The Central Council of Indian Medicine has objected to Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University's move to revise the syllabus of Indian Systems of Medicine.

Since medical education falls under the concurrent list, the Central Act (Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970) must prevail and the standards prescribed by the CCIM are mandatory, according to a notification issued by the Council in 1995. “Nobody can make changes in the regulation and syllabus. Moreover, the qualification recognised by the CCIM is essential,” the notification says.

CCIM vice-president (Unani) Hakim Syed Khaleefathullah, citing Section 22 of the IMCC Act, says the CCIM may prescribe the minimum standards of education in Indian medicine required for granting recognised medical qualifications by a university, board or medical institution in India. Further, it can also, after obtaining the opinion of State governments, prescribe regulations for the period of study, practical training, subjects of examination and standards of proficiency.

However, Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR University Vice-Chancellor Mayilvahanan Natarajan says the revision of syllabus is being taken up across all disciplines of medical and allied sciences education. “It is part of the regular process of updating and bringing subjects to cover the latest updates in each field, whether Siddha, Unani, Ayurveda or Allopathy. It is the duty of the university and the Vice-Chancellor to do so.” The whole exercise has been on for about six months, according to him. The aim is to remove the irrelevant parts that are still in the syllabus.

Prof. Khaleefathullah says Unani students receive training in Anatomy and Physiology. “Earlier, we used to get a number of cases of Iatrogenic diseases due to side effects of allopathic treatment. So we used to teach our students pharmacology relevant to allopathy. Also, our practitioners should know when to make a referral to a gynaecologist, neurologist or orthopaedic surgeon. There is, therefore, a reason why there are some components included in the syllabus.”

He adds that experts in various components of the CCIM -- Siddha, Unani and Ayurveda – will be happy to help with any restructuring of syllabus.

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