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    Aim is to integrate Ayurveda with Modern Medicine say Health Minister at Arogya Expo

    health ministerThe Govt will set up an exclusive drug control department to facilitate Research and development, monitor quality control and standardize the manufacturing of medicinal products of Ayurveda and other traditional Indian treatment systems, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said.

    "Under the newly created AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) Mission, centre would provide funding support to states wanting to set up manufacturing facilities and create manpower for the traditional medicine industry," said Vardhan at the inauguration of the Arogya Expo organised alongside the 6th World Ayurveda Congress in New Delhi on 06-11-2014. 

    "The chief objective of the mission is to encourage integration of Ayush with modern medicine and create a holistic healthcare system that can be emulated globally and which will achieve the universal goal of health for all, he said. 

    "Ayurveda is not just a matter of sentiment for us. We work with scientific minds and this government is aggressively focused on research," he added. 

    The Arogya Expo, which will continue till 9th November, features 400 stalls set up by leading traditional medicine manufacturers from around the country. 

    It also has 20 speciality clinics offering free consultation and medicines to visitors. 

    The sixth edition of the World Ayurveda Congress, which will be inaugurated on 07-11-2014 (Friday) by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, has 'Ayurveda and Health Challenges' as its focal theme. 

    It is being organised by the Department of AYUSH, in collaboration with the World Ayurveda Foundation and the Delhi Government. 

    Vardhan said the government, which has allocated Rs 5,000 crore to the Ayush Mission in 12th five-year plan, is keen to partner with states in creating state-of-the-art research and development facilities, drug testing laboratories and herbal gardens that will help meet growing industry and market demand for quality raw material and products. 

    "There is growing acceptability for Ayurveda globally and several nations have shown interest in partnering India to popularise it locally. 

    "The government has signed MoUs with several countries. We already have an all-expenses-paid seat reservation scheme for students from South East Asian countries wanting to study at our Ayurveda colleges," the minister said. 

    Nilanjan Sanyal, Secretary, AYUSH, noted that one-third of the world's population lacks access to healthcare. 

    Ayurveda and other traditional systems have great potential to address this lacuna since they already meet the healthcare requirements of 80 percent of the rural population in India. 

    However, these traditional medicinal products have to be validated scientifically for the practitioners to have credibility and patients to have confidence. 

    "The challenges for Ayush are manifold; the industry is very dispersed with around 9,000 industrial units across the country, there is lack of infrastructure, there are quality variations in products from batch to batch, there is minimal R&D which impedes safety and quality trials. 

    "If we can address these, ensure that good manufacturing practices are followed industry-wide and encourage large-scale cultivation of medicinal plants we can achieve a quantum leap in product quality," he said. 

    The sixth edition of the WAC is the largest such event, with nearly 4,000 participants, including 200 international delegates from 24 countries. 

    Seven Ayurveda Universities and 270 Ayurveda colleges are participating in the Congress. 

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