mobile phone. This application and online platform would work to create a trade linkages between buyers and sellers.


In collaboration with Federation of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Stakeholders (EFDMAPS), New Delhi, NMPB is sourcing the monthly Mandi price of high demanded medicinal plants from 10 major herbal mandies of India. These monthly prices are published in website of NMPB for all the stakeholders.


NMPB has supported three national level Seminar/ Workshop/ Conference for a total sanctioned amount of Rs. 15.00 lacs during the financial year 2015-16.

1. A national level seminar namely “National Seminar on “Dissemination of Agrotechnology of important Medicinal Plants Developed through NMPB Issues and Challenges”” was organized at Ch. Brahm Prakash AyurvedCharakSansthan, Najafgarh, Delhi on 28-29th February, 2016 including a Buyer-Seller Meet.

2. A National level Conference namely “National Conference on Agrotechnology, Commerce and Sustainable use of Medicinal Plants” was organized at NASC Complex, Pusa, New Delhi on February 6-7, 2016. Five lead papers of 20 minutes each and 2-4 oral presentations of 10 minutes each.

3. A National level Workshop namely “National Workshop on Agrotechnology and profit-enhancing marketing strategy for Medicinal Plants” was organized at Doon University, Dehradun on 2-3rd June, 2016. The Workshop focused on 15 medicinal plants which are more commonly grown in the Himalayan region and are of commercial importance.

365 days campaign on Medicinal Plants:

As desired by PM Office, a 365 days campaign on Medicinal Plants “to spread awareness” has been launched by NMPB at Jaipur on 20th and 21st August 2016. CEOs and representatives of 21 State Medicinal Plants Board (SMPB) and 450 farmers from all over India participated in the launch of 365 days campaign. The objectives of 365 days Campaign are indicated below:
· To generate awareness about the importance of medicinal plants in masses.
· Plantation of medicinal plants in community, government and private land and

· Involvement of State Government, local people, NGO, Students, Civil Society, other stakeholders of medicinal plants and people’s representatives in the activities relating to medicinal plants.

Published Volume-III of Agro-Techniques for 22 selected medicinal plants.

Published pamphlets of 32 species of medicinal plants.

Guggal trees comes under the category of threatened. NMPB has successfully identified and digitized the Guggal sites of Rajasthan State.