Under the MoU, both the organisations will jointly pursue R&D covering fundamental research
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Ministry of AYUSH and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for cooperation in research and education in areas of traditional systems of medicine and its integration with modern science. The MoU was signed by Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH and Dr Shekhar C Mande, Director General, CSIR and Secretary, DSIR in the presence of senior officials from both the organisations.
Acknowledging the rapidly growing global interest in traditional medicines, Kotecha addressed the need for multi-pronged and innovative approaches to further promote widespread acceptance of this science. He also said that the combination of traditional healthcare and modern basic science has a huge possibility to do novel and path-breaking researches which can be used for the explanation of various basic concepts.
Appreciating the ongoing collaborations between the two organisations, Mande stated that enhancing the collaboration through joint R&D efforts- ranging from fundamental science to validation, and thereafter product development, will significantly help in the growth of the Indian contributions to this important sector, both nationally and internationally.
In a press release issued by AYUSH, it was disclosed that further efforts of this inter-ministerial cooperation shall include pursuit of data mining and analytics, and artificial intelligence to facilitate concepts such as ‘Traditional knowledge inspired drug discovery and development’ and ‘Food as Medicine’. In due cognition of the upward surge in the usage of herbal medicines and supplements globally, the endeavour of Ministry of AYUSH and CSIR is to bring the organisations under an umbrella understanding for pursuing focused R&D efforts in the domain, the press release stated.
Previously, CSIR and Ministry of AYUSH had jointly developed the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), a globally recognised proprietary database on Indian systems of medicine for preventing bio-piracy and misappropriation of India’s traditional knowledge. The two institutes have also supported each other in the development of improved varieties and captive cultivation of the medicinal plants including rare, engendered and threatened (RET) species, Botanical Reference Standards and Pharmacopoeial standards, and Ayurgenomics, among many others.
Under the MoU, both the organisations will jointly pursue R&D covering fundamental research; AYUSH specific diagnostic tools; linking microbiome, gene expression and prakriti; multi-ingredient herbal formulations, including their standardisation; exploring modern scientific methods for integration with traditional Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM); linking disease signatures; preserving and protecting traditional knowledge related to the Indian systems of healthcare through the existing TKDL platform; and, Development of international standardised terminologies (disease-morbidity codes) in Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani (ASU), Database on Medicinal plants, Foods, etc.