Kolkata: To boost scientific research and education on the traditional methods of treatment, the Ministry of AYUSH signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on Monday.It aims for further cooperation in research on traditional systems of medicine like Ayurveda, Unani, Sidhha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) and their integration with modern science. There is growing interest among people about traditional medicines across the country and hence the government is adopting multi-pronged strategies and innovative approaches to take the old methods of treatment to the people in the grassroot level. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataA combination of traditional healthcare and modern basic science has a huge possibility to do innovative and path-breaking researches, which can be used for the explanation of various basic concepts, a senior official of the AYUSH ministry said. A senior official of the CSIR appreciated the ongoing projects and programmes between the two organisations, stating that enhancing the collaboration on a range of issues starting from fundamental science to validation and thereafter product development, will significantly help in the growth of AYUSH, not only in the country but abroad as well. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe MoU will help both the organisations put a combined effort in the pursuit of data collection and analytics and also artificial intelligence to enable and facilitate concepts such as “Traditional knowledge inspired drug discovery and development” and “Food as Medicine”. It may be mentioned here that the CSIR, with the help of the AYUSH ministry, had earlier developed the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), a globally recognised proprietary database on Indian systems of medicine for preventing bio-piracy and misappropriation of traditional knowledge. The CSIR also stressed on the necessity of the development of improved varieties and captive cultivation of medicinal plants, including rare and threatened (RET) species. Under the MoU, both organisations will jointly conduct fundamental research, develop AYUSH specific diagnostic tools, link microbiome, gene expression and prakriti and also explore modern scientific methods for integration with traditional Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM). The collaboration also aims to preserve and protect traditional knowledge related to the old forms of treatment and the development of international standardised terminologies (disease-morbidity codes) in Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani (ASU). “It is a great move taken up by the AYUSH Ministry. We welcome it. It will help take our oldest methods of treatment to the international arena,” said Dr Sumit Sur, coordinator, West Bengal and North East States of National Ayurveda Students and Youth Association.