College booked for misleading ad on folk medicine course

College booked for misleading ad on folk medicine course

The Department of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (Ayush) has written to Karnataka Folklore University asking for clarification after a college advertised a certificate course with misleading content in a newspaper.

The department has sought explanation on the advertisement issued by Vijaya Karnataka Janapada Vaidya Mahavidyalaya. The advertisement stated that following the one-year certificate course in Folk Medicine at the college, one could qualify and practise as a ‘folk doctor’. Besides, the advertisement read that anyone who had completed SSLC would be eligible for the course and that there is no age bar.

The department, which took note of the misleading content in the advertisement, wrote to the university seeking to understand how one could practise medicine following the one-year course.

In a letter addressed to the vice chancellor, the department clarified: “The Karnataka Ayurvedic, Naturopathy, Siddha, Unani and Yoga Practitioners’ Registration and Medical Practitioners’ Misce- llaneous Provisions Act, 1961, states that no person other than a body or institution authorised by a Central Act or State Act for the time being in force, shall confer, grant or issue or hold himself out as entitled to confer, grant or issue any degree, diploma, certificate or licence which is identical with or is a colourable imitation of any degree, diploma, certificate or licence granted by a body or institution authorised under this Act or under any Central Act or State Act for the time being in force.”

Neck-deep in trouble

At a time when the Ayush department is already neck-deep in trouble trying to pick on quacks, the course in Folk Medicine only seems to be posing a new challenge. Dr Thimappa Shettigar, registrar, the Karnataka Ayurvedic and Unani Practitioners’ Board said, “The course is to help people learn about folk medicine and one cannot practise this for professional gain on completing the course. It would be more useful for those who already have an Ayush degree and it would help further research in folk medicine. The District Ayush Officer has taken note of the advertisement and a case has been lodged.”

In response, the Folklore University has said that it is illegal to publicise that one could offer treatment or assist those treating patients after completion of the course. “The course has been started only with an intention to throw light on traditional knowledge and is open only for enthusiasts who wish to gain more knowledge on folk medicine.”

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