Ladakh gets National Institute of Sowa-Rigpa (NISR) to promote traditional medicine

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved on 20 November the establishment of the National Institute for Sowa-Rigpa (NISR) in Leh, Ladakh, as an autonomous organization under the Ministry of AYUSH and to create the post of Director in Level-14 to oversee implementation of the project from the construction stage onward.

Consequent to the formation of Ladakh as a Union Territory (UT) and for the promotion of the native culture of Ladakh, it was decided by the Government of India to promote Sowa-Rigpa traditional system of medicine, by establishing a National Institute of Sowa-Rigpa at Leh, Union Territory of Ladakh at an estimated cost of Rs. 47.25 crore.

Sowa-Rigpa is a traditional Tibetan medical system of the Himalayan belt. It has been popularly practiced in Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, and more recently in other parts of India.

The setting up of NISR is expected to provide an impetus for the revival of Sowa-Rigpa in the Indian Subcontinent. The Institute will also provide opportunities for students of Sowa-Rigpa not only in India but also from other countries.

The Institute will be an autonomous National Institute under the Ministry of AYUSH with a mandate to undertake interdisciplinary education and research programmes in Sowa-Rigpa in collaboration with premier national and international Institutes, and facilitate the integration of different systems of medicine.

After the setting up of NISR, synergy among the existing Sowa-Rigpa Institutions – Central University of Tibetan Studies in Sarnath, Varanasi, and the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies in Leh, Ladakh, which are under the administrative control of the Ministry of Culture – and NISR will be established.

This will facilitate quality education, scientific validation, quality control & standardization and safety evaluation of Sowa-Rigpa products, standardization of Sowa-Rigpa based tertiary health delivery, and promotion of interdisciplinary research & education of Sowa-Rigpa at undergraduate, postgraduate and postdoctoral levels.

NISR will identify the best Sowa-Rigpa treatment, including their standard procedures, within the framework of traditional Sowa-Rigpa principles, and possible corelation with biomolecular western medicine in providing healthcare facilities to the general public.

The objective is to establish NISR as an apex Institute for Sowa-Rigpa with aim of bringing a valid and useful synergy between the traditional wisdom of Sowa-Rigpa and modern science, tools and technology.

The move is expected to help promote interdisciplinary research & education of Sowa-Rigpa.

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The ID Staff

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