Institute of teaching and research in Ayurveda bill,  2020

Institute of teaching and research in Ayurveda bill, 2020

Author: SHUBHANKAR DAS, Institute of Law, NIRMA University, Ahmedabad

Title: Analysis of The Institute of teaching and research in Ayurveda Bill, 2020

Bill Name: The Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Bill, 2020

Bill Number: Bill No. 33 of 2020

House: seventeenth Loksabha

Proposed on: 10th February 2020

Proposed by: Mr. Shripad Yesso Naik (Minister of state for AYUSH)

Passed in Loksabha: 19th March 2020

Passed in Rajyasabha: 16th September 2020

INTRODUCTION

The ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) was established in the year 1995 as the department of Indian system of medicine and homoeopathy and renamed as Department of AYUSH in the year 2003 to develop education and research in the field of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy. The bill was introduced on 10th February 2020, by the Minister of State for AYUSH Mr Shripad Yesso Naik. The bill proposes to merge three existing Ayurveda institutes under one with the name of ‘Institute of Teaching Research in Ayurveda’ (from now on read as “Institute”) which will be an institute of national importance. 

The three existing institutes that are to be merged are:-

  • Institute of Postgraduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Jamnagar, Gujarat. (From now on read as “PG institute”)
  • Shree Gulabkunverba Ayurved Mahavidyalaya, Jamnagar, Gujarat. (from now on “GAM”)
  • The Indian Institute of Ayurvedic Pharmaceutical Sciences, Jamnagar, Gujarat. (From now on “Pharmacy institute”)

Hence, the proposed location of the new institute is also Jamnagar, Gujarat.

The following article will discuss some important provisions of the bill and give a summary of the bill. Thereafter, it will discuss the parliamentary debate about the introduction of this bill in the Loksabha and point out the raised issues by the opposition to the bill and concluding remarks.

SUMMARY OF THE BILL

The bill comprises 2 chapters and 31 sections, laying down the objectives of the bill, composition of the institute, functions of the institute, funds of the institute, Government control on the institute and other procedures related to the accounts and budget of the institute.  

The preamble of the bill states that the institute is established for the promotion of quality and excellence in education, research and training in Ayurveda and declares the institute as an institute of National Importance.

Chapter I of the Bill

It comprises of 3 sections, the short title and commencement as the first section. Section 2 is a declaration that the institute incorporated under the Act is of national importance and section 3 comprises of the definition clauses. 

Some definitions under section 3

  • Antecedent universities are the three existing institutes proposed to be merged into one under this Act.
  • Maharishi Patanjali institute for yoga naturopathy education and research, Jamnagar which is a constituent institute of Gujarat Ayurveda university will be established as a department of swasthvritta in the new institute.  
  • A governing body has to be constituted with the president of the institute being its chairperson and shall be considered as an executive committee. Its powers and functions shall be determined by the institute by regulations.
  • Gujarat Ayurved University is a university established and incorporated under the Gujarat Ayurved universities Act 1965.
  • All the three existing institutes are constituent of and maintained by the Gujarat Ayurved University. 

Chapter II of the Bill

This chapter comprises of section 4 to 31 of the bill and provides for composition, functions, and funds of the institute and other aspects of the institute. 

Section 4 states that the anteceding institutes are conglomerated and established as a body corporate. This incorporated body corporate will be called the institute of teaching research in Ayurveda.

Powers

  • It shall have perpetual succession and a common seal and power to acquire, hold or dispose of property and to contract and power to sue or be sued.

Effect of the Act

  • All properties, legal rights, liabilities and reference in law related to the anteceding institutes will now be concerning the new institute.
  • All existing employees of the anteceding institute will become employees of the new institute with the same terms and conditions of employment, same tenure and same remuneration.
  • If the alterations are unacceptable to any employee then the employee can be terminated by the institute with accordance to the terms of the employment contract. In absence of any such contract permanent employees can be terminated with compensation of 3 months remuneration and other employees can be terminated with compensation of 1-month remuneration.

Director and deputy director of the new institute

  • The present Director of the PG institute to be the Director of the new Institute.
  •  Director of GAM to be the Deputy Director (undergraduate) of the new Institute.
  • Director of the Pharmacy Institute to be the Deputy Director (Pharmacy) of the new Institute.
  • The above posts are for a period of 5 years or until the post holder reach the age of 65 and the earlier of the two will be followed.

Composition of the Institute

There are total 15 members, 9 ex officio members, 3 expert members, 3 Member of Parliament (MP).1 president has to be nominated by the central government among the members other than the Director of the institute.

Ex-Officio members

  • Minister in charge of AYUSH
  • Secretary of the Indian government in AYUSH ministry
  • Secretary of Gujarat Government from the department of health.
  • Director of the institute
  • Technical head of Ayurved from the ministry of AYUSH
  • Secretary of Indian government or his/her nominee of minimum joint secretary rank (One from finance ministry expenditure department and another from the department of higher education HRD Ministry.)
  • Vice-Chancellor of Gujarat Ayurved University
  • Director-General of the central council of research in Ayurveda

Expert members have to be nominated by the central government. 2 MPs to be elected from among the house of people and 1 MP to be elected from among the council of states.

Term of Members

  • 5 years for nominated and elected members.
  • In case of MPs, the term of membership shall end if MP becomes minister, minister of state, deputy minister, speaker or deputy speaker in either of the house or cease to be an MP
  • In the case of ex-officio members term is same as the term of their office.

Governing Body

  • A governing body of the institute to be constituted by specified regulations.
  • It will be an executive committee with powers and functions specified by the institute.
  • President will be the chairperson of this executive committee.

The objective of the Act 

The objective of the institute is listed in section 12 of the bill as:-

  • To develop teaching patterns in UG and PG medical education in Ayurveda to demonstrate a high standard to all medical institutes of India.
  • To bring together under one banner, in one educational facility all the highest order of training of personnel in all branches of Ayurveda and pharmacy.
  • And to attain self-sufficiency in PG education to meet the country’s needs for teachers and experts in Ayurveda and related disciplines.

Functions of the Institute

  • To provide for UG, PG education and research facility in Ayurveda including pharmacy and prescribe course for the same.
  • To establish 
    • An Ayurveda medical college including the department of swasthvritta for scientific validation of Ayurved and implementing Ayurveda principles and theories in public health. 
    • Well equipped hospitals,
    • Colleges for nurses, Pharmacist, technicians and other disciplines of Ayurveda.
    • Rural and urban health organisations as centres for health training and research in community health.
    • Other institutions for the training of physiotherapists, Ayurvedic medical technicians etc 
  • Train teachers in different Ayurveda colleges in India.
  • Hold examinations, grant degree, diploma, academic distinctions and titles in UG/PG.
  • Appoint persons to professorship, readership, lectureship,
  • Demand and receive fee and other charges.
  • Deal with the property vested upon it and construct quarters and allotment of the same to staff according to the regulations etc. 
  • Carry out directions of the central government as may be issued from time to time.

Funds

Funds are given under section 15 of the bill and will constitute

  • The money provided by the central government.
  • Money received by fee and other charges including donations, gifts, grants and any other source.

The funds shall be used to perform the functions of the institute.

Pension and provident fund to be followed as it were in the anteceding institutes. If no funds were there then institute shall constitute one for benefit of its employees. The government may declare such funds as if it were government provident fund. 

Budget, accounts and annual report 

  • Institute to prepare a budget estimate of expenditures and submit the same to the central government for each financial year.
  • Institute’s accounts to be audited by the Comptroller auditor general of India or office of CAG.
  • Institute to prepare an Annual report of all activities of the year and submit the same to the central government which will further be presented in parliament.

Delegated Legislation 

Section 27 gives powers to the central government to makes appropriate rules to carry out functions as specified in the Act and to achieve objectives of the Act.

Such rules can be made with respect for filling of vacancies of members, define powers and functions of president, allowances to be given to president and members, the format of budget, format of annual report and rules related to standing and ad hoc committee.

Section 28 gives powers to the institute to make regulations consistent with Act for carrying out the purpose of the Act such rules can be made concerning –

  • Summoning and holding meetings
  • Rules related to constitution, functions and powers of Governing body
  • Rules related to the constitution of ad hoc committees
  • Rules related to salaries of Director, Deputy Directors and other officers and Allowances to the chairperson and members of the governing body as well as ad hoc committee and standing committee.
  • Rules related to examination, degree, diploma, academic distinctions and whom to be appointed to professorship, lectureship, readership and other posts.
  • Rules related to fees and other charges, construction and allotment of quarters, rules related to pension and provident fund.

Section 29 states that the rules and regulations made by the central government and the institute according to the section 27 and 28, shall be presented in both the house of parliament for a period of 30 days. Then it’s up to both the houses to make appropriate modifications or accept as it is or reject the rule.

ISSUES RAISED IN THE PARLIAMENT  

The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 10th Feb 2020 and on the very same day it was opposed by some Lok Sabha members –

Prof. Sougata Ray MP from Dum Dum constituency opposed the bill stating that his objection is related to the setting up of the institute at Jamnagar, Gujarat. He said that “such an institute should be placed either at the centre of country New Delhi or at any place with glorious tradition in Ayurvedic research and learning i.e. Varanasi, Kerela or West Bengal.[1]

Dr Sashi Tharoor MP from Thiruvananthapuram constituency also objected the bill on three grounds-

  • “The selective conferment of the status of the institute of national importance leads to a very unreasonable classification because it treats identically recognized Ayurveda institutes in India unequally.”[2]
  • “The bill has failed to define any criteria or standard for any institution to become an institute of national importance, therefore it gives rise to arbitrariness.”[3]
  • The bill fails to meet the larger objective of promotion of quality, excellence and research in Ayurveda.

He stated that Gujarat Ayurved University is established in the year 1965 but the government Ayurveda college of Thiruvananthapuram is established long back in 1889 and it is not even considered for any sort of up-gradation, in fact, no other Ayurveda university is given this status. 

Thereafter a full discussion on the bill took place in the Lok Sabha on 19th March 2020. Dr Tharoor raised same grounds in the discussion and additionally pointed out that lack of credible documentation has been a reason for less credibility of Ayurveda in the international standard, therefore credible documentation and evidence-based research is necessary for promoting Ayurveda. He also pointed out that along with documentation legal security and safeguard to Ayurved and traditional knowledge is not adequate in our country, even though Ayurved caters to almost 65 to 70 per cent of our population in rural India but nothing has been so far done to safeguards its practitioners and their state of knowledge. He concluded his argument saying that just like GAU other institutes like in Kerala shall also be given the status of national importance.[4]

Smt Poonamben Madaam (MP from Jamnagar) in reply to Dr Tharoor stated that the proposed institute has much significant achievement to credit such as, at a time of 65 years it has signed over 30 MoU, it is also the first institute to start Pharma co-vigilance system in Ayurved, Siddha and Unani drugs. This has started even before it started in the allopathic system of drugs.[5]

Shrimati Pratima Mondal MP of Jaynagar raised some pertinent questions asking the reasons for an arbitrary choice of the three institutes from among all the institutes in India. She asked the parameters determining such selection and stated that other top universities have been ignored by the government. 

With respect to the features of the bill, she proposed that as per section 5(d) every employee has same privileges as they had in the anteceding institutions, then the government shall make sure that in case of differences between the three institutes there must be parity of privilege in the institute.

It was proposed that out of the 2 elected members from the house of people [as given in section 6(k)], one shall be compulsorily from an opposition.

She states that it is given in the bill that term of office of nominated and elected members is 5 years but it is not clear whether or not the person is eligible for re-election.[6]

She finally proposed that “To give Ayurveda the status and fame it deserves, there is an immediate need for intensive documentation of practising Ayurveda treatment in various parts of the country. The standardisation of these practices is more important than the standardisation of drugs.”[7]

Dr Amol Ramsing Kolhe (MP from shirur) stated that the bill mentions that all branches of the Ayurveda will be covered in the institute but it did not mention the names or identified the different branches of Ayurveda. He also raises an issue that as it was stated in the bill that out of 15 members there are only 3 expert members and in response to it he proposes that, there must be a technical expert member for each branch of Ayurveda because an institute of national importance needs more technical experts.[8]

CONCLUSION

The main objective of the bill is to set up a high standard Ayurveda institute, provide quality, excellence in Ayurveda including pharmacy and to promote Ayurveda and to attain self-sufficiency in pg education to meet the growing needs for teachers and experts in Ayurveda and related disciplines. The bill also proposes that the institute incorporated under the Act shall be an institute of national importance. The legislator selected three top Ayurveda institutes from Gujarat Ayurved University for the purpose of creating such an institute of high standards and merged the three institutes into one institute with the name of Institute of teaching and research in Ayurveda. There are many issues raised by opposition leaders with respect to the provisions of the bill. If the bill is carefully read with the parliamentary debates it can be said that the bill is for the promotion of Ayurveda and the creation of such an institute will surely be a positive step towards standardization of Ayurvedic practices and pharmacy in the country, however, there still remains some lacunas in the bill such as with respect to the definition of ‘the institute of national importance’. Other issues such as the institute are supposed to attain self-sufficiency but 10 out of 15 members of the institute are not even related to the field of Ayurveda. In future, the legislation may have to set up more institutes across the country for carrying out the same purpose then why not include institutes of high standards from other states such as Kerela is a pertinent question that was asked by a parliamentarian. If we look at the positive side it was mentioned by other parliamentarians that the existing three institutes have signed 30 MoU internationally and have taught students from as many as 65 countries and is continuously working for research and development in the field of Ayurveda. The incorporation of the institute will surely develop and bring all practices of Ayurveda under one standard which would ultimately benefit the country as a whole. 


[1]India, Parliamentary Debates, House of People, 10 Feb 2020, p140 (Prof. Sougata Ray)(India), https://eparlib.nic.in/handle/123456789/789220?view_type=browse (11:20 PM, 29 Oct 2020)

[2]India, Parliamentary Debates, House of People, 10 Feb 2020, p 143 (Dr. Shashi Tharoor)(India), https://eparlib.nic.in/handle/123456789/789220?view_type=browse (11:20 PM, 30 Oct 2020)

[3] Supra note 2

[4] India, Parliamentary Debates, House of People, 19 Mar 2020, p 125-127 (Dr Shashi Tharoor)(India) https://eparlib.nic.in/handle/123456789/794798?view_type=browse ( 11: 25 PM 29 Oct 2020)

[5] India, Parliamentary Debates, House of People, 19 Mar 2020, p 130 (Poonam Madaam)(India) https://eparlib.nic.in/handle/123456789/794798?view_type=browse  (11:35 PM 29 Oct 2020)

[6] India, Parliamentary Debates, House of People, 19 Mar 2020, p 138-142 (Shrimati Pratima Mondal)(India) https://eparlib.nic.in/handle/123456789/794798?view_type=browse  (1:35 AM 30 Oct 2020)

[7] Supra note 6

[8] India, Parliamentary Debates, House of People, 19 Mar 2020, p 158 (Dr. Amol Ramsing Kolhe)(India) https://eparlib.nic.in/handle/123456789/794798?view_type=browse  (3:40 AM 30 Oct 2020)

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