Recently, the interdisciplinary department of health science at Savirtibai Phule Pune University (SPPU) has been arbitrated as the Centre of Excellence (CoE) by the Ministry of Ayush. To play a pivotal role in building and strengthening human resource work in traditional medicine, the department has been granted this new status.With expectations to commence in a period of a month, the university has been granted a sum of Rs 3.5 crore to set up the centre by the ministry.
Vice-Chancellor of SPPU NR Karmalkar said, “The grant will be for a period of three-and-a-half years, during which the department will work towards setting up the infrastructure required to roll out the training courses to conduct research in the field of traditional medicine.” Moreover, the university has been funded Rs 96 lakh additionally by the ministry of health and family welfare to the university to run fellowship programmes for teachers and students.
The head of interdisciplinary department of health science, Bhushan Patwardhan emphasized, “The highlight of the course will be that students of all streams of medicine will be eligible to be trained in traditional medicine, making it an interdisciplinary course.”
In the present scenario, there is growing emphasis on traditional medicines to aid in finding cures for serious illnesses, including cancer, making the timing of the move perfect. It has been decided that a total of 15 fellowships will be awarded each year to students who qualify through the designed competitive exam. Moreover, Rs 30 lakh will be granted to the best from among these 15 for further research.
Patwardhan continues to say, “While the department has been for mainly working on developing adjutants for drugs used to treat cancer and arthiritis, the focus will remain on adding to the workforce of traditional medicine over the coming years.”
CoE will be blessed by being associated with experts from noted institutes, including Pune-based National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS) and Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER), along with Manipal University and National Cancer Institute, USA for its operations.
To take care of undertaking clinic trials, other consultants involved in CoE like city-based Prashanti Cancer Care and Centre for Rheumatic Diseases, Kastruba Health Centre, Mumbai and Mayo Clinic, USA will be teaming up, declares the university.
NR Karmalkar says, “The building and other required infrastructural facilities will be initially readied, and by the end of the year, the ministry’s notification seeking application for fellowships is expected.”