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ISMGA urges Ayush dept, TN govt to change medium of instruction of Siddha into English

Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai
Friday, April 20, 2012, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Indian Siddha Medical Graduates Association (ISMGA) may soon approach the Tamil Nadu government and the central Ayush department with a proposal that the medium of instruction of Siddha system should be made English language in order to spread the system worldwide.

Currently the courses, BSMS and MD (Siddha) are taught in Tamil language and the books and reference materials concerning the curriculum of the system are completely in Tamil.

According to members of the association, there is a limitation for this regional language which confines the system within its circle, hence the growth and spread of this age old Indian system of medicine is blocked. If it is taught in English language, more students from other states and countries will study the course, and more innovative researches will take place. Further, the number of siddha hospitals and clinics will increase in other states and abroad, which will fetch more employment opportunities to the sector, they said.

Dr B Muthukumar, national spokesperson of ISMGA and a member of CCIM, said recently a step in this regard was taken by Shanthigiri Siddha College in Thiruvananthapuram where BSMS is taught in English. “They have translated many subject wise books into English and the entire course is taught in English. The main reason for the change is that the students enrolling there for the course are mainly Keralites. They don’t know Tamil, so the course is done in English. Such attempts can be done in other states and in Tamil Nadu too,” he told Pharmabiz.

He further said if the medium of instruction is English, people in other parts of India and those in western countries will endorse it and acceptance of Siddha medicine will increase. The course in English will raise the standard of students and there will be mutual interactions among students of other states also. Universities in other states will also start the course, as a result, hospitals, manufacturing units and drugs sale shops will also emerge. Gradually Siddha system will become par with Ayurveda or Allopathy.

When asked whether the change of language will become a sensitive issue, he responded that those who wanted to learn the system in Tamil could go with Tamil medium. There should be Tamil and English medium. Admissions can be done to both Tamil and English medium courses. The only challenge government has to face is that all the medical books in Tamil have to be translated into English. There are about 40 books about the subject and most of them are in Tamil verse. The college conducting the course will usually have 14 departments.

“Ayurveda is taught in English, Unani is taught in English, Homoeopathy is taught in English. The para medical courses such as pharmacy, nursing, physiotherapy, lab technician etc. are taught in English. They can go abroad and establish there. The students of BSMS will stay always back in Tamil Nadu only and the system will have its influence only among the Tamil Diaspora. Siddha has a rich tradition of more than 5000 years, but it is persisting only in Tamil Nadu, other segments of ISM have crossed all boundaries and established a universal growth,” he said.

He said Tamil Nadu government has a project with regard to Siddha system. The association will request the government to consider its demand for the sake of Siddha’s future progress. Support of students, faculties, researchers, practicing doctors, manufacturers of drugs and traders will be sought for the purpose and if necessary, the members of ISMGA will sensitize or educate those who oppose the move or having confusions about the change of language, Dr Muthukumar told Pharmabiz.


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Selva Apr 20, 2012 10:31 AM
Eventually, the only purpose of ISGMA to press for a change in the medium is that their members can go abroad and make more money. If that is their goal, the language will not be a problem. They should complain, only if their certificates were not accepted. Medical degree done in German language is accepted everywhere and they are also making money. The western medicine, actually is still in Latin and Greek writings. Neither the Romans or the Greeks wrote the medical books in English. The practised excellently and people all over the world (not only the English) transcribed the medical system in their own language. So, the ISMGA members should thrive to prove their excellence. Everything will follow it. They can make money equivalent to western medics.
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