New Delhi: The ministry of ayush (MoA) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Thursday inked a pact to promote and collaborate on integrative health research. The cooperation will focus on identified areas of national importance in healthcare for promoting high impact research to generate evidence utilizing modern scientific methods.
This MoU, signed by Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, secretary, MoA, and Rajiv Bahl, director general, ICMR & secretary, department of health research, Union ministry of health & family welfare (MoH&FW), seeks to strengthen research capacity through training of Ayush researchers.
Union minister of ayush and shipping Sarbananda Sonowal and Union minister, MoH&FW, Mansukh Mandaviya were prominent among those present on the occasion.
Sonowal said, “Through the cooperation of ICMR, today, both MoA and health ministry have taken a very far reaching step in this direction.” He added that the India’s traditional medicine system was still facing a major challenge of generating scientific evidences. The research cooperation in integrated medicine is a step forward in providing solution to this challenge and winning confidence of multitude.
Mandaviya said, “Ayurveda is our age old knowledge system, our heritage. Modern medicine has today created a niche for itself. This MoU between both the systems will help traditional knowledge to create a niche. Through this MoU, we will be able to further develop Ayurveda as evidence based science. This MoU will prove to be very important in enriching ayush system of medicines.”
V K Paul, member, NITI Aayog said, “This is an important step from perspective of research based on scientific evidence. Steps will be taken to expand functioning of present Ayush departments in new AIIMS. Currently, they are working as only service department but going forward it will be made department of integrative medicine with focus on academic research.”
This MoU will enable both parties to jointly establish Ayush-ICMR Centers for Advanced Research in Integrative Health at all AIIMS with co-funding. Further, they will explore possibility to work on public health research, take initiatives for addressing diseases of national importance and look at possibilities of conducting high-quality clinical trials jointly on identified areas/disease conditions of national importance with promising therapies of Ayush system to generate evidence for wider acceptance.
The MoU will facilitate looking at the possibility of inclusion of research on Integrative Medicine in the “National ethical guidelines for biomedical and health research involving human participants” by ICMR-DHR. Both parties have agreed to establish a joint working group which will meet quarterly for exploring further areas of collaboration and work on deliverables, formulate and implement joint research projects/programs and allow joint supervision of the activities.
One of the important aspect of this MoU is related to building research capacity, which will be led by ICMR for Ayush researchers. It will develop a curriculum; facilitate the development and delivery of training modules. Ministry of Ayush and ICMR will also design and conduct conferences/workshops/seminars jointly with active participation of researchers interested in the field of Integrative healthcare.
To further augment the cooperation between MoA and MoH&FW, the fifth inter-ministerial convergence meeting was also held today under the joint chairmanship of Sonowal and Mandaviya, In the meeting, issues related to synergy and cooperation was discussed and both the ministries agreed upon many important matters.