President Pratibha Patil on Thursday said there is an urgent need to move forward in the direction of patent for Ayurvedic medicines and called upon manufacturers to strictly follow standards of certification, purity, quality and pharmacology to promote this form of traditional treatment.

Speaking at the inauguration of the newly-constructed Chaudhary Bramprakash Ayurvedic Sansthan at Khera Dabar near Najafgarh, Ms. Patil expressed hope that the institute, which is providing treatment to patients and preparing Ayurvedic physicians for common people, would become one of the leading centres of health care. The Institute comprises a large Ayurvedic Hospital, Ayurvedic College, a sprawling herbal garden and an advanced research centre.

As per Ayurveda, she said, anybody can keep himself or herself fit and active while performing yoga and dhyan. Referring to a report of World Health Organisation she said traditional medicines are still useful and effective and thus there was a need to disseminate effectiveness and capacity of overcoming diseases of Ayurvedic medicines.

Expressing concern that medicinal herbs were becoming endangered due to climate change, Ms. Patil said it was good that the Institute has developed a well spread herbal garden to grow and protect medicinal plants.

Demanding that all concerned must work to compile and standardise the comprehensive knowledge on Ayurveda, the President said the Government agencies and other stake holders should also concentrate on research and development in this field. The Department of Ayush under the Union Government has already determined 818 such standards in this regard.

Ms. Patil also stressed the need for increasing the number of medical colleges and seats therein. Ayurveda is getting recognition in foreign countries. Panchkarma under Ayurveda has been providing relief to people. We can think of a healthy nation if we have healthy citizens, she said.

For her part, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the foundation stone of the institute was laid in 2007 and it has been constructed by Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation at a cost of Rs.160 crore to emerge as a centre of excellence in Ayurvedic research and treatment. She said the Delhi Government was trying to ensure a perfect blend of Ayurveda with modern technology to develop the institute on the lines of All-India Institute of Medical Sciences.

She said the aim of setting up the Ayurveda institute in the rural belt was to provide treatment to the residents of around 60 villages in their vicinity. She said the herbal garden was spread over an area of 70 acre and has around 13,500 medicinal saplings.

Delhi Health Minister A. K. Walia said the Institute was completed in 2009 and has been providing OPD services from 2009 and IPD services with 210 beds from January 2010. Its OPD now gets around 1,000 patients every day and the wards have an occupancy rate of around 90 per cent.

He said the Medical College in the complex started functioning in November 2010 and was affiliated to Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University. It has a capacity of 100 seats and is now into its third batch.