New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government wants educational institutions to participate in a study on AYUSH — ayurveda, yoga, unani, siddha and homoeopathy — practices as prophylaxis for Covid-19.
In a fresh directive issued to all higher education institutions Wednesday, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked all colleges and universities to participate in the study, by getting their faculty students to download the ‘Ayush Sanjivani’ app.
“To study the impact of the initiatives taken by the Ministry of AYUSH, mobile app ‘Ayush Sanjivani’ has been developed to capture relevant information from the population. In order to involve more people in the study as participants, it is imperative that higher education institutions should participate, facilitate and disseminate the study,” a circular sent by UGC secretary Rajnish Jain read.
“Participation of the faculty and student community would enhance the number of respondents for the study and thereby facilitate significant public health outcomes based on the findings. All the universities and affiliated colleges are requested to actively participate and support this novel cause and download the app,” the circular read.
The app and the research
The ‘Ayush Sanjivani’ mobile app has been developed to generate data on acceptance and usage of AYUSH practices and measures among the population, and their impact on the prevention of Covid-19. The aim is to get 50 lakh people to use it across the country.
The study is a part of the research being carried out by a task force formed by the Modi government, which includes researchers from Ministry of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
For the study on the general public, the government will survey common people to check if they have followed the advisory issued in March by the AYUSH ministry about using home remedies to boost immunity against Covid-19.
The advisory asked people to frequently sip water boiled with tulsi (basil) leaves, crushed ginger and turmeric, sleep on time, eat freshly cooked food and practice yoga under qualified instructors’ guidance.
This is not the first time that the government has involved education institutions in the fight against Covid-19. The UGC, in a previous notification issued on 10 April, had asked colleges and universities to download the Aarogya Setu app for contact-tracing coronavirus-positive patients.