The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2019 and The National Commission for Homoeopathy Bill, 2019

DR. AMAR PATNAIK (ODISHA): Sir, as hon. Members have already submitted, this Bill has come out of a recommendation made by the ViceChairman, NITI Aayog in 2016. Replying to the queries put by the Committee, the Ministry had replied this. The question was: Why was it ineffective and why do you want to repeal the old Bill? The reply was that there was absence of effective provisions in the IMCC Act, relating to the constitution of council, membership, to have transparent selection of members and their tenure, no provision in the Act for taking action against colleges for non-compliance of standards, so on and so forth. Similarly, to another question they replied this. The question was: Why was it not effective? The reply was that there was lack of effective provisions in the Act to address the issues relating to membership, conditions for removal of members and president in the case of non-performance or otherwise, etc. Basically, the answer given was that the problem was structural in nature, that if the structural organisation of the Indian system of medicine is achieved, then the entire propagation and use of the Indian system of medicines by the citizens and people of this country would take place. Now, as we know, the new Bill, which has come up, largely addresses the structural issues in terms of increasing the number of members, three experts, etc. Several issues have been discussed by the hon. Members. But the basic question, which Prof. Ram Gopal Yadav just mentioned, is, why haven't or why hasn't it taken off? Whereas many of these practices and many of these medicines started in this country, why has it not taken off? To my mind, the most important thing is research. The lack of research in these branches of medicine has resulted in people not having enough confidence to adopt these medicines. Now, if you look at the objective of the National Institute for Indian System of Medicines, I find that there is an objective which says adoption of latest medical research but there is nothing after that in the Bill about research, conducting research, what kind of research to be carried out, whether the research has to be published, what kind of publication has to be done, what kind of scientific research would be done. Now, I would give you a suggestion, Sir. In Allopathy or in the clinical trials, what they follow largely all over the world is something called as randomized control trials which has been now taken to different subjects. In the Indian system of medicine or in Homeopathy, no such approach, no such methodology is prescribed. Nowhere has it been captured. The people are unaware of it with the result that there is no confidence to adopt the practices. Unfortunately, the Bill does not address any such concern and there is nothing mentioned about research per se as to how to conduct a research, what the process would be. The second point why it has not taken off, to my mind, is promotion. The promotion of Indian system of medicine and Homeopathy has not had backing of the Government at all. Even if there was a Bill, the allocations have not been much. It is only in the recent times and only in a few States that this has taken off whereas the kind of promotion that has been available to the allopathic branch of medicine, the so-called modern system of medicine, has not taken place. I think we have a lot to do in case of promotion. Regarding the joint responsibility of the governing bodies and institutions to remove the misconceptions of people, nothing has been done about that. The information and education communication which could be provided free to people has not taken place. Various research bodies could be actually tagged together and jointly they could think about developing new research methodologies in these branches, it has not taken off. Health camps, which you find all the time, the so-called modern system of medicine, organizing that does not place. It is only rarely. We do not have T.V. shows. For example, as hon. Member, Prof. Ram Gopal Yadav was talking about, we do not have a first line of treatment except for Allopathy. We do not have any first line of treatment in the Indian system of medicine of Homeopathy. The same is to be developed, and I am not saying there is no potential. There is a lot of potential but develop research and scientific research, -- I am not saying the process that is being adopted in Allopathy but you develop your own research methodology, your own research design and model -- and then give it to the world. Now, unless that is done, an epidemiological kind of findings are there, we cannot have the first line of defence against diseases and epidemics. And if that happens, then, this kind of Indian system of medicine can actually take off. We do not have motivation. We have hospitals but they are not being monitored. Now, another point, which is lacking in the Bill, is about the penalty. What is the penalty against quacks? What is the penalty against medical practitioners who are not registered and still practising? That is not mentioned. The next point, which I would like to mention, is about the appellate tribunal. The Government of India itself forms the committee, decides everything and also decides on the complaints. This is actually not a very happy situation. The States' representatives from the State Medical Councils do not find representation in the Central councils. The last point, which I want to say again, Sir, is this. If you remember, my maiden speech in this House was on the Budget of the AYUSH Ministry when I had said that the philosophical underpinnings of all these four branches are completely different. It is not just different from Allopathy but it is different amongst the branches themselves. So, to club together three of the branches and only separate Homeopathy out, probably, would not give the final results that is expected. Thank you so much, Sir.