Sam Pitroda, chairman of the Institute of Trans-Disciplinary Health Sciences and Technology, told NDTV, “The big idea is to really take traditional health system practices and integrate with modern science. A lot of our traditional knowledge is not organized – for example we have 6,500 herbal medicinal plants – we need to computerize database… and then whatever else we know needs to be converted into science through either clinical trials or enough data, so shlokas get converted into science.”
The institute hopes to reduce healthcare costs in different ways, including using traditional plants that are locally available.
This new approach to revitalising healthcare is being welcomed. Kiran Mazumdar, Managing Director of Biocon, a major player in the pharmaceutical industry told NDTV, “This is ancient knowledge and it is very, very vital that we build on it. This is a treasure trove and we simply must mine it. Everybody talks about Chinese medicine, but when you look at our traditional Indian medicine and Ayurveda, there is a wealth of knowledge buried in that and I think it is about time we really delved into it and leverage it in every possible way. I would like to see how we leverage this traditional knowledge and marry it with some of the most advanced techniques in scientific technologies that we have to convert it into something that is sustainable and scalable.”
The University has been set up on 17 acres of land on the outskirts of Bangalore – the campus also has a 100-bed hospital and 1500 species of native medicinal plants. The team aims to raise 300 crores to fund the University.
For now, the university will only offer doctoral programmes and diploma courses, and not undergraduate or graduate courses.