Rajya Sabha discusses two bills to promote AYUSH

Rajya Sabha discusses two bills to promote AYUSH

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To provide for a quality medical education system in homoeopathy and to promote Indian systems of medicines, Union Minister Sripad Yesso Naik on Tuesday tabled two bills for consideration and passing in Rajya Sabha.

The Minister of State for Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) tabled the bills in the Upper House that saw a thin attendance of members.

The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2019 was introduced in Rajya Sabha on January 7, 2019. Later, it was sent to a standing committee, which submitted its report in November. The proposed legislation seeks to repeal the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970 and provides for a medical education system to ensure availability of quality medical professionals of Indian System of Medicine, and adoption of the latest medical research, among other objectives.

Another key features of the bill is setting up a National Commission for Indian System of Medicine. The second legislation, the National Commission for Homoeopathy Bill, 2019 too was introduced in January in the Upper House. It seeks to repeal the Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973. It too proposes to constitute a National Commission for Homoeopathy.

It is proposed that the Commission, among things, will frame policies for regulating medical institutions and homoeopathic medical professionals, and assess the requirements of healthcare related human resources and infrastructure. L Hanumanthaiah of the Congress, participating in the debate on the Homoeopathy Bill stressed that once the legislation is enacted state governments should immediately form Homoeopathy Education Boards for a strict regulation and quality education.

He said in order to ease the financial burden on students, provision should be made for admission of students in state institutes. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe of the BJP emphasised the need to revive the ancient practices for medicine and said Ayurveda is an important part of "soft power" demonstrated by India. He also stressed the need for chronicling important documents for Ayurveda students in order to facilitate their research and education. Ayurveda facilities should also be introduced in Parliament for members, he said and added at present it has become a tendency to mock and look down upon some practices, including "gaumutra", but instead more research is required in this field to find out medicinal properties.

Supporting the two bills, Manas Ranjan Bhunia of the All India Trinamool Congress called for adoption of an integrated medical therapy. Vijila Sathyananth of the AIADMK insisted that yoga and naturopathy should not be excluded from the purview of the bill. She suggested formation of six autonomous bodies for each of the Indian Systems of Medicine. The Upper House decided to take up further discussion on the bills for their consideration and passage on Wednesday.