The newly created exclusive body for Siddha research named Central Council of Research in Siddha (CCRS) has started functioning in Chennai. The headquarters of the Council is based at the National Institute of Siddha (NIS) at Tambaram, near Chennai.
Earlier, the CCRAS was bifurcated in September 2010 to establish CCRS, exclusively for Siddha medicine, after a long period of pressure from the Siddha community in Tamil Nadu and elsewhere.
Dr R S Ramaswami, previously working as the HoD of the Department of Special Medicine at the NIS has been made the Director General of the newly formed Council. Earlier, the department of Ayush had announced that an officer in the rank of joint secretary in the Ayush department would be assigned to head the institute as its Director General.
The Ayush Department of the Union Health Ministry decided to set up the headquarters of the CCRS in Chennai in March 2010 and the separation had officially come seven months later. Till now the research council of Siddha was functioning under the CCRAS in New Delhi, which was established in 1978.
While sharing information with Pharmabiz, Dr R S Ramaswami, the DG, said the Council will concentrate mainly on researches in Siddha medicines and manufacture of conventional medicines for the treatment at the NIS in Chennai. CCRS will also monitor all the periphery research centres located in Pondicherry, Palayamkottai, Mettur, Annanagar and Thiruvananthapuram. He said for the development of researches and for other activities, he has submitted a project proposal to the department of Ayush.
While welcoming the new Council in Chennai, the Centre for Traditional Medicines & Research (CTMR) in Chennai has opined that the central agency has to do researches in the development of raw material standards and process standardization towards uniform medicines with optimum therapeutic efficacy.
“As the clientele for siddha system is escalating, sizable industrial production is warranted. Therefore pharmaceutical research needs to be taken up with the support of modern technology and the medicines prepared by the conventional cottage industry must be promoted. The Formulary so far prepared does not contain the most frequently manufactured medicines either by industry or by hospitals. Therefore, priorities have to be given to that area also. CCRS should consider these issues from the beginning”, said Dr T Thirunarayanan, secretary of CTMR.
Vaidya S Usman Ali, former additional director in the department of Ayush and a veteran pharmacognosist in Tamil Nadu said no officer in the newly formed CCRS or at the NIS has exposure to industry or industrial researches in Siddha. Unless drastic changes are made, the Council will not fetch the desired result. He went to the extent of saying that the present officers and staff at the Council have no experience in treatment and researches at PG levels.