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Alternative Medicine Career Course Institutions in India and Abroad

Allopathic system has its own disadvantages and with growing awareness these disadvantages are coming to light.

So, more and more people are shifting their medicinal requirements from Allopathy to Alternate Medicine. Thus, this is one of the fast emerging fields. The Indian Systems of Medicine - Ayurveda, siddha, Unani and drugless therapies like Yoga and Naturopathy-have been widely practised in India for centuries. Homeopathy, though originated in Germany, has been widely accepted and practised in India. The traditional, centuries-long system combined with modern technological systems and innovations make India, a direct, natural leader in the Alternate Medicine. AYUSH is one of the fast emerging fields, which with time, will expand globally. Already a number of foreigners come to India to avail AYUSH service. Add to them the Indian's who continue to believe in AYUSH more than in Allopathy

The Government, too, realising the need and potential of the systems, formulated for the first time, a separate National Policy on Indian Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy 2002. The basic objectives of the Policy are to promote good health, expand the outreach and to ensure the affordable AYUSH service to the people, as also to integrate. AYUSH in healthcare delivery systems in the national programmes.

With the rising popularity of Alternate Medicines, it is but natural that there is a growing demand for professionals in the field. And there are a number of colleges that offer courses in AYUSH. The Government has formed the Central Council of Indian Medicine to regulate and practice of AYUSH. Recently, the University Grants Commission also approved a proposal ot start diploma and graduate courses in the pharmacy branch of the Indian Systems of Medicine.

The health care infrastructure under AYUSH available in India consists of 3,845 hospitals with 65,159- bed capacity, 23,630 dispensaries, 439 undergraduate colleges, 96 colleges having Post Graduate Departments, 9,226 licensed manufacturing units and 6.95 lakh registered practitioners of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy in the country. An outlay of Rs.775 crore has been allocated under the Tenth Five-Year Plan. The Plan allocation for 2004-2005 is rs.181 crore.


Students who have completed 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry and Biology can opt for five-and-a-half year bachelors degree courses, in Ayurvedacharya, which is equivalent to an MBBS degree. This can be followed by an MD in Ayurveda and topped with a Ph.D (Ayurvedavaridhi). For more information on the eligibility conditions and mode of selection you can contact:

The central Council of Indian Medicine
Plot No.61-65, Institutional Area,
Janakpuri New Delhi-58

or Visit www.indianmedicine.nic.in


There are seven apex national level institutions relating to AYUSH where one can be employed. Central and State governments also employ degree and PG degree holders at various levels. NGOs and social welfare institutions too employ and seek opinion and advise from AYUSH experts. Pharmaceutical companies and other private sector groups (for e.g., Dabur, Hamdard, Mahrishi Ayurveda, etc.) employ these professionals. Various hospitals and clinics have opened separate wings for these professionals. Some of them for e.g., Kairali, Dr.Batra's Clinic, are solely concentrating in and contributing to the fields. Apart from these, there is always the path of private practice, where one can earn name and fame apart from maney

The Bangalore-Based National Institute of Unani Medicine, an autonomous organisation under the Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family welfare, has notified for a three-year PG course in Mahir-e-Tib (MD Unani) in different disciplines. For further details and application form you can log on to www.niumbangalore.co.nr

  • Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi (U.P.)
  • Gujarat Ayurveda University, Jamnagar (Gujarat)
  • Ayurveda and Unani Tibbia College, Delhi
  • Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya, Gaya (Bihar)
  • National Homeopathic Medical College, Lucknow (U.P.)
  • Guwahati University, Guwahati (Assam)
  • Government Homeopathic Medical College, Bangalore (Karnataka)
  • SV Ayurveda College, Tirupati (Tamilnadu)
  • Tibia College, New Delhi
  • JB Rai State Ayurvedic College Kolkata
  • Gurukul Ayurvedic College, Hardwar
  • National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur
  • Gujarat Ayurveda University Jamnagar
  • State Ayurvedic College, Guwahan
  • Poddar Ayurvedic College, Mumbai
  • ISM Colleges in Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Warangal
  • National Institute of Naturopathy, Pune
  • Sri Ayurveda College, Nagpur
  • National Institute of Siddha, Chennai
  • National Institute of Unani Medicine, Bangalore
  • Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, New Delhi
  • National Institute of Homoeopathy, Kolkata.
  • Rashtriya Ayurveda Vidhyapeeth, New Delhi.
  • All India Institute of Ayurveda is being set up in Sarita Vihar, New Delhi.

Even though Allopathy still retains its supremacy, an increasing number of people have started opting for Ayurveda, Unani and Homeopathy for treatment of various diseases, specially the chronic ones. That is because like Allopathic medicines, the traditional medicines are effective and have little or no side effects. As a result, these traditional systems of medical treatment have now become a part of the multimillion dollar industry that includes manufacture as well as research and development. The total Indian market for such medicines is around Rs.5,000 crore and is growing at the rate of 15 percent per annum. There are more than 1.5 million registered practitioners and nearly 200 educational institutions churning out 9,000 graduates every year in various methods of traditional medicine.

Broadly speaking, there are two systems of traditional medicine - Ayurveda and Unani. Ayurveda, as a science of medicine, has been in practice in the country for over 3,000 years. It advocates use of medicines prepared from plants and herbs. It lays greater emphasis on prevention rather than cure. In recent times, awareness about the curing potential of the Ayurveda has increased. Now, even the practitioners of Allopathy have started prescribing Ayurvedic medicines. With the opening of the Indian economy, Ayurveda has gained in popularity overseas, which is reflected in thronging of Ayurvedic clinics in kerala and other places by foreigners. As a result, Ayurveda mixed with tourism has become a great source of foreign exchange earnings.

In India, there are 168 colleges offering a total of 7,506 seats at the undergraduate level. The Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) is a 5 1/2 years course including 18 months of training in any Ayuvedic hospital. There are 52 colleges with 597 seats which offer postgraduate courses. The duration of the course is 2 1/2 years and is equivalent to M.D. degree. The M.D. students can opt for specialisation in fields like Dravyagunam (knowledge of medicinal plants), kaya Chikitsa (general medicine), Rasa Shastra (study of mineral and metallic preparations for treatment of chronic diseases), Shalya (surgery), etc. In addition, M.D. students have to undertake a research project and submit a thesis. If you want to pursue still higher studies you can opt for Ph.D. for which only 25 seats are available. The duration of acquiring Ph.D. degree is generally three years. Further, there is also a postgraduate diploma in Panchakarma. It is a specialisation course and gives training in various types of oil therapies, enema, virechan and vaman.

It is important that students enrolling in various Aryurveda courses must have a prior knowledge of the human anatomy. They should know the basic techniques of massage and should also have the knowledge and understanding of health, safety and hygiene. A decent command over English helps growth in this arena. Jobs for graduates or M.Ds are available in Ayurvedic hospitals, dispensaries and primary health care centres. You can also set up your own clinic, presently, a few of you can get jobs with industrial research houses, production units and marketing. Large scale development of Ayurvedic spas in various parts of the country has also opened up a new avenue for Ayurvedic graduates and postgraduates.

Hippocrates is considered the father of medicine as well as Unani system, which date back to the 5th century B.Com. This system was later on adopted by the Arabs and developed into a comprehensive therapeutic system. According to historical documents, the Unani system of medicine got introduced into India around 10th century. Like the other traditional systems of medicine, here also, there are no side effects. Though this system is not very much in use, it has tremendous potential in curing various diseases.

Students should have passed 10+2 to get admission in a Unani Tibbia College which offers a course. A number of such colleges offer courses at graduate as well as postgraduate levels. Since this system's terminology is mostly in Arabic and Persian, proficiency in these two languages will help you in achieving success at a faster rate. Due to language problems, less people opt for Unani. Also, getting raw materials becomes difficult at times.

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