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Janmejaya Samal.


AYUSH is an acronym for Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy. These are the six indigenous systems of medicine practiced in India. A department called department of Indian system of medicine was created in March 1995 and renamed to AYUSH in Nov.2003 with a focus to provide increased attention for the development of these systems. Very recently, in 2014, a separate ministry was created under the union Govt. of India which is headed by a minister of state. Planning regarding these systems of medicine was a part of five year planning process since 1951. Since then many developments have happened in this sector albeit the system was struggling with a great degree of uncertainty at the time of first five year plan. A progressive path of development could be observed since the first to the 12th five year plan. It was up to the seventh plan the growth was little sluggish and from eighth plan onwards the growth took its pace and several innovative development processes could be observed thereafter. The system is gradually progressing ahead with a vision to be a globally accepted system, as envisaged in 11th five year plan. Currently AYUSH system is a part of mainstream health system implemented under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). NRHM came in to play in 2005 but implemented at ground level in 2006 and introduced the scheme of ‘Mainstreaming of AYUSH and revitalization of local health traditions’ to strengthen public health services. This scheme is currently in operation in its second phase, since 1st April 2012, with the 12th five year plan. The scheme was primarily brought in to operation with three important objectives; choice of treatment system to the patients, strengthen facility functionally and strengthen the implementation of national health programmes however in some places it seems to be a forced medical pluralism owing to a top-down approach by the union government without considerable involvement of the concerned community. In this paper the five year planning documents have been reviewed, from first plan to 12th plan, to enable reflection and throw some light in to the future directions of AYUSH system.

Key words: Ancient medical manuscripts, Indian systems of medicine, Indian systems of medicine informatics, Medical tourism, Mainstreaming of AYUSH

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