Chennai (PB): The Indian Siddha Medical Graduates Association (ISMGA), in a letter to the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Gulam Nabi Azad, alleged that the Vice-Chancellor of The Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University, Dr Mayil Vahanan Natarajan is persistently making attempts to debase the Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM). And the best evidence of it is in his latest letter to the Union Minister asking permission to remove the term ‘surgery’ from the nomenclature of undergraduate level ISM courses.
The association requested the minister to discard the proposal of the VC for changing the nomenclatures as the vice chancellor is deliberately trying to lower the dignity of the courses.
In a complaint to the Union minister, Dr Selvin Innocent Das, president of ISMGA said the vice-chancellor’s move will create a bad picture before the public and also before the international stake holders about the country’s traditional healing methods. He informed the minister that this is the second time Dr Mayil Vahanan Natarajan is making efforts to degrade the dignity of ISM courses. The reason he pointed out in the letter is that the VC is an allopath, so he is trying to lower the dignity of the Ayush systems.
Another allegation in the complaint is that the vice chancellor had failed in his earlier such attempt in this regard because of the intervention of the chief minister. Now, for a second time he is trying to use the good offices of the union minister to get his things done. Dr Selvin wrote in his letter that in the past, without getting the approval of the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM), which is the apex statutory body to introduce, monitor, alter or modify the ISM courses, the VC tried to take away some major portions from the syllabus of the ISM courses including surgery.
According to him the need of the hour is to update the existing syllabus with the latest advances in the medical sciences, which have been in use for decades. He said because of protests from Ayush students and practitioners the VC had earlier promised to the government of Tamil Nadu that there would not be any action from his side either to degrade or belittle the Indian systems. Now he is acting against his commitment, Dr Selvin wrote in the letter.
“All the actions taken by the VC in this regard are against the Indian Medicine Central Council Act 1970, and against the constitution. There are more than 1000 medical colleges on Ayush throughout India adhering CCIM Acts and regulations,” Dr Selvin said.
On March 26, this year the VC sent a letter to the health minister stating that the Medical University is embarked on revamping the curriculum and syllabus of Medical/Dental/ISM/Allied health sciences like pharmacy, nursing, physiotherapy etc commensurate with the recent advances in respective fields, and bring them from knowledge based to competence based systems.
Commenting that the term ‘surgery’ suffixed to BAMS, BUMS, BHMS and BSMS can give wrong notion to the public that these graduates are capable of performing surgeries, the VC wrote in his letter that the term ‘surgery’ could be used only when the candidate was exposed to the training for performing surgeries on the patients.
Dr Mayil Vahanan Natarajan made the suggestion before the minister that the term ‘surgery’ suffixed to each undergraduate ISM course be removed and the nomenclature of the courses be redesigned accordingly.
The Vice Chancellor of the Medical University is an orthopaedic surgeon with PhD in orthopaedic oncology.