6th WAC - Young researchers urged to help align Ayurveda with modern science
Young scientists and researchers in India must take up the challenge of making Ayurveda acceptable to the modern world and re-establish its rightful status as a system that can bring affordable healthcare to people’s doorsteps, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said today.
“There are no doubts about the power and efficacy of Ayurvedic products, but we live in a period of evidence-based medicine; our drugs needs to pass through the rigour of scientific validation to be marketable globally,” he said while addressing a large gathering of scientists and researchers at a conclave organised as part of the 6th World Ayurveda Congress (WAC).
The research conclave on Ayurveda Inspired Discovery was organised by the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB), a premier institute under the Department of Biotechnology, as a step towards strengthening scientific studies into natural and nature-derived molecules and therapeutics.
“It is unfortunate that much of the vast amount of knowledge available in Ayurveda 5,000 years ago has been lost in the past 500 years. We may not be able to restore Ayurveda to its original glory, but we can certainly revive it to meet the needs of our age,” the Minister said.
He urged young scientists to treat the mission as a “matter of pride for India”. “Youngsters must work with passion, not as a routine. They must look at how socially relevant the fruits of their research can be,” he added.
A Jayakumar, the Secretary General of Vijnana Bharati, which is one of the co-organisers of the WAC, said the conclave would sow the seeds for a concrete, permanent system of research in Ayurveda and facilitate international scientific collaborations in the future.
He said that a solid action plan will be drafted at the conclusion of the meeting and submitted to the Union Health, Science and Technology and other relevant departments.
Prof. M Radhakrishna Pillai, the Director of RGCB, spoke about the cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research taking place at the institute into plant and natural products relevant to disease biology; and the molecular mechanisms and processes that they affect as therapeutic agents.
Dr Bindu Dey, Advisor, Department of Biotechnology, also spoke on the occasion.
The conclave featured key presentations by senior scientists and heads of research institutions who elaborated on recent innovations and discoveries that have integrated Ayurveda with modern science and medicine.
They also spoke at length about the possibilities of future research into Ayurvedic products and treatments and their relevance in modern fields such as nanoscience and genomics.