International Arogya 2017, the first international conference and exhibition on AYUSH and wellness systems organized by FICCI in collaboration with Ministry of AYUSH, Ministry of Commerce & Industry and Pharmexcil, began yesterday in the presence of more than 1,500 delegates from India as well as visitors and hosted delegations from over 60 countries.

The four-day event, which will conclude on December 7, is being held in the backdrop of the National Health Policy 2017 strongly advocating mainstreaming the potential of AYUSH within a pluralistic system of Integrative healthcare. It will showcase the strength and scientific validation of traditional Indian systems of medicine in the global context, including Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), and facilitate their worldwide promotion, development and recognition.

International Arogya 2017 was inaugurated by Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry and Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of AYUSH, in the presence of Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH; Dr. Sanjaya Baru, Secretary General, FICCI and other dignitaries.

Delivering the special address at the inaugural session, Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India, said, “In the recent past, we have seen a resurgence of interest in traditional systems of medicine due to their enormous utility in tackling lifestyle disorders. People from across the world are coming to India for health-restorative cum alternative treatments. With a wealth of 6,600 medicinal plants, India is the second largest exporter of AYUSH and herbal products in the world. We now have an opportunity to mainstream the Indian system of medicine and integrate the AYUSH infrastructure into the healthcare system. This infrastructure consists of 1,355 hospitals with 53,296-bed capacity, 22,635 dispensaries, 450 undergraduate colleges, 9,493 licensed manufacturing units, and 7.18 lakh registered practitioners. We want to tap the maximum potential of AYUSH systems in imparting preventive, promotive and holistic healthcare to the people.”

Talking about the India opportunity, Suresh Prabhu said, “The Indian domestic market of AYUSH is estimated to be Rs 500 crore, while exports amount to Rs 200 crore. Young entrepreneurs planning a start-up could find a lot of opportunities in holistic healthcare. The Government has allowed 100% FDI in AYUSH. The AYUSH industry is expected to grow in double digits and provide direct employment to 1 million people and indirect employment to 25 million people by 2020. All stakeholders need to pool their resources to harness this vast potential.”

Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India, said, “The patient-centric approach of AYUSH systems holds significant potential for finding solutions to India’s public health challenges. The Government has taken many initiatives to popularize alternative systems of medicine. The National AYUSH Mission was started in 2014. An agreement has been signed with WHO to develop benchmarks for Yoga, Ayurveda, Unani and Panchkarma. Five AYUSH information cells have been set up in Israel, Tajikistan, Peru, Russia and Tanzania. The All India Institute of Ayurveda has been established at Delhi. The Government is offering incentives to AYUSH industry for international cooperation and encouraging certification of AYUSH products to facilitate exports. The AYUSH Premium Mark is part of a new, voluntary quality certification scheme to ensure efficacy of Indian herbal products. There is now sufficient momentum to bring the traditional systems of medicine to a higher pedestal in healthcare.” More than 250 manufacturers of alternative medicine are showcasing their products and services at International Arogya 2017. The mega event has brought key stakeholders of AYUSH sector together under one roof to showcase latest research and developments in alternative medicine systems of India and boost exports of AYUSH products.

A White Paper “AYUSH for the World” by Frost & Sullivan was launched at the event to offer a roadmap for AYUSH regulations and registration in ASEAN and BIMSTEC countries. It notes that India is the second largest exporter of Ayurvedic and alternate medicine to the world and has a potential to generate 3 million job opportunities. The Indian herbal market is valued at around Rs 5,000 crore currently, with an annual growth rate of 14%. More than 30,000 branded and 1,500 traditional AYUSH products are available in the country.



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