Parliamentary Panel seeks Inclusion of Yoga, naturopathy in National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill
New Delhi: A parliamentary committee has sought the inclusion of yoga and naturopathy in the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, stating these age-old practices with focus on holistic health are an integral part of Indian culture and the AYUSH system.
The Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare, in its 115th report submitted to the Rajya Sabha, observed that the absence of a central regulatory body at a time when yoga is being considered as a panacea for a meaningful life and living "may result in proliferation of poor standard institutes and unchecked practices by unqualified practitioners".
Drafted on the lines of the National Medical Commission, the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2019 seeks to create a new regulator, replacing the statutory body Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM), governing higher education in Indian systems of medicine.
"Attention of the committee has been drawn to the fact that yoga and naturopathy have not been included in this Bill and recommends their inclusion," the report said.
The committee has also recommended that a Board of Yoga and Naturopathy be constituted under Clause 18 in the Bill.
Currently, there is no central regulatory body for registration of yoga and naturopathy practitioners and standardisation and recognition of 70 different courses of yoga and naturopathy.
The Bill provides for conducting a common National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test and common counselling by the designated authority (central and state) for admission to all the medical institutions offering Indian System of Medicine so as to ensure quality and transparency in admissions.
The Bill also proposes a common final year undergraduate medical examination, to be known as the National Exit Test, for granting licence to practice as medical practitioner of respective disciplines of Indian System of Medicine and for enrolment in the State Register or National Register.
The Bill also provides for conducting an uniform Postgraduate National Entrance Test for admission to postgraduate courses in each discipline of the Indian System of Medicine in all medical institutions.
"The committee is not at all convinced by the reasons given by the ministry (AYUSH) to exclude yoga and naturopathy from the purview of the Bill. It wonders about the role and achievement of the National Board for Promotion and Development of Yoga and Naturopathy under the Ministry of AYUSH," the report stated.
The committee also expressed disappointment that a separate bill for yoga and naturopathy has been withheld for no apparent reason.
There has been a global surge in the popularity of yoga and naturopathy that has resulted in worldwide growth of teaching schools. India being the land of origin of these practices has to responsibly contribute in its evolution.
"The committee, therefore, strongly recommends that the drugless system of yoga and naturopathy should be regulated under a separate Board of Yoga and Naturopathy under clause 18 of the Bill under consideration," the report stated.
The committee, in its report, further stated that providing for National Eligibility-Cum Entrance Test for admission in ISM colleges is a step in the right direction in improving the quality of students that enrol in such colleges.
It, however, pointed out that the commission should also regulate admission to Pre-Tib and Pre-Ayurveda courses and assess the quality and enhance the standard of such courses.
The one duration Pre-Tib or Pre-Ayurveda courses should not be promoted as an easy alternative to admission in ISM courses and students passing such courses should also be evaluated on some parameters.
"The committee believes that to maintain the standard and quality of students pursuing ISM courses, regulation of these Pre-Tib and Pre-Ayurveda courses is also essential," it said.