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Centre to fund new ayurveda research centre in Kerala
Sunday January 11, 2015 8:58 PM, IANS

The central government will extend financial support to set up a new ayurvedic clinical research centre in Kerala to help scientifically validate traditional systems of healing, a union minister said Sunday.

Shripad Yesso Naik, minister of state for AYUSH, said this as he announced the new National Programme of Ayurveda Inspired Research initiated by the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) and the proposed ayurveda expo National Arogya 2015 at a function here.

The RGCB will set up the National Centre for Excellence for Ayurveda Inspired Discovery that will lead research into efficacy mechanisms involved in ayurvedic therapeutics.

It has also proposed two sister campuses, an 'ayurvedic clinical research centre' in Konni and a 'high altitude discovery centre' in Munnar in Kerala.

Naik said the central government will fund the setting up of the clinical research facility in Konni.

Kerala's Minister for Health and Family Welfare V.S. Sivakumar promised to provide approximately 50 acres of land for the project.

"The set-up in Kerala, including training and delivery system in both the public and private sectors, is of a very high standard," Naik said.

"Kerala can contribute immensely towards raising the status of traditional healthcare systems for which we require scientific inputs, standardisation and certification processes," he said.

Sivakumar said ayurveda was not only an alternative way of treatment but also one of the "engines" for the state's economic growth.

The industry, which is worth Rs.1,000 crore annually, aims to grow five-fold by 2020.

The National Arogya 2015, an initiative of the World Ayurveda Foundation (WAF) in partnership with the RGCB, is proposed to be held here April 23-26, at the end of a month-long ayurveda festival that will bring together practitioners, policy makers, manufacturers, research and development institutes, students and members of the public to widen the global reach of Indian traditional medicine.

The proposed expo will have more than 400 exhibition stalls, scientific sessions, free AYUSH clinics, live yoga demonstrations, ayurvedic food festival and cooking classes.

RGCB director M. Radhakrishna Pillai said the proposed Centre for Excellence was a small effort in facilitating the rediscovery of Indian traditional medicine.

Among the objectives of the Centre of Excellence will be analysis of ayurvedic therapeutics for treatment response and their effect on patho-physiological processes and developing uniform protocols, compositions and components.

The project will also include a research centre to study medicinal plant conservation, metabolic engineering to improve active plant components and a discovery programme looking for therapeutically significant molecules and compounds.

Leading bio-medical companies such as central public sector enterprise HLL Lifecare Ltd. and other ayurveda companies and organisations are expected to be partners in the project.

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