The Ministry of Ayush and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote and collaborate on integrative health research. This cooperation is a significant step towards providing scientific evidence to the Ayush system of medicines and creating a niche for traditional medicine knowledge.
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Areas of Focus:
The MoU will focus on identified areas of national importance in healthcare, promoting high-impact research to generate evidence utilizing modern scientific methods. The cooperation will also strengthen research capacity through the training of Ayush researchers.
Establishment of Ayush-ICMR Centers for Advanced Research:
The MoU will enable both parties to jointly establish Ayush-ICMR Centers for Advanced Research in Integrative Health at all AIIMS with co-funding. These centers will allow the parties to explore the possibility of conducting high-quality clinical trials jointly on identified areas/disease conditions of national importance with promising therapies of Ayush system to generate evidence for wider acceptance.
Joint Working Group and Research Capacity Building:
Both parties have agreed to establish a joint working group that will meet quarterly for exploring further areas of collaboration and work on deliverables, formulate and implement joint research projects/programs, and allow joint supervision of the activities.
One of the essential aspects of this MoU is related to building research capacity, which will be led by ICMR for Ayush researchers. It will develop a curriculum, facilitate the development and delivery of training modules. The Ministry of Ayush and ICMR will also design and conduct conferences/workshops/seminars jointly with active participation of researchers interested in the field of Integrative healthcare.
Inclusion of Research on Integrative Medicine:
The MoU will facilitate looking at the possibility of inclusion of research on Integrative Medicine in the “National ethical guidelines for biomedical and health research involving human participants” by ICMR-DHR.
Inter-ministerial Convergence Meeting:
To further augment the cooperation between the Ministry of Ayush and the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, the fifth inter-ministerial convergence meeting was held. In this meeting, issues related to synergy and cooperation were discussed, and both the ministries agreed upon many important matters.
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