Coronavirus pandemic pushed demand for Ayurvedic medicines: PM Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated two Ayurveda institutions to the nation on the fifth Ayurveda Day

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday dedicated two Ayurveda institutions to the nation on the fifth Ayurveda Day via video conferencing and said the demand for Ayurvedic products has increased rapidly all over the world during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Exports of Ayurvedic products increased by about 45 per cent in September 2020 compared to the previous year, Modi said. He said that the significant increase in export of immunity booster spices such as turmeric and ginger shows the sudden confidence in Ayurvedic solutions and Indian spices for health and wellness in the world.

The prime minister said that speciality herbal drinks are increasing and the world's prestigious medical journals are also seeing new hope in Ayurveda. He said during this Corona period, the focus was not only limited to the use of Ayurveda alone but to advance research related to AYUSH in the country and the world.

Modi said that on one hand, India is testing vaccines, on the other, it is also increasing international cooperation on Ayurvedic research to fight COVID. He pointed out that research is going on in more than a hundred places at this time including the All India Institute of Ayurveda in Delhi which has conducted research related to immunity on 80 thousand Delhi Police personnel. It may be the world's largest group study and there are encouraging results. A few more international trials are to be started in the coming days, he added.

Modi said today special emphasis is given on Ayurvedic medicines, herbs as well as nutritious foods that enhance immunity. He said today, farmers are being encouraged to increase the production of coarse grains as well as organic products on the banks of Ganges and in the Himalayan regions. He added the AYUSH Ministry is working on a comprehensive plan for India to contribute more and more in the wellness of the world, our exports should also increase and the income of our farmers should also increase. He pointed out that after the start of the COVID pandemic, the prices of Ayurvedic herbs like Ashwagandha, Giloy, Tulsi etc. have increased a lot. The price of Ashwagandha has more than doubled compared to last year and its direct benefit is reaching our farmers cultivating these herbs.

Meanwhile, Modi thanked WHO and the DG for choosing India for the Global Centre of Traditional medicine. He said that Ayurveda is an Indian heritage and it is a matter of happiness that India's traditional knowledge is enriching other countries also.

In view of the significance of Ayurveda, the AYUSH Ministry has been observing ‘Ayurveda Day’ every year on the occasion of Dhanwantari Jayanti (Dhanteras) since 2016.

Director-General of World Health Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gave a video message on the occasion and praised India’s commitment to the universal coverage under Ayushman Bharat and evidence-based promotion of traditional medicines to achieve health-related objectives.

Modi urged the ministries of Agriculture and AYUSH or other departments, to work together to increase awareness of the usefulness of many herbs available in India. He stressed that the development of the entire ecosystem related to Ayurveda will also promote tourism related to health and wellness in the country. He wished that the two institutions inaugurated today in Jamnagar and Jaipur will prove beneficial in this direction as well.

The two future-ready Ayurveda institutions dedicated to the nation are the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (ITRA), Jamnagar and the National Institute of Ayurveda (NIA), Jaipur. Both the Institutes are premier institutions of Ayurveda in the country. The former has been conferred the status of an Institution of National Importance (INI) by an Act of Parliament, and the latter is an Institution Deemed to be University by the University Grants Commission.

Congratulating the two institutes for their progress, the Prime Minister pointed out that they have more responsibility now and hoped that they will prepare Ayurveda syllabus which meets the international standard. He also called upon the Education Ministry and UGC to find new avenues in disciplines like Ayurveda Physics and Ayurveda Chemistry. He also called upon the startups and private sector to study the global trends and demands and ensure their participation in the sector. The  National Commission of Indian System of Medicines and The National Commission of Homeopathy was established by the Parliament this session and National Education Policy also promotes an integrated approach. The basic notion of this policy is that the knowledge of allopathic practices should be compulsory in ayurvedic education.

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Shripad Naik, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra and Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat were present on the occasion.

Modi stressed the need to bring the Ayurveda knowledge out of books, scriptures and home remedies and develop this ancient knowledge as per modern needs. he remarked that new research is being done in the country by combining the information received from the modern science of the 21st century with our ancient medical knowledge. Three years ago, the All India Ayurvedic Institute was established here. Ayurveda is not just an alternative today but is one of the key basis of the country's health policy, The Prime Minister said.

Modi informed that work is on to develop the National Sowa-Rigpa Institute for research and other studies related to Sowa-Rigpa in Leh. Today, the two institutions in Gujarat and Rajasthan which have been upgraded are also an extension of this development.


First Published:Nov. 13, 2020, 2:14 p.m.

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