Ayurveda Minister - India Courtesy the latest expansion of the Cabinet of PM Narendra Modi, India, will for the first time have a Minister for Ayurveda, with a separate AAYUSH portfolio, who would be promoting traditional medicines and practices of Ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and homeopathy.

As the first ever AAYUSH minister, Shripad Yesso Naik will have Independent Charge. AAYUSH was previously part of the Health Minister’s responsibility. According to Reuters, “the formation of the ministry comes days after the government unveiled plans to set up a regulator for traditional drugs.

India wants to expand its presence in the estimated $100 billion global market for alternative medicine. Ayurvedic and other types of traditional medicine, called unani and siddha, are popular in smaller towns, and yoga has a huge following across India and in the West. Homeopathy also finds wide acceptance in India.”

Shripad Yesso Naik, who was earlier the Minister of State of Tourism and Culture with Independent Charge, has taken charge of the new ministry amid much curiosity over what exactly his portfolio entails. Speaking to NDTV, Mr Naik said, “AAYUSH means a way of medicine that belongs to India. After (the) British came to India, they suppressed Indian medicine and tried to foist Allopathy on us, that’s why it (traditional medicine) could not be promoted.”

We sincerely hope that this will be a step in the right direction, and in the overall plan of the Prime Minister’s agenda in re-vitalising and energising Ayurveda in India.

Shripad Yesso Naik in Conversation, on Lok Sabha TV

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