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New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 13, 2020, dedicated two future-ready national premier Ayurveda institutions to the nation to mark celebration of the 5th Ayurveda Day, here through video conferencingThe Prime Minister dedicated to the nation the Institute of Teaching & Research in Ayurveda (ITRA), Jamnagar, Gujarat, as an Institution of National Importance (INI), and the National Institute of Ayurveda (NIA), Jaipur, Rajasthan, as a Deemed to be University by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

Shripad Naik, Minister of State (IC), Ministry of AYUSH, Kalraj Mishra, Governor of Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot, Chief Minister, Rajasthan, Acharya Devvrat, Governor of Gujarat, and  Vijaybhai Rupani, Chief Minister of Gujarat, participated virtually.

The Prime Minister highlighted the rich legacy of traditional medicine that India has been blessed with. This has been recognised worldwide, more so during the times of the global pandemic of COVID-19 for its beneficial and health and wellness endowing supreme properties, he stated. He stated that the focus has now shifted to prevention and wellness, and the importance of holistic and integrated medicine systems for overall wellness and health of the people. India’s traditional systems of medicine have amply demonstrated to the world the power of Ayurveda, the PM said. While India has been known as Pharmacy of the World, with evidence-based research, we can take traditional medicine systems and Ayurveda to new heights, he stated.

PM Modi pointed out that during the Corona period, the demand for Ayurvedic products has increased rapidly all over the world. He said exports of Ayurvedic products increased by about 45 percent in September this year compared to the previous year. He added the significant increase in export of spices like turmeric, ginger, considered as immunity boosters shows the sudden boost in confidence in Ayurvedic solutions and Indian spices across the world.

The Prime Minister emphasised that Ayurveda is not an option anymore, but forms a fundamental pillar of the country’s national health policy and health interventions. He congratulated the two premier Ayurveda Institutes and urged them to work in the direction of developing new curriculum to explore and also match the new challenges and opportunities in the field of modern medicine. He urged the Ministry of Human Research and Development (MoHRD) and the University Grants Commission (UGC) to work on this, which shall in turn give a boost to the doctoral and post-doctoral studies.

The Prime Minister also urged the private sector and the start-ups industry to study the global demand for Ayurveda globally, and to become champions for ‘VocalForLocal” across the world with their new developments in this field.

Stressing on the importance of wellness, the PM mentioned about establishing 1.5 lakh Health &Wellness Centres across the country as part of the Ayushman Bharat yojana. Of these, 12,500 centres will be AYUSH Wellness centers with focus on integrative medicine systems.

Director General of World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,gave a video message on the occasion and praised the Prime Minister’s commitment to the universal coverage under Ayushman Bharat and evidence-based promotion of traditional medicines to achieve health related objectives. He announced the setting up of the Global Centre of Traditional Medicine in India.

The Prime Minister thanked WHO and the DG for choosing India for the Global Centre of Traditional Medicine. Dr Tedros said that Ayurveda is an Indian heritage and it is a matter of happiness that India’s traditional knowledge is enriching other countries also.

Ministry of AYUSH has been observing ‘Ayurveda Day’ every year on the occasion of Dhanwantari Jayanti (Dhanteras) since 2016.