NEW DELHI: A Bill to recognise Sowa-Rigpa system of medicine — practised in sub-Himalayan regions — within the definition of Indian medicine was passed in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
Replying to the discussion on the Bill, the Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said: “Legalising (Sowa-Rigpa) will enable the states concerned to avail of support to upgrade the facilities”.
He said steps would be taken for research and development of Sowa-Rigpa system of medicine with a regulatory body in place.
Dismissing charges of members that it was being done under pressure of MNCs, Azad said it was implemented by the National Medicinal Plant Board.
He said a taskforce has been set up by the ministry to reach out to inaccessible areas and places where tribals live to identify their system of medicine and practitioners.
Sowa-Rigpa system of medicine is practised in sub-Himalayan region and other parts of the country besides Tibet, Mongolia, Japan and some other countries.
Azad said the Bill would ensure protection and preservation of this ancient system of medicine and would help its propagation and development. Besides, it would lead to the setting up of a regulatory mechanism in the field of education and practice of Sowa-Rigpa.
The Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill seeks to include Sowa-Rigpa along with ayurveda, siddha and unani medicine, set minimum standards for education, and maintain a register of all practitioners in these fields. The Bill seeks to include registered practitioners of Sowa-Rigpa in the Council.