In a circular to all central universities the University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked to initiate P.hD. programmes under Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) disciplines. The department was created in March 1995 as the Department of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy (ISM&H). AYUSH received its current name in March 2003.
On June 24, AYUSH ministry had written a letter to the UGC requesting it to issue an advisory to educational institutions on the same. AYUSH has announced PhD programmes in AYUSH disciplines from the concerned research council.
UGC secretary Jaspal S Sandhu has mentioned in circular that the Central Councils set up for research in these disciplines will sponsor 200 students for pursuing PhDs every year and that the government has asked the Commission to issue an advisory in this regard.
“AYUSH is aimed at developing Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) systems for healthcare of the people imbibing scientific interventions. The Ministry is committed to encourage research in AYUSH systems for which five autonomous research organisations have been set up,” it reads.
As per the circular, each of the following five disciplines carry out clinical and basic research studies in association with scientific institute of repute: Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy Central Council for Research in Yoga; Naturopathy Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine Central Council for Research in Siddha
These councils further intend to maximize research opportunities through P.hD fellowship programme for the development of AYUSH. 125 PG candidates of AYUSH and 75 PG of Science; Technology streams will be sponsored annually for pursuing Ph.D on AYUSH research topics.
“Accordingly, it is requested that you may include AYUSH disciplines in your esteemed university and in the affiliated colleges for enrolment of candidates in the P.hD programmes and avail fellowship from the concerned AYUSH Research Council,” the UGC said in a letter addressed to all vice chancellors of universities.
UGC had shown their interest in promoting P.hD courses in Yoga specifically earlier this May . This step was welcomed by educationists around the country and while the obligatory celebration of Yoga Day announced last year did not go down well with many schools and colleges, the opportunity of a PhD in the field had impressed many.
“The PM desired an attempt be made to promote PhD courses in yoga for foreign students,” a letter written by the ministry stated at the time.