National Institute of Siddha
|National Institute of Siddha|
|Established||3 September 2005|
|Location||Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
|Affiliations||Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University, Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India|
National Institute of Siddha is a premier institute of Siddha medicine situated at Tambaram, Chennai, India, established to provide research and higher studies facility and help in securing global recognition for the Siddha system of medicine. It is one of the seven apex national-level educational institutions that promote excellence in Indian system of medicine and Ayurveda. It is the national headquarters of the Central Council of Research in Siddha (CCRS), the exclusive body for Siddha research.
In 2010, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) declared the institute, which is located on the remains of megalithic burials sites, as a protected monument, resulting in a ban imposed by the National Monuments Authority (NMA) on renovation or repairs of the existing buildings at the premises.
In the lines of Ayurveda and Unani medicines which have separate national institutes for development of their medicine, the Tamil Nadu Government requested the Government of India to establish similar institute for Siddha. Considering the project since the Seventh Plan, the Government of India then decided to establish the National Institute of Siddha (NIS) at Chennai at an estimated cost of 470 million spread over a period of 6 years. The proposal was approved, in principle, during the 9th Five Year Plan period and a society of NIS was registered in January 1999. The capital cost of 360 million was shared by the Government of India and Government of Tamil Nadu in the ratio of 60:40 and the recurring expenditure of 110 million was shared in the ratio of 75:25. The foundation for the institute was laid on 27 March 1999. The project was cleared in January 2002 and work started a year later. The Hospital Services Consultancy and Construction, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, was the architect and the buildings were constructed by the Central Public Works Department. Land was purchased for 60 million, the buildings were constructed at a cost of 200 million and the remaining amount of the capital cost was spent on equipment and appointment of staff.
Till 2010, the research council of Siddha was functioning under the CCRAS in New Delhi, which was established in 1978. In March 2010, the Ayush Department of the Union Health Ministry decided to bifurcate CCRAS to create an exclusive body for Siddha research called the Central Council of Research in Siddha (CCRS), after a long period of pressure from the Siddha community in Tamil Nadu and elsewhere. The new council was decided to be headquartered in Chennai, and the council was officially formed in September 2010.
The institute is located alongside the GST Road in Tambaram Sanatorium, about 6 km from Chennai Airport. The nearest railway station is the Tambaram Sanatorium Railway Station located about 100 m from the campus.
Functions of CCRS
The CCRS chiefly facilitates researches in Siddha medicines and manufacture of conventional medicines for the treatment at the National Institute of Siddha. CCRS also monitors all the periphery research centres located in Puducherry, Palayamkottai, Mettur, Anna Nagar and Thiruvananthapuram.
The institute is an autonomous body under the Department of AYUSH of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India established with the prime aim to impart post-graduate education and research in Siddha medicine, provide holistic medical care through Siddha, develop, promote and propagate the science and art of Siddha and to act as a centre of excellence for the Siddha system of medicine.
The institute covers an area of 14.78 acres. The buildings have a total floor space of 14,242 sq.m.
Facilities include teaching blocks; central facilities block containing library with audio visual equipments in the second floor; administrative block with the director’s office, conference hall and administrative office; hospital with out-patient block, dispensary, in-patient block, catering unit and laboratories of clinical pathology, biochemistry and microbiology; pharmacy block; student’s hostel; and a centrally air-conditioned auditorium.
The Ayothidoss Pandithar Hospital is attached to the institute, named after Thiru Ayothidasa Pandithar, a renowned traditional Siddha physician. The hospital houses an outpatient department with six consultation rooms for six post-graduate departments.
The out-patient (OP) department started functioning from 13 October 2004 with the treatment being given to the patients free of cost. On an average, more than 1,500 patients are being treated in out-patient department every day. The in-patient (IP) department started functioning from 1 June 2005, with a capacity of 120 beds. During 2007-08, a total of 349,696 patients were treated in the OP department and the IP department had an average occupancy rate of 66 percent. In 2012, the in-patient capacity was 150 and about 180 were treated every day.
As a water conservation measure, an artificial pond was created on the institutional premise to conserve rainwater. It has a sewage recycling plant which provides water for the herbal garden in the institute. Solar panels are used to heat 12,000 litres of water every day.
Affiliation and courses offered
The institute is affiliated to the Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University, located in Guindy about 13 km to the northeast, and conducts post-graduate courses and doctor of medicine (M.D.) in Siddha in six subjects, namely, Siddha maruthuvam—pothu (general medicine); gunapadam (pharmacology); sirappu maruthuvam (special medicine); pillaippini maruthuvam or kuzhandhai maruthuvam (paediatrics); noi nadal (pathology), and nanju nool (toxicology) and Maruthuva Needhi Noolum (medical ethics) since 2004-05.
The institute has decided to cultivate and grow medicinal herbs, trees and potted plants in its campus. Presently, 70 medicinal plants are being grown and maintained in the campus and planting 270 more such plants in this scheme is under way. There is also a proposal to develop the hillock behind the campus into a grove of medicinal plants. Other proposed facilities include an anatomy laboratory, animal house, green house, drug-testing laboratory, herbal garden and pharmacy.
Initially, the institute had planned to construct additional building to accommodate 100 beds from a grant of 180 million funded by the Union ministry of health and family welfare. However, the institute later decided to construct a new building for additional in-patients away from the existing building, since the NMA rejected the proposal citing that it was against the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Amendment Act, 2010.
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