♣ Rajya Sabha okays Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill

The Rajya Sabha today passed by a voice vote the Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2010, for mainstreaming and regulating standards of local systems of medicines like Unani, Ayurveda and Siddha systems of medicine, particularly of the sub-Himalayan region.

Replying to the debate on the Bill, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad gave an assurance that a task force was being set up headed by Ranjit Ray Chowdhury to recommend integration of Siddha, Unani, Ayurveda and related systems of medicines.

The minister told members that under the Bill, grant-in-aid would be routed through state governments for the purpose.

Of the total Rs 800 crore budget allocated to his ministry, Rs 100 crore would be spent on Ayush systems comprising Ayurvedic, Yoga and related practices, he said and stated that the quality of research would be maintained in collaboration with top universities.

Recognition of Sowa Rigpa system of Indian medicine, practiced in sub-Himalayan region, will also lead to setting up of a regulatory mechanism, he said.

Noting the members’ concerns, the minister said to prevent bio piracy, the department of Ayush had set up traditional digital knowledge library of practices available with local communities and signed agreements with Western countries to prevent patents.

Earlier, moving the Bill for consideration, the Minister said the amendment to various provisions of the Act was required to legalise Sowa-Rigpa as a system of Indian medicine.

”This will also enable the protection and preservation of this ancient system of medicine and will help its propagation and development.

He said the recognition of… picking up from para five, line one of Par17, Medicine Central Council RS.



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