International Yoga Day: Ayush Ministry does not recognise Yoga & Naturopathy as medicine system

The Modi government which boasts “Yoga diplomacy” at international arena, does not recognize Yoga and Naturopathy as the medicine system at home

NH Photo by Vipin
NH Photo by Vipin
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NH Political Bureau

On a day when people all over the world are celebrating International Yoga Day – which is considered the biggest cultural import to the world from India – it has come to the fore that the Modi government which boasts “Yoga diplomacy” at international arena, does not recognise Yoga and Naturopathy as the medicine system at home.

The duplicity of the Modi government was revealed when Ayush Ministry on May 19 this year, in a reply said that since Yoga and Naturopathy are drugless, hence do not qualify to be regulated – and recognized.

The Ayush Ministry which was created by the Modi government in May 2014 by transforming the Department of AYUSH into a full-fledged Union ministry responded to Doctor Girish Patil who had filed a petition in the Bengaluru High Court, seeking regularisation and recognition inclusion of Yoga and Naturopathy as a medicine system.

“Regarding the inclusion of BNYS qualification in the second schedule of the Indian Medicine Central Council (IMCC) Act, it is informed since Yoga and Naturopathy are drugless systems the same can be considered as the Indian system of medicine and hence not included in the second act of the IMCC act. However, a Bill regarding regularization and standardizing the education is under consideration in the ministry,” reads the response sent by the Ministry of Ayush.

International Yoga Day: Ayush Ministry does not recognise Yoga & Naturopathy as medicine system

It is also important to note here that not only the ministry was established by the IMCC Act-1970 which was also amended and replaced with the Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Interestingly, NITI Aayog – the government's own think-tank in its report prepared in 2017 had suggested that “given the increasing recognition for (Yoga and naturopathy) in potentially making an important contribution towards health promotion, well-being and disease prevention, we have recommended their inclusion in the NCISM” but the Ayush Ministry did not pay heed to the suggestion.

Yoga and naturopathy are taught at the undergraduate level in 70 medical colleges in 14 states. And it has been regularised by 15 state governments.

Yoga and Naturopathy physician Doctor Rajesh Kumar Sing believes without regularisation and recognition by the Central government and absence of a national Act, a practitioner registered in one state can’t practise in another.


When asked why Modi government is not regularising the “traditional-medicine system”, Singh added, “Some vested interests are indeed playing from behind the scenes, otherwise there is no reason to believe that the Modi government whose penchant for the old Indian medicine or knowledge system is very loud and clear would not do anything to regularise and recognise the Yoga and Naturopathy as a medicine system”.

The Indian Naturopathy and Yoga Graduates’ Medical Association (INYGMA) – a nationwide organisation of Yoga and Naturopathy practitioners have also urged the health minister to regularise and recognise it as a medicine system.

Yoga is considered as one of the five alternative Indian medicine systems besides Unani, Siddha naturopathy and Homoeopathy’.

However, Yoga alone among them is yet to be regulated under any Act of Parliament. All other systems are governed by the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) Act 2020.

Rajesh Sigh believes that until and unless the Aayush Ministry takes proactive steps, nothing substantial can be done.

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