Joseph Alexander, New Delhi
Monday, January 23, 2012, 08:00 Hrs [IST]
The ministry of commerce has started the initiative to forge broader cooperation between the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries on traditional medicines with a view to tap the emerging potential in the field at the global level through joint efforts and by forming a common platform.
The ministry has already drafted the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and launched consultations with the stakeholders to garner their inputs before finalising the document. It has also sought views from the concerned departments including Ayush that will represent India in the agreement with SAARC countries, sources said.
The MoU would seek to strengthen and further develop co-operation between the countries on co-operation in the field of traditional systems of medicine. “Such co-operation would serve their common interest and contribute to the enhancement of the traditional systems of medicine and social development of the peoples of both countries,” it said.
The areas of co-operation for the promotion of traditional medicine will include the regulation of teaching, practice, drugs and drugless therapies of traditional systems of medicine, supplying all medicine materials and documents necessary for demonstration and reference, exchanging experts for training of practitioners, paramedics, scientists, teaching professionals and students in traditional medicine; and accommodating interested scientists, practitioners, paramedics and students in institutions for research, educational and training programmes on traditional medicine.
One of the key agendas of the MoU will be to work towards mutual recognition of Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Homoeopathy Pharmacopoeia of India and the Herbal Pharmacopoeia of other SAARC countries. It will also facilitate mutual recognition of educational qualifications in traditional medicines awarded by Central/State recognised Universities of respective countries.
Other objectives of the cooperation would be setting up of chairs on traditional systems of medicine which are legally recognized by the concerned government, providing scholarships for future education in recognized institutions, recognition of traditional preparations as drugs on reciprocatory basis as per the existing laws of respective countries, and granting of permission to practice traditional medicine on reciprocatory basis by the qualified practitioners as per the existing laws.
“The protection of intellectual property rights shall be enforced in conformity with the respective national laws, rules and regulations of the parties and with other international agreements signed by both parties,” the draft MoU says.