Ayurveda, an ancient healing system, originated in India. On September 21, 2020, the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Bill 2020 received Presidential Assent. This legislature paved the way for this Act to establish an Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (ITRA) at Jamnagar, Gujarat.
Jamnagar is known for its rich Ayurvedic culture and has emerged as a pioneer in Ayurveda. Notably, the ITRA is the first Institute of National Importance in the domain of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy). The incorporation of four institutes has led to the formation of ITRA. The Act, its importance, and the functions of the ITRA are presented in the article.
Institute of Teaching and Research in the Ayurveda Act, 2020
The primary objective of the Bill was to establish a distinguished institution to promote and preserve traditional knowledge of Ayurveda in modern times. The President gave his assent on September 21, 2020. The Act established an ITRA by merging several institutions. The Act declared ITRA an Institute of National Importance institute promoting education, research, and training in Ayurveda and allied disciplines. The Act came into effect on October 15, 2020.
Key Features of the Act
The ITRA Act 2020 consists of 2 chapters and 31 sections. The primary features of the Act are discussed as follows.
National Importance: The Act declared that ITRA would be an institution of national importance.
Establishment of ITRA: Section 4 of the Act merges three institute as a body corporate.
Composition of ITRA: Sections 6 and 8 detail the following institution members:
- President: A President nominated by the central government from the members enlisted below other than the Director of the Institute.
- Ex-Officio members: The following nine ex-officio members are elected:
- Minister in charge of AYUSH
- Secretary to the Indian Government in the AYUSH
- Secretary of the Department of Health in Gujarat State Government
- Secretary, Ministry of Finance in the Department of Expenditure
- Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development to the Central Government in the Department of Higher Education
- Technical Head from the Ministry of AYUSH
- Vice-Chancellor of Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar
The Act provided for the terms and tenures of the members in Section 7.
Funds: Section 15 states that the funds for the institution are provided by the following:
- Central Government
- Fees and other charges
- Money received in the form of grants, benefactions, gifts, donations, transfers, bequests, among others
The institute will provision pensions and provident funds for the benefit of its employees and teachers.
Authentication of orders: The orders and directions of the institutes are to be authenticated by the Director or any other member authorised for this purpose.
Control of Central Government: Section 24 provides that the Central government can issue directions to the institute, and Section 27 gives the government the power to prepare rules for the efficient administration of the institute.
Powers and Functions of the Institution: Section 2 states that the institute will have a common seal and can acquire, hold, or dispose of property and contract and sue or be sued. The primary functions are highlighted in Section 13. According to Section 22, the institute can grant medical degrees, diplomas, titles, among others. These degrees will be recognised subject to the other provisions of the Act.
Such qualifications should not be contrary to laws of the Indian Medicine Central Council Act 1970 and the University Grants Commission Act 1956. Section 28 gives power to the institution to make laws and regulations in line with this Act after the approval of the central government.
To enhance Ayurveda education and research, a proposal was put forth to merge several Ayurveda institutes into a central institute. The following institutes were established:
- Institute for Post Graduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (IPGT & RA): The institute was initially established as the ‘Central Institute for Research in Indigenous Systems of Medicine’ in 1952 and subsequently merged with the ‘Centre for PG Studies and Research in Ayurveda’ in 1962 to form the ‘Institute for Ayurvedic Studies and Research (IASR)’. Subsequently, in 1967, it became an integral part of Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, and was renamed IPGT & RA.
- Shree Gulabkunverba Ayurved Mahavidyalaya: This college for Ayurvedic Studies was established on July 1 1946, by Shri Gulabkunverba Ayurvedic Society, and was named Shree Gulabkunverba Ayurved Mahavidyalaya.
- Indian Institute of Ayurvedic Pharmaceutical Sciences is a constituent college of Gujarat Ayurved University. The institute was the first to provide education in Ayurveda Pharmacy at the Bachelor and Diploma levels
- Maharshi Patanjali Institute for Yoga and Naturopathy Education and Research as established in 2000 as an independent, self-financed institute that became a part of the Department of Swasthvritta, ITAR.
The Act merges these institutes into the ITRA.
Importance of the Act
The objective aims for the following Act:
- To develop teaching methods in Undergraduate and Post Graduate courses in the field of Ayurveda
- To provide a high standard of Ayurvedic education to all medical colleges in India
- To establish one institution exclusively for training all branches of Ayurveda
- To make India “Atma-Nirbhar” in PG education for training specialists and teachers in Ayurveda
- To further research in Ayurveda.
Functions of the Institute
Section 13 of the Act details the following functions of the institute:
- To provide for UG and PG teaching in Ayurveda and Pharmacy.
- To provide research facilities.
- To prescribe curriculum and courses for UG and PG courses for both Ayurveda and Pharmacy.
- To establish:
- One or more Ayurveda medical colleges with various departments for scientific validation of Ayurveda, including the Department of Swasthvritta
- One or more well-resourced hospitals
- Sufficiently staffed and well-equipped colleges to train nurses, pharmacists, panchakarma technicians, or therapists of Ayurveda and allied disciplines
- Other training institutions for Ayurveda health workers
- Rural and urban centres for training and research.
The Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Act 2020 has provisioned for the establishment of the ITRA in Gujarat to ensure the preservation of Ayurvedic Knowledge in modern times.
ITRA is an Institute of National Importance that provides various courses in Ayurveda and related fields and has many interdisciplinary collaborations. ITRA is the first-of-its-kind government university dedicated to Ayurveda at national and international levels. Over time, Ayurvedic Knowledge Hub has achieved international acclaim.
FAQs on The ITRA Act, 2020
Does the government approve the ITRA?
The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine has approved the ITRA.
Is the ITRA a private institution?
The ITRA is a government-run organisation with aid from the government of Gujarat.
The ITRA is affiliated with which university?
ITRA is affiliated with the Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar.
When was Gujarat University established?
The State government established the Gujarat Ayurveda University in 1967.