The Institute of Transdisciplinary Health Sciences and Technology (IHST), the varsity aimed at promoting research in integrated healthcare, was launched here on Sunday. It is housed within the 17-acre Yelahanka campus of the 20-year-old Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT) that got private varsity status in 2013.

Sam Pitroda, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Infrastructure and Innovation and chairperson of the varsity, was speaking during the launch of IHST.

He said that there are 200 people working in the university which also has a 100-bedded hospital and herbal garden. The varsity has documented literature about 6,500 medicinal plants, and the next step is to “create science out of shlokas”.

“In the university, we will try integrating traditional medicine and modern medicine to create new knowledge, and also reduce the cost of health services. Hopefully, some day there will be a Nobel Prize winner in traditional medicine,” he added.

“The best brains are solving the problems of the rich who don’t have problems. Our job is to look at the problems of the poor. So we will focus on affordability, scalability and sustainability. Over time, we would like to make this an institute of excellence, like the IIT of traditional medicine,” he added.

Darshan Shankar, Vice-Chancellor of the IHST, said initially Ph.D. will be offered. “The idea of integrated health science is new and the field is highly regulated. We will show 10 years of research and then start undergraduate and postgraduate courses,” he said.

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