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SMART 2.0: Unleashing Research Potential for Enhanced Healthcare

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The Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) and the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) have jointly introduced the ‘SMART 2.0’ (Scope for Mainstreaming Ayurveda Research among Teaching Professionals) programme. This initiative aims to catalyse comprehensive clinical studies in key areas of Ayurveda, fostering collaboration between academic institutions and hospitals nationwide.

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Headed by Prof (Vd) Rabinarayan Acharya, DG, CCRAS, the programme prioritises rigorous exploration into the safety, tolerability, and adherence of Ayurvedic formulations. The focus areas encompass Bal Kasa, Malnutrition, Insufficient lactation, Abnormal Uterine Bleeding, Osteoporosis in post-menopausal women, and Diabetes Mellitus (DM) II.

CCRAS, operating under the Ministry of Ayush, serves as the apex body driving the formulation, coordination, and promotion of scientifically aligned research in Ayurveda. The fundamental objective of ‘SMART 2.0’ lies in producing concrete evidence showcasing the efficacy and safety of Ayurvedic interventions. This evidence, generated through interdisciplinary research methodologies, will be translated into enhanced public healthcare practices.

Building upon the success of its predecessor, ‘SMART 1.0,’ which addressed 10 diseases with active participation from teaching professionals in 38 colleges, the programme aims for broader and deeper engagement.

Academic institutions specialising in Ayurveda intrigued by collaborative research opportunities are encouraged to submit their ‘Expression of Interest’ using the prescribed format available on the CCRAS website. Queries or information may be directed to ccrassmart2.0[at]gmail[dot]com, with a copy to before the 10th of January.

This initiative signifies a pivotal step towards leveraging modern research methodologies to substantiate the efficacy of Ayurvedic practices, ultimately elevating the standard of healthcare delivery for the benefit of the populace.

The Ministry of Ayush in India had embarked on an ambitious agenda for Ayurveda through the ‘Scope for Mainstreaming Ayurveda Research in Teaching Professionals’ (SMART) initiative. This groundbreaking programme, led by the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) and the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), esteemed bodies under the Ministry of Ayush, was designed to catalyse scientific research in critical healthcare domains through collaboration with Ayurveda institutions and hospitals across the nation.

Vaidya Jayant Deopujari, Chairman of NCISM, commended the initiative, expressing optimism about its potential to revolutionise Ayurveda’s clinical research landscape. He had emphasised the significant untapped research potential within the community of Ayurveda educators, envisioning the ‘SMART’ programme as a catalyst for profound and enduring advancements in Ayurveda research, thereby serving the nation commendably.

Professor Rabinarayan Acharya, Director General of CCRAS, elucidated the core objectives of ‘SMART’, highlighting its aim to identify, nurture, and endorse innovative research proposals in crucial healthcare domains. These encompassed various ailments such as Osteoarthritis, Iron Deficiency Anaemia, Chronic Bronchitis, Dyslipidemia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Obesity, Diabetes Mellitus, Psoriasis, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, and Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).

Prof. B. S. Prasad, President of the Board of Ayurveda at NCISM, underscored the invaluable role played by the expansive network of Ayurveda colleges and hospitals across India. He had acknowledged their significant contributions to healthcare services and research. Prasad had expressed confidence that the ‘SMART’ programme would serve as a catalyst, inspiring teachers to undertake research projects in designated healthcare domains, thereby contributing to the creation of a robust healthcare database.

This forward-thinking initiative marked a pivotal moment in Ayurveda’s trajectory, poised to significantly augment the research and development landscape, ultimately benefiting healthcare on a national scale.

The NCISM Act, 2020, established the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine to enhance medical education accessibility and quality. It aims to ensure ample Indian System of Medicine professionals nationwide, promote equitable healthcare, integrate modern research, maintain ethical standards, and adapt to evolving needs with an effective grievance redressal mechanism.


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