All is not well with In­dian Board of Al­ter­na­tive Medicine

FACT CHECK The Med­i­cal Coun­cil of In­dia has, in re­sponse to an RTI, in­formed the Cen­tral In­for­ma­tion Com­mis­sion that IBAM’s de­grees are not valid

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - HT Education - - Front Page - Jee­van Prakash Sharma Rozelle Laha

The gover nment i s giv­ing a bi g push t o al t e r na­tive medicine sys­tems through its min­istry of AYUSH – an acro­nym for Ayurveda, Yoga and Natur­opa­thy, Unani, Sid­dha and Ho­moeopa­thy. How­ever, the the In­dian Board of Al­ter­na­tive Medicine ( IBAM), Kolkata, which pro­motes such sys­tems, does not have the ap­provals to teach medicine.

This has been re­vealed by the Med­i­cal Coun­cil of In­dia (MCI), the reg­u­la­tory body for teach­ing medicine. It has in­formed the Cen­tral In­for ma­tion Com­mis­sion that the de­grees awarded by IBAM are not valid. MCI was re­spond­ing to an RTI ask­ing for clar­ity on the qual­i­fi­ca­tions of doc­tors from IBAM.

Yashovard­han Azad, Cen­tral In­for­ma­tion Com­mis­sioner, has said, “This is a mat­ter of grave con­cern since pub­lic health is at high risk ow­ing to these prac­ti­tion­ers who have no proper knowl­edge or train­ing to ren­der med­i­cal as­sis­tance. In view of the “se­ri­ous­ness of the is­sue”, Azad said, the com­mis­sion wanted its con­cerns to be com­mu­ni­cated to the sec­re­tary, min­istry of health and fam­ily wel­fare for im­me­di­ate ac­tion to curb this prac­tice which is pos­ing a threat to pub­lic health.

To teach medicine, in­sti­tutes need the ap­provals of one of the three reg­u­la­tory bod­ies – MCI for mod­ern medicine; and Cen­tral Coun­cil of In­dian Medicine (CCIM) and Cen­tral Coun­cil of Ho­moeopa­thy (CCH) for al­ter­na­tive medicine.

Higher ed­u­ca­tion reg­u­la­tor UGC has listed IBAM as a “fake univer­sity” on its web­site. MCI, which gives the ap­provals for med­i­cal cour­ses such as bach­e­lors of medicine, surgery etc, says IBAM has no au­thor­ity to award any med­i­cal qual­i­fi­ca­tion. CCH hasn’t ap­proved IBAM cour­ses in ho­moeopa­thy ei­ther.

And CCIM, which sets stan­dards for teach­ing Ayurveda, Sid­dha, Unani and Sowa Rigpa, says that IBAM’s cour­ses don’t con­form to their stan­dards. “Doc­tors pro­duced by IBAM are in­com­pe­tent and a risk to peo­ple’s lives, but no gov­ern­ment au­thor­ity has taken any ac­tion against it,” al­leges Ved Prakash Tyagi, pres­i­dent, CCIM. “They prac­tice in ru­ral ar­eas where peo­ple are not so lit­er­ate to ques­tion their qual­i­fi­ca­tions.”

No ac­tion has been taken against the Board. As a mat­ter of fact, its web­site states it has sup­port from the Dalai Lama, Rev. Des­mond Tutu, Queen El­iz­a­beth II and UN sec­re­tary gen­er­als. “The Board’s con­fer­ences have been widely ac­claimed and at­tended by Mother Teresa, Union and state min­is­ters, chief jus­tices, judges and diplo­mats be­sides lead­ing lights in the field of health and medicine from over fifty coun­tries world­wide,” it says.

Speak­ing to this cor­re­spon­dent, Sushil Ku­mar Agar­wal, CEO of IBAM, says his in­sti­tute is reg­is­tered un­der the So­ci­ety Reg­is­tra­tion Act (An act for the reg­is­tra­tion of lit­er­ary, sci­en­tific and char­i­ta­ble so­ci­eties) and he doesn’t need ap­provals from reg­u­la­tory bod­ies.

How­ever, in In­dia, ed­u­ca­tion laws do not al­low a so­ci­ety reg­is­tered un­der the So­ci­ety Re gis­tra­tion Act t o g r ant de­grees. “Many fake in­sti­tutes mis­lead stu­dents by claim­ing to be reg­is­tered so­ci­eties, which gives the im­pres­sion that (such in­sti­tutes) are reg­is­tered bod­ies un­der the Act and so au­tho­rised to im­part ed­u­ca­tion,” says Tyagi.

Show­ing a let­ter to this cor­re­spon­dent, Agar­wal says “it has been is­sued by MCI on July 25, 1996. It says MCI doesn’t reg­u­late cour­ses in al­ter­na­tive medicine and it deals only with the mod­ern sci­en­tific sys­tem of medicine.” He, how­ever, does not ex­plain why he has not taken the req­ui­site per­mis­sions from CCIM or CIH for teach­ing al­ter- na­tive medicine.

Ag­grawal also claims that Cal­cutta High Court is scru­ti­n­is­ing IBAM’s va­lid­ity is­sue. “The court had passed an or­der of ‘sta­tus quo’ in favour of IBAM on July 23, 2003,” he says.

The au­then­tic­ity of Ag­gar­wal’s copy of the or­der could not be ver­i­fied on Cal­cutta High Court’s web­site. “The case was filed in 1996 that’s why it’s not on the web­site,” says Agar­wal. A check of the web­site, how­ever, re­veals de­tails of cases older than 1996.

When ques­tioned about the case and how it landed in Cal­cutta High Court, Agar­wal said, “As the mat­ter is sub-ju­dice in the High Court, it will not be proper for me to make any fur­ther com­ments.”

Some of the de­gree and post de­gree cour­ses which IBAM teaches in the reg­u­lar and cor­re­spon­dence mode in­clude bach­e­lor of al­ter­na­tive med­i­cal sys­tem (BASM), masters in psy­chother­apy and coun­selling (MPC), doc­tor of natur­opa­thy/nat­u­ral medicine (ND/NMD), doc­tor of ori­en­tal medicine (OMD), doc­tor of science in al­ter­na­tive medicines – DSc(AM).

The nomen­cla­ture of these de­grees do not con­form with de­grees ap­proved by the UGC. Plan­ning to take up a job soon af­ter grad­u­a­tion? You need not worry as re­cruiters will soon be flock­ing to Delhi Univer­sity’s cam­puses to hire for roles rang­ing from cus­tomer and flight ser­vices to data anal­y­sis. These in­ci­den­tally will also be pro­files in de­mand dur­ing the place­ment sea­son.

At DU’s Cen­tral Place­ment Cell, which con­ducts place­ment drives for the univer­sity, good com­mand of lan­guage and com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills have got pri­or­ity over do­main knowl­edge of sub­jects.

“Do­mes­tic air­lines Vis­tara and Indigo come to hire cabin crew mem­bers, ground and tick­et­ing staff from us. Com­pa­nies like Wipro, In­fosys and HCL hire grad­u­ates from any stream for their call cen­tres. E-com­merce giant Ama­zon looks for grad­u­ates with lan­guage skills in Ger­man, Span­ish and Ital­ian,” says a DU of­fi­cial.

Some of the jobs of­fered to DU grad­u­ates are also open to non­grad­u­ates with work ex­pe­ri­ence. They in­clude di­ploma hold­ers from open schools and polytech­nics, say com­pany sources.

“We hire DU grad­u­ates for cus­tomer ser­vice roles. As part of their jobs, these grad­u­ates (we call them re­cruit­ment ex­ec­u­tives) han­dle in­bound calls, send out emails and re­spond to queries and also coun­sel job-seek­ers off­line. How­ever, busi­ness devel­op­ment roles some­times re­quire them to in­ter­act di­rectly with em­ploy­ers and get them to post job open­ings on our por­tal,” says Pallav Sinha, founder and CEO, Mer­aJob In­dia.

While grad­u­a­tion is the min­i­mum re­quire­ment for tak­ing up a busi­ness devel­op­ment role, a non-grad­u­ate with good commu- nica­tion and com­puter skills, and over one year of work ex­pe­ri­ence in cus­tomer ser­vice, can be­come a re­cruit­ment ex­ec­u­tive. Out of nine DU grad­u­ates who joined the com­pany last year, only two joined busi­ness devel­op­ment roles, says Sinha.

An­other pop­u­lar re­cruiter at DU place­ments, Gen­pact, hired all stu­dents from DU for its ITeS and BPO divi­sion.

“We re­quire grad­u­ates with a com­merce back­ground as most roles of­fered within the com­pany in­volve pro­vid­ing fi­nan­cial ser­vices to clients,” says Nitin Khu­rana, AVP, re­cruit­ment, Gen­pact. Any grad­u­ate or di­ploma holder from an open school or polytech­nic do­ing a pro­gramme which is con­sid­ered equiv­a­lent to grad­u­a­tion is el­i­gi­ble for place­ment with the com­pany.

Some com­pa­nies look for grad­u­ates with an­a­lyt­i­cal skills and sub­ject-spe­cific knowl­edge. For in­stance, con­sult­ing firm Deloitte hired 175 grad­u­ates f rom DU l ast year in ar­eas such as con­sult­ing, en­ter­prise risk, and fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sory. Deal­ing with data anal­y­sis and data in­ter­pre­ta­tion, these grad­u­ates help in pre­par­ing re­ports and in­sights.

“For roles in au­dit, finance and tax we look for grad­u­ates from the com­merce back­ground; for con­sult­ing pro­files, grad­u­ates must have a math­e­mat­i­cal bent of mind. Some­times, we also hire arts stu­dents who are clear and ar­tic­u­late when com­mu­ni­cat­ing in con­sult­ing roles. Over and above these skills, we look for grad­u­ates who are full of en­ergy and show com­mit­ment and pas­sion in any­thing they do,” says SV Nathan, se­nior di­rec­tor and chief ta­lent of­fi­cer, Deloitte In­dia

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.