NIIMH has 448 rare books on history of medicine, 285 palm leaf manuscripts: Centre

The National Institute of Indian Medical Heritage (NIIMH), Hyderabad, maintains a medico-historical library, which contains 10,384 books (including 448 rare books) on different aspects and branches of history of medicine, the Parliament was told on Tuesday.

The collection has several classical texts of Ayush systems and European medicine, which includes some early editions, Ayush Minister Sarbananda Sonowal told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply to a question on research in traditional medical knowledge.

This library possesses 285 manuscripts (palm leaf/paper) out of which 173 belong to ayurveda, 106 to unani system of medicine and six to the Siddha system, he added.

Sonowal said that the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences does the task of collection, revival, and retrieval of ancient manuscripts and books of Ayush systems. The NIIMH, Hyderabad maintains medico-historical library which functions as a referral library.

He said that the institute also maintains a digital repository of 2,700 medical manuscripts and 1,335 rare books collected from different manuscript repositories, state museums, academic institutions, libraries and personal collections across south India, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh. Out of these 2,700 digital manuscripts, 1,335 are on ayurveda, 542 on unani, 598 to siddha, 49 on yoga and 176 on other topics.

Further, 1,679 manuscripts/rare books have been digitalized under the project entitled “Survey, Cataloguing and Digitalised inventory of Medical Manuscripts of Eastern India (Odisha, West Bengal and Bihar) and 770 manuscripts have been digitalised under the project entitled “Survey, Cataloguing and Digitalised inventory of Medical Manuscripts of North-East India”.

“The Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences, New Delhi undertakes editing of transliteration, transcription, translation, publication of manuscripts and rare books of ancient and medieval period for wider dissemination and global readership. Similarly, the Central Council for Research in Siddha (CCRS) has also deciphered ancient Siddha literatures originally available in Tamil prose and translated them to Tamil and English language. Various national-level institutes and Research Councils under Ministry of Ayush publish journals on regular basis for wider dissemination of research outcomes,” the Minister said.

On another question regarding wellness center in the country, Ayush Minister said that under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the National AYUSH Mission (NAM), as per the proposals received from state and UT governments through their State Annual Action Plans (SAAPs), total 9,068 units of existing Ayush dispensaries and sub health centres have been approved to be upgraded as AHWCs and as reported by states/UTs out of the approved units, 4,830 AHWCs have been made functional.




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