In a move to catapult ayurveda to the main stream of healthcare in the country, the Tata Group is setting up the Indian Institute of Ayurveda Integrated Medicine in Bangalore.
The institute will function in association with the Department of Science and Technology, and the Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions, a Bangalore-based NGO that supports traditional healing methods.
Designed by FRLHT on the lines of Indian Institutes of Management and Indian Institutes of Science, the IIAIM will act as India's premier finishing school for qualified ayurvedic doctors, post graduates, physiotherapists and Yoga experts.
The Institute will offer highly-specialised, short-term and long-term courses to help the students practice in accordance with the demands of modern healthcare delivery systems, besides advanced research and post-doctoral programmes.
The IIAIM and a 100-bed Ayurveda and Yoga hospital, with a total investment of Rs 64 crore (Rs 640 million), will come up at Yelahanka, Bangalore, by 2009. The Tata Group's Sir Dorabji Tata Trust will invest Rs 34 crore (Rs 340 million). The rest is likely to come from DST, said Dr G G Gangadharan, joint director, FRLHT.
"Though about 15,000 graduates come out from 310 ayurveda colleges in India every year, few of them are able to establish themselves as good professionals owing to their inability to adapt to the needs of modern healthcare. The programmes at IIAIM will resolve this issue and help them practice anywhere in the world," said Gangadharan.
Apart from this, the Sir Dorabji Trust has agreed to fund Rs 15 crore (Rs 150 million) to the Ayurvedic firm Kottakkal Arya Vaidyasala in Kerala to undertake drug research based on medicinal plants, said Jasmine Pavri, programme officer for the trust in Mumbai.
It may be noted that the Tatas, who had exited from the pharmaceutical business almost a decade ago by hiving off their Rallis India's pharma division, re-entered the scene two years ago by promoting Advinus Therapeutics, a Bangalore-based pure drug discovery company headed by Dr Reshmi Barbaiya, a former Ranbaxy R&D head.
The Tatas have also invested in Avesthagen, a Bangalore-based biotechnology company and Indigene, a Hyderabad-based biopharmaceutical firm.
FRLHT is also planning to set up 100 Ayurvedic clinics and 150 mother and childcare centres in the country.