AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Biological Diversity Act, 2002

Mains level : Proposed amendments and issues

A senior parliamentarian has expressed concern over the Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which is in the final stages of consultations in the Joint Parliamentary Committee.

What is the news?

  • The Bill amends the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 to simplify compliance requirements for domestic companies.
  • The MP questioned the exemption given to AYUSH practitioners from the provisions of the law.
  • This exemption could open the law for abuse.

Biological Diversity Act, 2002: A quick recap

  • The BDA, 2002 was enacted for the conservation of biological diversity and fair, equitable sharing of the monetary benefits from the commercial use of biological resources and traditional knowledge.
  • The main intent of this legislation is to protect India’s rich biodiversity and associated knowledge against their use by foreign individuals.
  • It seeks to check biopiracy, protect biological diversity and local growers through a three-tier structure of central and state boards and local committees.
  • The Act provides for setting up of a National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs) and Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) in local bodies.
  • The NBA will enjoy the power of a civil court.

What are the proposed Amendments?

The amendment bill seeks to reduce the pressure on wild medicinal plants by encouraging the cultivation of medicinal plants. The bill:

  • Biological resources sharing: Exempts Ayush practitioners from intimating biodiversity boards for accessing biological resources or knowledge (Vaids and Hakims)
  • Research promotion: Facilitates fast-tracking of research, simplify the patent application process
  • Decriminalization: Decriminalises certain offences
  • Bring in foreign investment: Seeks to bring more foreign investments in biological resources, research, patent and commercial utilisation, without compromising the national interest

Need for the Amendment

  • Simplifying process: Concerns were raised by Ayush medicine, seed, industry and research sectors urging the government to simplify, streamline the profession.
  • Easing compliance: They urged govt to reduce the compliance burden to provide for a conducive environment for collaborative research and investments.
  • Access and Benefit-sharing: It also sought to simplify the patent application process, widen the scope of access and benefit-sharing with local communities.
  • Exemptions: Ayush practitioners have been exempted from the ambit of the Act, a huge move because the Ayush industry benefits greatly from biological resources in India.
  • Certain offences: Violations of the law related to benefit-sharing with communities, which are currently treated as criminal offences and are non-bailable, have been proposed to be made civil offences.
  • Imbibing Nagoya Protocol: This bill provides to reconcile the domestic law with free prior informed consent requirements of the 2010 Nayogya Protocol on ABS.

Criticisms of the bill

  • No consultation: The bill has been introduced without seeking public comments as required under the pre-legislative consultative policy.
  • No profit-sharing: There are ambiguous provisions in the proposed amendment to protect, conserve or increase the stake of local communities in the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity.
  • Commercialization: Activists say that the amendments were done to “solely benefit” the AYUSH Ministry.
  • Loopholes to Biopiracy: The Bill would mean AYUSH manufacturing companies would no longer need to take approvals.
  • Ignoring Bio-utilization: The bill has excluded the term Bio-utilization which is an important element in the Act.  Leaving out bio utilization would leave out an array of activities like characterization, incentivisation and bioassay which are undertaken with commercial motive.
  • Exotic plants cultivation: The bill also exempts cultivated medicinal plants from the purview of the Act but it is practically impossible to detect which plants are cultivated and which are from the wild.
  • De-licensing: This provision could allow large companies to evade the requirement for prior approval or share the benefit with local communities.

Back2Basics: Access and Benefit-Sharing

  • India is a party to the Convention of Biological Diversity, and the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing.
  • It is mandated that benefits derived from the use of biological resources are shared in a fair and equitable manner among the indigenous and local communities.
  • When an Indian or foreign company or individual accesses biological resources such as medicinal plants and associated knowledge, it has to take prior consent from the national biodiversity board.
  • The board can impose a benefit-sharing fee or royalty or impose conditions so that the company shares the monetary benefit from commercial utilisation of these resources with local people who are conserving biodiversity in the region.

 

UPSC 2023 countdown has begun! Get your personal guidance plan now! (Click here)

AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

WHO & Traditional Medicine

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Traditional Medicines

Mains level : Read the attached story

PM Modi, along with World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, will perform the groundbreaking ceremony for the first-of-its-kind WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine (GCTM) in Jamnagar, Gujarat.

What is Traditional Medicine?

  • The WHO describes traditional medicine as the total sum of the “knowledge, skills and practices indigenous and different cultures have used over time to maintain health and prevent, diagnose and treat physical and mental illness”.
  • Its reach encompasses ancient practices such as acupuncture, ayurvedic medicine and herbal mixtures as well as modern medicines.
  • According to WHO estimates, 80% of the world’s population uses traditional medicine.

Traditional medicine in India

  • It is often defined as including practices and therapies — such as Yoga, Ayurveda, Siddha — that have been part of Indian tradition historically, as well as others — such as homeopathy — that became part of Indian tradition over the years.
  • Ayurveda and yoga are practised widely across the country.
  • The Siddha system is followed predominantly in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
  • The Sowa-Rigpa System is practised mainly in Leh-Ladakh and Himalayan regions such as Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling, Lahaul & Spiti.

What will the GCTM be about?

  • The GCTM will aim to focus on evidence-based research, innovation, and data analysis to optimise the contribution of traditional medicine to global health.
  • Its main focus will to develop norms, standards and guidelines in technical areas relating to traditional medicine.
  • It will seek to set policies and standards on traditional medicine products and help countries create a comprehensive, safe, and high-quality health system.
  • The GCTM will support efforts to implement the WHO’s Traditional Medicine Strategy (2014-23).
  • It will serve as the hub, and focus on building a “solid evidence base” for policies and “help countries integrate it as appropriate into their health systems”.

Why has the WHO felt the need to advance knowledge of traditional medicine?

  • Almost all WHO members have reported widespread use of traditional medicine.
  • These member states have asked for its support in creating a body of reliable evidence and data on traditional medicine practices and products.
  • The WHO has found that the national health systems and strategies do not yet fully integrate traditional medicine workers, accredited courses and health facilities.
  • It has stressed the need to conserve biodiversity and sustainability as about 40% of approved pharmaceutical products today derive from natural substances.
  • It has referred to modernization of the ways traditional medicine is being studied. Artificial intelligence is now used to map evidence and trends in traditional medicine.

 

UPSC 2022 countdown has begun! Get your personal guidance plan now! (Click here)

AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

Biological Diversity Amendment Bill, 2021

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nagoya Protocol, BDA, 2002

Mains level : Read the attached story

The government has introduced the Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021 which seeks to facilitate access to biological resources and traditional knowledge by the Indian traditional medicine sector.

Biological Diversity Act, 2002: A quick recap

  • The BDA, 2002 was enacted for the conservation of biological diversity and fair, equitable sharing of the monetary benefits from the commercial use of biological resources and traditional knowledge.
  • The main intent of this legislation is to protect India’s rich biodiversity and associated knowledge against their use by foreign individuals.
  • It seeks to check biopiracy, protect biological diversity and local growers through a three-tier structure of central and state boards and local committees.
  • The Act provides for setting up of a National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs) and Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) in local bodies.
  • The NBA will enjoy the power of a civil court.

What are the proposed Amendments?

The bill seeks to reduce the pressure on wild medicinal plants by encouraging the cultivation of medicinal plants. The bill:

  • Biological resources sharing: Exempts Ayush practitioners from intimating biodiversity boards for accessing biological resources or knowledge (Vaids and Hakims)
  • Research promotion: Facilitates fast-tracking of research, simplify the patent application process
  • Decriminalization: Decriminalises certain offences
  • Bring in foreign investment: Seeks to bring more foreign investments in biological resources, research, patent and commercial utilisation, without compromising the national interest

Need for the Amendment

  • Simplifying process: Concerns were raised by Ayush medicine, seed, industry and research sectors urging the government to simplify, streamline the profession.
  • Easing compliance: They urged govt to reduce the compliance burden to provide for a conducive environment for collaborative research and investments.
  • Access and Benefit-sharing: It also sought to simplify the patent application process, widen the scope of access and benefit-sharing with local communities.
  • Exemptions: Ayush practitioners have been exempted from the ambit of the Act, a huge move because the Ayush industry benefits greatly from biological resources in India.
  • Certain offences: Violations of the law related to benefit-sharing with communities, which are currently treated as criminal offences and are non-bailable, have been proposed to be made civil offences.
  • Imbibing Nagoya Protocol: This bill provides to reconcile the domestic law with free prior informed consent requirements of the 2010 Nayogya Protocol on ABS.

Criticisms of the bill

  • No consultation: The bill has been introduced without seeking public comments as required under the pre-legislative consultative policy.
  • No profit-sharing: There are ambiguous provisions in the proposed amendment to protect, conserve or increase the stake of local communities in the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity.
  • Commercialization: Activists say that the amendments were done to “solely benefit” the AYUSH Ministry.
  • Loopholes to Biopiracy: The Bill would mean AYUSH manufacturing companies would no longer need to take approvals.
  • Ignoring Bio-utilization: The bill has excluded the term Bio-utilization which is an important element in the Act.  Leaving out bio utilization would leave out an array of activities like characterization, incentivisation and bioassay which are undertaken with commercial motive.
  • Exotic plants cultivation: The bill also exempts cultivated medicinal plants from the purview of the Act but it is practically impossible to detect which plants are cultivated and which are from the wild.
  • De-licensing: This provision could allow large companies to evade the requirement for prior approval or share the benefit with local communities.

Back2Basics: Access and Benefit-Sharing

  • India is a party to the Convention of Biological Diversity, and the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing.
  • It is mandated that benefits derived from the use of biological resources are shared in a fair and equitable manner among the indigenous and local communities.
  • When an Indian or foreign company or individual accesses biological resources such as medicinal plants and associated knowledge, it has to take prior consent from the national biodiversity board.
  • The board can impose a benefit-sharing fee or royalty or impose conditions so that the company shares the monetary benefit from commercial utilisation of these resources with local people who are conserving biodiversity in the region.

 

UPSC 2022 countdown has begun! Get your personal guidance plan now! (Click here)

AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

Colourful molecules of turmeric

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Turmeric

Mains level : NA

Researchers have come forward with some interesting findings on Turmeric.

Turmeric

  • Turmeric has about 3% of the active component molecule called curcumin, a polyphenol diketone (and not a steroid).
  • Researchers point out that there is another molecule in turmeric called piperine, which is an alkaloid, responsible for the pungency of pepper that we use every day in our cooking, along with turmeric.
  • Piperine enhances curcumin absorption in the body. It gives turmeric its multivariate healing and protective power.

Benefits of turmeric consumption

  • Turmeric has been known for over 4,000 years in the Indian subcontinent, West Asia, Burma, Indonesia and China, and is used as an essential part of our daily food – what the colonials called curry powder.
  • It has also been known as a medicine for ages, and to have anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Herbal medicine experts have used turmeric to treat painful symptoms of arthritis, joint stiffness, and joint pain.
  • They have also claimed that turmeric helps cure acute kidney injuries. Some of these claims need to be checked using controlled trials.

Against COVID-19

  • Most recently, an exciting study has recently been published by a group in Mumbai which shows that turmeric aids in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
  • The researchers did a trial of about 40 COVID-19 patients and found that turmeric could substantially reduce morbidity and mortality.

UPSC 2022 countdown has begun! Get your personal guidance plan now! (Click here)

AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

[pib] SATYAM Programme

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : SATYAM Programme

Mains level : Yoga as a therapy

The Ministry of Science & Technology (MoST) is implementing the Science and Technology of Yoga and Meditation (SATYAM) Programme to explore the effect of yoga and meditation as add on therapy to fight COVID-19.

SATYAM Programme

  • The MoST is implementing SATYAM Programme since the year 2015-16 to promote scientific research in the field of yoga and meditation in order to understand its role in human wellbeing.
  • Its main objective is encouraging scientists, clinicians and experienced practitioners of yoga and meditation, with a proven track record, to submit concept notes.

Themes covered:

  • Investigations on the effect of Yoga and Meditation on physical and mental health and well being.
  • Investigations on the effect of Yoga and Meditation on the body, brain, and mind in terms of basic processes and mechanisms.

Focus on COVID

It shall focus on three dimensions of COVID related illness:

  • Mental Stress
  • Respiratory
  • Immune system

AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

AYUSH Health-Wellness Centres

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : AYUSH Health-Wellness Centres

Mains level : Self-care practices and its benefits

What is the news: The Union Cabinet has approved the inclusion of AYUSH Health and Wellness Centre (AYUSH HWC) component of Ayushman Bharat in the National AYUSH Mission (NAM).

  • A total of 12,500 Ayush health and wellness centres throughout the country will be operationalised within a period of five years.
  • The implementation of the proposal will establish a holistic wellness model based on Ayush principles and practices focusing on preventive promotive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative healthcare by integration with the existing public health care system.

Why such a move?

  • The move is aimed at establishing a holistic wellness model based on AYUSH principles and practices focusing on preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative healthcare by integration with the existing public health care system.
  • The National Health Policy 2017 has advocated mainstreaming the potential of AYUSH systems (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sows-rigpa and Homoeopathy) within a pluralistic system of Integrative healthcare.
  • The vision of the proposal is to establish a holistic wellness model based on AYUSH principles and practices, to empower masses for ‘self care’ to reduce the disease burden and out of pocket expenditure and to provide informed choice of the needy public.

What is National AYUSH Mission (NAM)?

  • Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has launched National AYUSH Mission (NAM) during 12th Plan for im­plementing through States/UTs.
  • The basic objective of NAM is to promote AYUSH medical systems through cost effective AYUSH services, strengthening of educational systems, facilitate the enforcement of quality control of ASU &H drugs and sustainable availability of ASU & H raw-materials.
  • It envisages flexibility of implementation of the programmes which will lead to substantial participation of the State Governments/UT.
  • The NAM contemplates establishment of a National Mission as well as corresponding Missions in the State level.

AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

[pib] ICoSDiTAUS-2020

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : ICoSDiTAUS-2020

Mains level : NA

ICoSDiTAUS-2020 a two-day International Conference on Standardisation of Diagnosis and Terminologies in Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha systems of Medicine was concluded in New Delhi.

ICoSDiTAUS-2020

  • The conference was jointly organized by the Ministry of AYUSH and the WHO at New Delhi
  • It adopted the “New Delhi Declaration on Collection and Classification of Traditional Medicine (TM) Diagnostic Data”.
  • The New Delhi declaration emphasised the commitment of the countries to Traditional Medicine (TM) as a significant area of health care.
  • It further sought the opportunity for including traditional systems of medicine like Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) of WHO which is the standard diagnostic tool for health management across the world.

AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

[pib] National Commission for Indian System of Medicines

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Highlights of the bill

Mains level : Medical administartion in India and its loopholes

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for proposal of Official Amendments in the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2019 (NCIM) which is pending in the Rajya Sabha.

About the Commission

  • The main objective of establishing NCIM is to promote equity by ensuring adequate supply of quality medical professionals and enforce high ethical standards in all aspects of medical services in Indian System of Medicine.
  • The Commission will promote availability of affordable healthcare services in all parts of the country.
  • The Commission has been structured to streamline the functions related to academic standards, evaluation, assessment and accreditation of educational institutions pertaining to Indian System of Medicine.

Composition

  • The NCISM will consist of 29 members, appointed by the central government.
  • A Search Committee will recommend names to the central government for the post of Chairperson, part time members, and presidents of the four autonomous boards set up under the NCISM.
  • These posts will have a maximum term of four years.
  • The Search Committee will consist of five members including the Cabinet Secretary and three experts nominated by the central government (of which two should have experience in any of the fields of Indian System of Medicine).

Functions

Functions of the NCISM include:

  • framing policies for regulating medical institutions and medical professionals of Indian System of Medicine,
  • assessing the requirements of healthcare related human resources and infrastructure,
  • ensuring compliance by the State Medical Councils of Indian System of Medicine of the regulations made under the Bill, and
  • ensuring coordination among the autonomous boards set up under the Bill.

AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

[pib] National Institute of Sowa Rigpa (NISR)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Sowa Rigpa

Mains level : AYUSH

The Union Cabinet has approved the establishment of the National Institute for Sowa-Rigpa in Leh.

Sowa-Rigpa

  • “Sowa-Rigpa” commonly known as Tibetan system of medicine is one of the oldest, Living and well documented medical tradition of the world.
  • It has been originated from Tibet and popularly practised in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia and Russia.
  • In India, this system is widely practised in Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling (West Bengal), Dharamsala, Lahaul and Spiti(Himachal Pradesh) and Ladakh region of Jammu & Kashmir.

Similarities with Ayurveda

  • The majority of theory and practice of Sowa-Rigpa is similar to “Ayurveda” .
  • The first Ayurvedic influence came to Tibet during 3rd century AD but it became popular only after 7th centuries with the approach of Buddhism to Tibet.
  • Thereafter this trend of exportation of Indian medical literature, along with Buddhism and other Indian art and sciences were continued till early 19th century.

Major books

  • rGyud-bZhi (four tantra) the fundamental text book of this medicine was composed by Yuthog Yonten Gonpo who is believed to be the father of Sowa Rigpa.
  • The book is based on indigenous medicine of Tibet enriched with Ayurveda, Chinese and Greek Medicine.

About the Institute

  • The setting up of the National Institute of Sowa-Rigpa would provide an impetus for the revival of Sowa-Rigpa in the Indian Sub-continent.
  • The Institute will also provide opportunities for students of Sowa-Rigpa not only in India but also from other countries.
  • The Institute will be an autonomous National Institute under Ministry of AYUSH with the mandate to undertake interdisciplinary education and research programmes in Sowa-Rigpa.
  • The National Institute of Sowa Rigpa would identify the best treatment – including their standard procedures-within the framework of traditional principle and possible co-relation with bio-molecular western medicine in providing health care facilities to the general public.

AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

[pib] e-AUSHADHI Portal

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development & management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health etc.

From the UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: e-Aushadhi Portal

Mains level: Need of promoting AYUSH system of medicines


News

e-AUSHADHI Portal

  • Ministry of AYUSH has launched the e-AUSHADHI portal, for online licensing of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy drugs.
  • The portal is intended for increased transparency, improved information management facility, improved data usability and increased accountability. T
  • In this direction, this new e-portal is an acronym for Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy Automated Drug Help Initiative. He further added that
  • This portal will aid the licensing authority, manufactures and consumers.
  • It will also provide real time information of the licensed manufactures and their products, cancelled and spurious drugs, contact details of the concerned authority for specific grievances.

AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

Nilavembu Kudineer

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development & management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

From the UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Nilavembu Kudineer

Mains level: Need of promoting AYUSH system of medicines


News

  • The Tamil Nadu government has distributed nilavembu kudineer (a Siddha medicine) concoction to treat people infected with dengue during the outbreak.

Nilavembu kudineer: Healing Dengue and chikungunya

  1. Under in vitro conditions, nilavembu kudineer (a Siddha medicine) was found to provide protection against chikungunya virus while it was effective as a treatment during acute phase of dengue infection.
  2. Dengue subtype-2, which is the most prevalent subtype in India, was used for testing the formulation.
  3. There was significant antiviral activity of the formulation at 3% of human dose onwards.
  4. Currently, there is no treatment for dengue and chikungunya.
  5. The mode of action is antiviral in the case of dengue while immuno-modulatory in chikungunya infection.

About Sidhha Medicines

  1. Siddha medicine is a system of traditional medicine originating in ancient Tamilakam (Tamil Nadu) in South India and Sri Lanka.
  2. Traditionally, it is taught that the siddhars laid the foundation for this system of medication.
  3. Siddhars were spiritual adepts who possessed the ashta siddhis, or the eight supernatural powers.
  4. Agastyar is considered the first siddha and the guru of all siddhars; the siddha system is believed to have been handed over to him by Shiva.
  5. Siddha is focused on “Ashtamahasiddhi,” the eight supernatural power. Those who attained or achieved these powers are known as Siddhars.
  6. There were 18 important Siddhars in olden days and they developed this system of medicine.
  7. The Siddhars wrote their knowledge in palm leaf manuscripts, fragments of which were found in parts of South India.
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments