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In-Depth Jobs


Issue no 31, 29 October - 4 November 2022

"Sky is the Limit for Opportunities in Ayush Sector"

Interview

-Dr Tanuja Manoj Nesari The All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), the apex institute of Ayurveda in India under the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, successfully conducted a six-week long campaign in the run up to the National Ayurveda Day 2022 on 23rd October. The AIIA was the nodal agency for driving the Ministry of AYUSH's mandate for Ayurveda Day this year. The theme for the celebration was 'Har Din Har Ghar Ayurveda'. Speaking with Sidharath Jha for Employment News, Prof. Dr Tanuja Manoj Nesari, M.D. Ph.D (Ayurveda), Director, AIIA, observed that Ayurveda has provided holistic health to mankind since ancient times, and with the ongoing efforts, the day is not far when this ancient system of medicine will be revived in such a way that it will reach every doorstep not only in India but also the world. Giving details about the mandate, academic scope and setup of the AIIA, Dr Tanuja Manoj Nesari, who is also the Chairperson of Health Sector Sub-skill Council on AYUSH, opined that for those interested in the sector, AYUSH offers an unending sea of entrepreneurial as well as professional opportunities. Question: India celebrates National Ayurveda Day every year on the occasion of Dhanwantari Jayanti (Dhanteras). Kindly explain to us the theme of this year's Ayurveda Day and the campaigns that were carried out to promote the theme. Dr Tanuja Manoj Nesari: The theme of this year's Ayurveda day is "Ayurveda Everyday, Ayurveda Everywhere"; with the focus on 'Scientificity of Ayurveda.' This theme is in line with the vision of Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to reach out to the masses and make them aware of the immense benefits of Ayurveda. To promote the theme focus of 'Scientificity of Ayurveda' we have worked 3 J's - J'an Sandesh', J'an Bhagidari' and J'an Andolan'. To further the 3 Js, six themes were selected - (i) Ayurveda for Holistic Health (ii) Ayurveda for Millenials (iii) Ayurvedic Aahar (iv) Ayurveda for Senior Citizens (v) Ayurveda for Mental Wellbeing (vi) Sharing of experiences about Ayurveda. In Jan Sandesh, we focussed on Social Media promotion, messages from iconic cultural personalities, SMS campaign caller tunes on mobile and landline, publicity material on Ayurveda, Radio jingles, TV spots, amplification of messages through Community Radio, FM Channels, short films, hoardings, LED display, Youtube shots, and print advertisements. Under Jan Bhagidari, programmes like Nukkad Natak and LED display at heritage sites, school outreach programmes with the involvement of anganvadis, Nehru Yuva Kendras, NSS (National Service Scheme), volunteers from schools and colleges, alignment of Ayurveda Poshan with International Year of Millets, Quiz/ Competition on Mygov and AYUSH Campaign Portal were carried out. Under Jan Andolan, Ayurnavratna posters at every village Panchayat through Indian Post, Ayurveda Food Festivals, lifestyle advisories at iconic sites and selfie points were put in place. A total of 22 ministries were involved in this campaign.

Question: What is the mandate of the All India Institute of Ayurveda? Briefly tell us about the R&D facilities and faculty of AIIA.

Dr Tanuja Manoj Nesari: The Mandate of All India Institute of Ayurveda is to provide post-graduate/doctoral and post-doctoral teaching, research facilities and quality patient care services under the Ayurveda system of medicine. The Institute also has the sanction to act as a referral hospital and a "Centre of Excellence" to set highest standards of education, research, patient care and also function as a model center for international collaboration, thereby acting as a model institution to show the strength, efficacy and popularity of Ayurveda. The institute will be used for promoting Ayurveda in India and abroad and to provide the services in various specialties like Panchkarma, Kayachikitsa, Vata-Vyadhi, Rasayna, Kayakalpa and many others and their application in a set up that combines the ancient tradition of Ayurveda along with the advantages of biomedicine, current management & information technology tools. The main objective is also to impart interdisciplinary postgraduate doctoral and postdoctoral teaching, training and research in all Ayurvedic specialties and also health and hospital management programmes. It has the entire necessary infrastructure to cater to secondary and tertiary level health care facilities for diagnosis and treatment in collaboration with national and international institutions to give highest priority to explore and explain the scientific basis of various aspects of Ayurveda through collaborative, interdisciplinary research In this direction, the required infrastructure would be developed with the help of various R&D institutions including Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha (CCRAS), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), National Institute for Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) and other national level institutes. Human resources and infrastructure of participating institutions will be utilized in conducting project based research programmes on need specific clinical and drug studies. Mandate is also to develop model teaching tools, demonstration modules of teaching in Postgraduate/Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Ayurveda medical education in all branches so as to demonstrate high standards of education for Ayurvedic institutions. For carrying out this type of research, the institute is furnished with various equipments and needful staff to handle these instruments. Also the faculty of AIIA is highly qualified in their respective disciplines and they are also highly keen on sharing their knowledge with the students as well as the common public.

Question: Kindly give us the details about the academic programmes currently being offered by AIIA.

Dr Tanuja Manoj Nesari: The AIIA is mainly offering PG (MD, MS Ayurveda), Ph.D in various branches of Ayurveda and other courses like diploma in Hospital Management, Panchakarma technician course, etc.

 

Question: As the AIIA has been conceived to become a global hub for clinical research to make Ayurveda evidence-based, what kind of interest has AIIA received from international medical institutions?

Dr Tanuja Manoj Nesari: The AIIA has received interest from all over the globe for collaborative research. The institute has already signed MoU's (Memorandum of Understanding) with various renowned institutions from all over the world like London School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan, and many others. The AIIA receives delegations from various countries with keen interest in Ayurveda and also many faculties of AIIA are invited to different countries to share their knowledge regarding Ayurveda.

 

Question: As India strives to take Ayurveda to every doorstep all over the world; does this necessitate the use of modern technologies in furthering this goal?

Dr Tanuja Manoj Nesari: Yes sure. Using modern technologies to take Ayurveda to every doorstep all over the world is the need of the hour. We see to it that Ayurveda is perceived as classical yet contemporary and tradition should meet the technology. Only then the goal of may be achieved. We will be able to do this under the visionary leadership of Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji, and under the guidance of Hon'ble Cabinet Minister for AYUSH Shri Sarbananda Sonowalji and Hon'ble Minister of State Dr Mahendrabhai Munjaparaji.

 

Question: What are the need and scope for clinical evaluation of Ayurvedic interventions. Kindly tell us about the institutional framework and guidelines that are currently in place.

Dr Tanuja Manoj Nesari: Clinical evaluation of Ayurvedic intervention is needed for validation of classical claims and its scope ranges from single drug to compound formulations to validate the disease specific protocol including lifestyle modifications. Our institute has the Institutional Review Board (IRB) as well as the Institutional Ethics Committee (IEC). These committees review each and every research work which is going to be carried out in the institute and ensure that all the Good Clinical Practices guidelines are strictly followed. All the funded projects also have to undergo review process in order to ensure the scientificity of the studies.

 

Question: What are the important tools used in India for quality control methods of Ayurvedic drugs? Dr Tanuja Manoj Nesari: In India, standards for raw materials used for preparing formulations are given by Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India (API) which is mandatory for all the manufacturers according to Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 and Rules 1945 (amended in 2016). Various techniques are mentioned in API which are to be adhered to receive GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) Certificate for manufacturers. There are different rules for classical formulations and proprietary formulations in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. They are mandatory to follow for every manufacturer

 

Question: One of the objectives of Ayushman Bharat is to mainstream the Indian system of medicine and integrate the AYUSH infrastructure into Indian healthcare system. How far have we come on this front?

Dr Tanuja Manoj Nesari: Under the visionary leadership of Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji, AYUSH infrastructure has also grown immensely with MoU's with other ministries like Railway Ministry and Departments in India which focus on promotion and research in the field of Ayurveda. Taking into consideration the healthcare of citizens of India, various public health projects are also initiated to make Ayurveda as an active part of community health services. Under Ayushman Bharat, various health and wellness centres have been established in which AYUSH is an integral part. In addition to this, outside India also various steps have been initiated like establishing AYUSH Chairs in various countries for promotion of AYUSH everywhere.

 

Question: The AYUSH sector has a huge potential for employment generation. What is your outlook on employment opportunities in Ayurveda?

Dr Tanuja Manoj Nesari: I completely agree that AYUSH sector is full of opportunities for the one who is interested in the field. The opportunities range right from cultivation of raw materials for drugs, marketing, supply of such raw materials to the manufactures and their marketing. Immense opportunities are also there for Ayurveda Aahara for which the government has also come forward to set the norms and published regulations in this regard. Also, various technical experts are also required for industries and laboratories working for quality control of the products. There is immense scope in research and development too. I can say that sky is the limit and ocean is the opportunity is this sector for the one who looks for it.

 

(The interviewer is a Delhibased senior journalist. He can be reached at jha.air. sidharath@gmail.com) Views expressed are personal.