AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

[pib] National Institute of Sowa Rigpa (NISR)PIB


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” 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 PortalPIB


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



  • 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 KudineerPriority 1


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


  • 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.
AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

[pib] Ayurveda Day celebrated throughout the Country on 5th NovemberPIB


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: Ayurveda Day, A-HMIS

Mains level: Need of promoting AYUSH system of medicines

Ayurveda day 

  1. Ministry of AYUSH observes Ayurveda Day every year on Dhanawantari Jayanti (Dhanteras)
  2. This year Ayurveda Day was observed on 5th November 2018
  3. On this occasion, Ministry also organised a “National Seminar on Entrepreneurship and Business Development in Ayurveda” in association with NITI Aayog
  4. The seminar is expected to develop awareness among stakeholders about the business opportunities, encouraging young entrepreneurs to use of modern technologies and modern innovations in business development in the sector and to highlight opportunities at a global level

AYUSH-Health Management Information System (A-HMIS)

  1. It is a dedicated software application for Electronic Health Record (EHR) for the AYUSH systems of Healthcare
  2. A-HIMS was launched across 15 AYUSH units in different parts of the country in the first phase on 5th November 2018
  3. It is expected to revolutionise the way Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy are practised in the country, by inducting modern IT-solutions into these systems
AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

[pib] New Central Sector scheme for promoting Pharmacovigilance of AYUSH DrugsPIBPrelims Only


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

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the Scheme

Mains level: Read the attached story.


Scheme for Pharmacovigilance of ASU&H drugs

  1. Ministry of AYUSH has introduced new Central Sector scheme for promoting pharmacovigilance of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy (ASU&H) Drugs.
  2. Prime objective of the scheme is to develop the culture of documenting adverse effects and undertake safety monitoring of ASUH drugs and surveillance of misleading advertisements appearing in the print and electronic media.
  3. The scheme intends to facilitate the establishment of three-tier network of National Pharmacovigilance Centre (NPvCC), Intermediary Pharmacovigilance Centres (IPvCCs) and Peripheral Pharmacovigilance Centres (PPvCC).
  4. All India Institute of Ayurveda, New Delhi, an autonomous body under the Ministry of AYUSH, has been designated as National Pharmacovigilance Centre for coordinating various activities of the initiative.

Implementation of Scheme

  1. In the initial phase of implementation, five National Institutes of AYUSH are designated as the Intermediary Pharmacovigilance Centres.
  2. Another forty two institutions of AYUSH having clinical facilities are designated as Peripheral Pharmacovigilance Centres
  3. These will take up the work of reporting, documentation, analysis, causality assessment of the adverse reactions and events associated with the consumption of ASUH drugs.
  4. It is intended to have more such centres across the country and achieve the target of 100 peripheral Pharmacovigilance centres by 2020.
  5. Representatives of Central Drug Standards Control Organisation as the national drug regulatory authority and the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission being the WHO Collaborating Centre for Pharmacovigilance in the country are associated in the initiative as mentor and guide.

Why such scheme needed?

  1. The quality issues and safety concerns of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy Drugs have been raised from various sources.
  2. The Ministry felt it necessary in the interest of Public Health to oversee the impact of ASU&H Drugs consumed by the people from the perspective of their safety profile.
  3. Similarly, publicizing improper drug information in the form advertisements is a matter of concern that needs to be addressed to safeguard the interest of AYUSH drug consumers.
  4. Pharmacovigilance initiative will facilitate detection of potentially unsafe ASU&H medicines and misleading advertisements for taking regulatory action against them.
AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

[pib] Special AYUSH Clinics for the ElderlyPIBPrelims Only


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: NAM

Mains level: Govt measures to ensure healthcare facilities for the elderly population


  1. The Government provides optimum services to the elderly under AYUSH system of medicines.
  2. As Health is a State subject, the opening of a special clinic for elder persons in villages comes under the purview of the respective State/UT Government.
  3. Under Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM), there is a provision of financial assistance to the States/UTs for setting up of up to 50-bedded integrated AYUSH Hospitals and for the establishment of AYUSH facility in Primary Health Centres (PHCs).

Geriatric Care under National AYUSH Mission (NAM)

  1. Under NAM there is a provision of the supply of essential drugs to the AYUSH hospitals and dispensaries through which the public including elderly persons can avail free services.
  2. In addition, Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), an autonomous organization under Ministry of AYUSH is providing health services to the elderly persons through its 23 Clinical units (Special Geriatric Clinics) located throughout the country.
  3. Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy, an autonomous organization under Ministry of AYUSH is providing health services to the elderly persons through its 23 research centres and 8 peripheral Out Patient Departments (OPDs) located throughout the country.
  4. Central Council for Research in Siddha (CCRS), an autonomous organization under Ministry of AYUSH is also providing Geriatric special Out-Patient services.
  5. Further, National Institute of Siddha (NIS), an autonomous organization under Ministry of AYUSH also conducts a special OPD for elderly persons where Geriatric patients are exempted from payment of Indoor-Patient Department (IPD) charges.


National AYUSH Mission

  1. 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.
  2. 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 Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani & Homoeopathy (ASU &H) drugs and sustainable availability of ASU & H raw-materials.
  1. It envisages flexibility of implementation of the programmes which will lead to a substantial participation of the State Governments/UT.
  2. The NAM contemplates the establishment of a National Mission as well as corresponding Missions in the State level.
AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

Centre funding 16 yoga research projects

  1. News: The Department of Science and Technology has funded a wide range of research institutions to study the efficacy of yoga
  2. And also to see whether it has a role in alleviating stroke, type-2 diabetes, Parkinson’s and schizophrenia
  3. Institutions: Include the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and the Haridwar-based Patanjali Research Foundation
  4. SATYAM: An acronym for Science and Technology of Yoga and Medicine, has been conceived to develop good science around yoga and has nothing to do with religious beliefs
AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

AYUSH drugs to get trial guidelines

  1. Context: To bring research on Ayurvedic drugs and formulations closer to practices in Western medicine
  2. Indian Council of Medical Research has released a set of guidelines in testing medicine from AYUSH schools
  3. The ICMR guidelines are not a precursor to a law though adherence to them is required by India’s drug regulator to grant permission for trials
  4. Sun Pharma is said to have entered into a deal to develop a herbal drug for dengue earlier this year.
AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

50,000 yoga professionals to be certified in 3 years

  1. Commerce Ministry: Standards in services sectors will soon be made a critical component at the levels of the Union and the State governments with particular focus initially on yoga and healthcare
  2. Capacity building: Govt & Quality Council of India (QCI) are aiming to certify around 50,000 yoga professionals within the next three years for Level 1 and Level 2
  3. Accreditation: An incentive scheme would be conceptualised for accreditation of smaller hospitals
  4. Aim: To ensure that accreditation reaches all hospitals including smaller hospitals [tier 2, tier 3 levels]
  5. Earlier: The Ministry of AYUSH and QCI had announced a scheme for voluntary certification of yoga professionals in June 2015
  6. So far, a little over 10,000 yoga professionals have registered for it, out of which 300 have been granted the certification
AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

AYUSH set to get international treatment

  1. Ministry of External Affairs will send out groups of AYUSH experts to help set up departments of AYUSH in the leading universities of the member countries of the UN
  2. In line with the new scheme, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Indian missions abroad had reached out to foreign governments to host the AYUSH experts
  3. Aim: Imparting skills to the local population so that they can include AYUSH in their educational institutes and societies
  4. The initiative found quick response from Iraq, Colombia and Reunion Island, which will soon be hosting AYUSH experts
AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

AYUSH Ministry rails against global study on homeopathy

  1. Context: NHMRC study on Homeopathy
  2. NMHRC: National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia’s top medical research organisation
  3. Finding: Homeopathy is no more effective than a placebo
  4. Ministry of AYUSH: Criticised the study for using an unscientific approach & methodological shortcomings
  5. Also, the findings are contrary to conclusions reached in India
  6. Effectiveness: NHMRC had not taken up any study on effectiveness of homeopathy
  7. NHMRC had studied a small number of already published papers and reached conclusions
AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

Fixed-dose drug ban boosts hope for ayurveda

  1. Context: Govt.’s decision to ban many fixed-dose combination drugs
  2. News: The sudden clampdown on a number of popular drugs could give boost to traditional ayurveda sector, as there is strong market for ayurvedic products in India
  3. The Ayurvedic Drug Manufacturers’ Association is discussing their prospects to exploit this opportunity
  4. Challenge: The presence of large number of small and unorganised players whose yearly turnover is less than Rs 1 crore
  5. Statistics: The ayurvedic drug market in India is Rs 25,000 crore
  6. Small and unorganised manufacturers constitute almost 88% of the ayurvedic drug market in India
AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

Structured Regulatory Framework for AYUSH drugs

  1. News: Govt has considered setting up a structured central regulatory framework for AYUSH drugs.
  2. Context: Current proposal is to develop a vertical structure for AYUSH in the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization(CDSCO)
  3. Amendment needed: In Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 pertaining to regulation of Ayurvedic, Siddha, Unani, Sowa-rigpa and Homoeopathy drugs have been conceptualized
  4. Regulation: AYUSH drugs are regulated in accordance with the provisions of Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules thereunder
  5. Good Manufacturing Practices and Standards of AYUSH drugs as prescribed in the Drugs & Cosmetics Rules and Pharmacopoeias are
    mandatory for the manufacturers to follow
AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

India and U.S. Partner on Cancer and Traditional Medicine Research Efforts

  1. Conext: First U.S.-India Workshop on Traditional Medicine began in New Delhi
  2. Participants will share current traditional medicine therapies and practices for cancer in U.S. and India
  3. Relevance: This effort underscores the discussions between the U.S. President and the Indian Prime Minister to encourage bilateral dialogue on traditional medicine
  4. Important for: Incorporating more scientific inputs in Traditional Medicines which can help mainstreaming AYUSH systems in patient health care across the globe
  5. India is also collaborating with WHO in the area of Traditional Medicine which will help in achieving international acceptability and positioning of AYUSH systems
AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

Conservation of endangered medicinal plants

  1. Context: To look into all matters related to medicinal plants, Govt has set up National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) under Ministry of AYUSH in year 2000
  2. Function: Working towards conservation and development of medicinal plants, with promotion of medicinal plants cultivation on farmers land to meet the ever increasing demand
  3. Botanical Survey of India: out of 8,000 medicinal plants only 53 species are under threatened categories like Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable
  4. Schemes for development of medicinal plants sector:
  • Central Sector Scheme for Conservation, Development and Sustainable Management of Medicinal Plants
  • Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM)
AYUSH – Indian Medicine System

Integration of traditional Indian Medicine System

  1. Context: Integrate the traditional Indian Medicine System into Modern Medicine system to promote a healthy life
  2. India is famous the world over for its AYUSH systems of medicine including Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa &
  3. Proposal: The AYUSH has proposed the integration of Allopathic & Ayurvedic systems to give better results for treatment of various illnesses

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