After engineering, entrepreneurship & management this is the latest initiative it JNU. However the Marxists are aggrieved over the proposal calling it a demographic change.
In a much needed move to adapt students to the changing scenarios in healthcare industry and also to give them more job opportunities, JNU has begun a unique courses in Ayurveda Biology. The School of Sanskrit & Indic Studies (SSIS) of the university has started B.Sc., M.Sc. and Integrated courses in Ayurveda Biology. The School Coordination Committee (SCC) which was setup to act as the Board of Studies for starting new programs and to strengthen existing programs had given its approval to start the course earlier.
The course will cover various aspects of Ancient Sanskrit and Ayurveda texts, molecular basis of Ayurvedic sciences, clinical and industrial aspects and pharmacological basis of Ayurveda. These courses are unique and currently no other university in India or abroad are teaching such courses.
Student and industry oriented course
These courses are being started by JNU with a objective of applying traditional knowledge in Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrit texts to contemporary disciplines and healthcare industry demands. There are three streams in the course: BSc, BS (Research) and BSc-MSc Integrated. The students wishing to quit after 3 years shall get a B.Sc. (hons) degree. Those continuing for another year will get a BS Research degree so that they can enroll in Ph.D. programs abroad where only a 4 year bachelor degree is needed for Ph.D. enrollment. Others will continue for an integrated B.Sc.-M.Sc. degree.
The Indian Ayurveda market will see a 16 per cent growth (CAGR) till 2025 and its present domestic market share of $ 4.4 billion (INR 30,000 Cr) is set to breach $ 5 billion by 2020. Demand for Ayurvedic products and services has seen phenomenal increase both in urban and rural areas in the country. To cater to this increasing demand, more students with degree in Ayurveda and biology are required both in the product and service sectors.
Further, a research conducted by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) says that while the demand for Ayurvedic solutions has seen an increase in the domestic market, it is also gaining massive popularity in the West and the market share is expected to reach $9.7 billion by 2022. This would require more people taking up the stream and coming into the Ayurvedic industry.
Additionally, the students of the course will have opportunities in R&D of products in industry and be also eligible to teach in Ayurveda and medical colleges, Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit departments.
Hence, JNU’s new course on Ayurveda Biology aims to bridge the gap between demand and supply so that more students get an opportunity to be part of this global market. Students who have completed the 12th grade with Science (PCM/PCB) are eligible for the course. The admission will be through a online test, with a compulsory and qualifying section on Sanskrit. The course will have credits on Sanskrit, Ayurveda and contemporary sciences too. Along with the required credits, the students of the course will have to complete internship, one seminar and thesis.
Why Ayurveda Biology?
Modern medicine known for its adverse effects has produced little research in treating the cause of the ailment than suppressing its consequence.
Ayurveda biology is a study of Ayurvedic principles, concepts, methods and procedures through contemporary basic and applied sciences. Ayurveda has been as old as the human civilization, originated and developed in India and is almost entirely documented in Sanskrit texts. Origin of Ayurvedic practices in Indian and neighboring countries may also be traced to the texts of Vedic tradition.
However, due to historical reasons and due to the issues of educational and other policies, there was little or no effort on promoting traditional knowledge systems in India. Ayurveda suffered on these accounts and also due to the popularity of life saving drugs and treatments offered by modern medicine. The latter known for its adverse effects has produced little research in treating the cause of the ailment than suppressing its consequence. The western medical sciences therefore are looking for alternative ideas which can complement their achievements in many areas.
The vast research done in human systems, development of medical instrumentation and the holistic methods of Ayurveda will be amalgamated through this course and brought into the curricula for students. Teaching of Ayurvedic concepts using contemporary language and methods will bring benefits which both the modern science and Ayurveda can complement and develop.
Faculty for the course
JNU has appointed teachers from the Sanskrit School faculty for the course. Faculty members from the Ayurveda and science streams have been tasked with creating the content for the course. The faculty are being assigned from both Sanskrit and modern sciences so as to maximize the benefits of conceptualization of Sanskrit texts in an experimental manner.
In addition, some faculty members have been assigned the task of creating a tri-lingual (Sanskrit-English-Hindi) glossary of Ayurveda with modern biology equivalents to help in teaching in English, Hindi and Sanskrit media. This task is being done in collaboration with Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS).