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Times of India
11 January 2009
Pune, India

Minister of higher, technical and medical education Rajesh Tope said here on Friday that all research work in ayurvedic medicine should be well–documented and validated to make it widely acceptable in western countries.

“China has the maximum market share in herbal medicine abroad, with India’s share being just five to six per cent,” said Tope. He was speaking after inaugurating the three-day long Global Ayurveda Conference and Health Expo organised by the Bharati Vidyapeeth University (BVU) in the city on Friday.

“The panchkarma therapy of Ayurveda has the potential to gain popularity in the western countries and launching a chain of centres advocating panchkarma could boost tourism in Maharashtra,” he said.

Speaking about the increasing number of opportunities for Ayurveda practitioners today, he said issues like updating syllabi of under–graduate and post–graduate courses in the subject, thus making education in Ayurveda relevant and job-oriented, are some of the challenges which need to be addressed. “Education in Ayurveda should be brought within capacity of the common man,” Tope said.

“In fact, a time should come when instead of practising some other system of medicine, an Ayurveda practitioner will take pride in practising his own form of traditional medical science,” said Tope.

Around 3,100 students of Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) graduate every year in the state, while the annual number of post–graduate students is 362. Those with PG degrees usually take up teaching in colleges, while those who try to sustain themselves by solely practising Ayurveda have a difficult time, he added.

“There is a need that students of Ayurveda should have specialisation in any one form of ayurvedic therapy and the syllabi should thus be upgraded accordingly,” he added.

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