Karnataka: UGC directive on Ph.D. programmes for AYUSH creates confusion
Bengaluru: The University Grants Commissions directive to introduce Phd in AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy) discipline so that candidates can register for Ph.D. and avail fellowship through the AYUSH Research Council has left universities across the state, in a state of confusion.The flux has arisen because not all state universities are in a position to offer Ph,d Programmes as they don’t even run undergraduate or post graduate degrees.
While the aim is to improve research in the field by introducion of Ph.D programmes, universities are trying to identify faculty and resource people for the programme. Many institutions don’t offer Ayush programmes. The Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) alone, has just 73 of the 650 affiliated institutions in a position to offer Ph.D. programmes as per UGC’s guideline.
“Finding faculty for AYUSH programmes is not an easy task. Moreover, we don’t even have undergraduate or postgraduate programmes in AYUSH, so how can we offer Ph.D. programmes. It is certainly not feasible or practical,” said a Bangalore University official.
A UGC circular to all the Vice Chancellors recently directed the varsities to enroll students in Ph.D programmes as the Ministry of Ayush intended to develop AYUSH systems to imbibe scientific interventions in the field. The circular stated that the AYUSH Ministry wants to encourage research and has established five autonomous research organizations for the purpose. The councils, the circular said have been set up to conduct clinical and basic research studies and they intend to sponsor 200 candidates annually for Ph.D. programs
According to K.S. Ravindranath, RGUHS, 73 of the 650 institutions that were offering programmes under AYUSH could initiate Ph.D fellowships immediately.
“But other institutions will not be able to offer the programme as there aren’t specialists. There is a need for qualified faculty to guide them and it is not practically possible to start them in all colleges or varsities,” he added.
He, emphatically maintained that initiating research in institutions having AYUSH programs would give a boost to these subjects as there was very little research being done in the field particularly in the area of chronic diseases.