Ayurveda and Allopathy: NEP 2020

Ayurveda and Allopathy


The National Education Policy, a renewal of India's education policy, plans to integrate the traditional systems of natural medicine and healing into modern medicine. The growing demand for alternative systems of medicine has been heeded by the government, which announced the set of provisions in 2020. AYUSH, expanding to Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy, welcomed the decision, but the medical fraternity has shown some resistance to this inclusion.

In a written statement, NEP stated that the pluralistic choices of healthcare must be brought into the mainstream, with input from the professional and enforcement from the government. The government bodies also stated that all students must have a basic understanding of natural practices included in AYUSH.

The AYUSH courses already have enlistment of various modern medical practices and processes, which equips them with the basic knowledge of allopathy-based treatments. The NEP aims to level the field with the inclusion of Ayurvedic studies into allopathy. Students will get a general knowledge of Ayurvedic treatment, with added subjects based on natural healing.

The Rebranding of Education

NEP, along with its latest push for AYUSH, is overall structured to rebrand the curriculum of several education programmes in an effort to re-envision the old ways of teaching and learning. Here are the changes it is aiming to institute : -

  • The duration, design, and structure of the programmes must match the role played by graduates who attend and excel in them.
  • Students also need to be assessed on well-defined parameters in regular intervals and must be primarily judged in ways other than written tests.
  • The shift of focus on preventive care and its teaching to the medical students, who mostly learn about the cure, rather than care.

Why Merge The Systems?

Since the 19th century, Allopathy and Ayurveda have worked hand-in-hand, but the evolution of the 21st century has pushed the bar for modern medicine way too high. In terms of popularity, effectiveness, and performance, the gap between Ayurveda and allopathy has widened tremendously. NEP aims to level the gap and bring the two sciences together. In an integrated course, the professionals will get a chance to learn about the preventive measures as taught in Ayurveda, and the comprehensive cure enlisted in the allopathic course.

Also Read: How is Ayurveda different from Alopathy?

Prevention before cure

While the online education system blooms at an unprecedented rate, the traditional systems have begun experimenting with new avenues of optimum teaching. This includes integrated courses, leveled-up classes, and optional subjects. The inclusion of AYUSH in the allopathic sector is a step in a similar direction. Students are now being accessed in different parameters and the emphasis on prevention has been put on priority.

A word from the AYUSH experts : -

On the flip side, Ayurveda experts said the move would boost the confidence of modern science doctors in traditional systems of medicine. In a way, it is a long-coming decision by the government, as ayurvedic studies are already integrated with instruments of modern medicine. High-reaching doctors and ayurvedic teachers have seen this as a premier legitimacy of the work they already do.

The evaluation of homeopathy in allopathic hospitals on all levels of primary, secondary, and tertiary care has been instrumental in the fight against Covid-19. Furthermore, the AYUSH professionals think this will have a positive impact on the healthcare sector. After all, having a basic knowledge of various systems of medicine has a compounding effect on medical students, which ultimately makes them better physicians. The rise in interest in the last decade has quadrupled the need for Ayurvedic colleges across the nation. Institutes like Mansarovar Global University, Bhopal (MGU), are now offering extended BAMS degrees to students interested in alternative medicines.

Also Read: What will you study in BAMS.

Covid-19 and NEP

The rampant spread of Covid-19 has risen the need for an expanded medical workforce. The rise of medicos is simply not possible in the current context, given the medical colleges are limited and the results of new investments will not reap in the coming decade. This makes the option for including Ayurvedic professionals in the medical fraternity a welcome decision.

The greater push for inclusion has certainly come from the effective case studies of several patients who have found healing and betterment in Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurvedic treatment in Bhopal benefitted many people during the second wave of April. The government's Covid treatment kits included a hefty portion of Ayurvedic medicine, which was proven to be effective in the fight against the pandemic. This, along with the rising trend of holistic treatment and natural healing has certainly tipped the favor in AYUSH practices. How far will the marriage of AYUSH and allopathy last depends on the way medical students perceive this change? In the meantime, many colleges already provide excellent learning courses in the vast science of AYUSH. Mansarovar Ayurvedic Medical College has a premier 5.5-year BAMS program, which enrolls students for a degree in Ayurvedic science.

The limitations of an integrated course

The decision has also met with intense criticism, with many professionals publishing revolting condemnations. The move has largely been seen by the fraternity as a "death knell" to modern medicine. The creation of hybrid doctors is the number one fear enamoring the professionals, who fear that this will result in a rise of legitimacy given to quacks opting for an alternative profession. The move is also generated by intense condemnations from the other side of the aisle, who fear that the integration of Ayurveda in allopathy will suppress the glorious field of Ayurveda and will make it a secondary addition to the already established mammoth science of modern medicine.

The fear of losing their own identity is very real, says Dr. Ravi Wankedkar. While imagining a healthcare system with pluralistic integrative medicine (Allopathy-AYUSH) can be a boon for the patients, the science must always be based on evidence, and not assumptions. The aim to re-design the current education model may backfire, as it places a larger emphasis on bringing in new curriculums and systems, rather than building on the already established programs.

In Conclusion

The integrated coursework is a larger sign of boom regarding natural healing, and it's been a long time coming. Now, students from all spheres of life can opt for an allopathic degree with a compulsory study of natural sciences. The rise of demand for natural healing has been witnessed from East to West, and the government has correctly responded by enlisting a course that supports it. The study of Homoeopathy, naturopathy, Ayurveda, can be independently opted for in bachelor programmes such as BAMS.