Ayurveda signifies knowledge of what promotes life as well as that which injures it. By definition, it transcends the practice of medicine, but popularly it is identified with India's traditional system of medicine which has been in vogue since the Buddhist period and continues to serve 70% of India's rural population. Research in Ayurveda has been dominated by studies on medicinal plants and the development of herbal drugs, which has a large market growing at 15% per year. However, basic research which employs modern biology, immunology, and chemistry to investigate the concepts, procedures,and products has received little attention. This gap calls out for correction lest the absence of basic studies according to modern scientific protocols should lead to Ayurveda being regarded as a form of "herbal therapy" as was done by the WaltonCommittee in the UK. Concepts of body constitution, digestive process of food in the gut and substrates in tissues, rejuvenation, body adaptation to seasons and taste as a chemical indicator are examples of the rich collection of cues that Ayurveda provides for the modern investigator. The programme on Ayurvedic Biology was initiated primarily by the office of the Principal ScientificAdvisor to the Government of India. The programme, now reconceived, is being implemented by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB). Against this background, the SERB constituted a Task Force to promote the application of basic sciences in the investigation of Ayurvedic concepts, procedures and products, and nurture the discipline of Ayurvedic Biology.
Thrust areas of research:
Operation of the Program:
The programme of Ayurvedic Biology will be steered by a Task Force to promote high quality research which would lead to major contributions to scientific knowledge and which could have implications for improving the standards of health care. The investigative work in this programme will necessarily involve the full participation of scientists and Ayurvedic experts who would be part of established institutions of science, medicine, and Ayurveda in India. Individual or groups of scientists, physicians and Ayurvedic experts are encouraged to submit project proposals on any interesting aspect of Ayurvedic concepts, procedures, or products, which would lend themselves to investigation by employing modern scientific protocols. All project proposals should conform to the standard SERB format for Ayurvedic Biology and would be considered on the basis of peer review.
The Task Force will be responsible for
Specific Guidelines for submission of Project proposals.
Contact person Details:
The contact details of Programme Officers are given below:
Dr. Balachandar Venkatesan Phd, Scientist 'E'
Member Secretary- Health Science/Ayurvedic Biology
Science and Engineering Research Board
5 & 5A, Lower Ground Floor,
Vasant Square Mall,Plot No. A, Community Centre,
Sector-5, Pocket-5, Vasant Kunj
Q1: What is the main objective of the AB program?
The main objective of the AB program is to promote the application of basic sciences towards the investigation of Ayurvedic concepts, procedures and products with the materials and methods of Molecular Biology, Immunology and Biological Chemistry.
Q2: How is the Project Proposal submitted under AB program different from those supported by the ministry of Ayush?
A2: AB program confines itself to the subjects indicated in Question 2. It excludes herbal drug development, clinical research including clinical trials for safety and efficacy of drugs and medical procedures.
Q3: Does the Board have priority areas for funding under AB Program ?
A3: The current areas of interest are the following:
Q4: What is the budget limit for the ABprojects supported by the SERB?
A4: There is no budget limit. However, the budget is decided based on the requirement for its successful implementation. The Investigator should propose a budget which is realistic based on proposed objectives and supporting experiments.
Q5: What is the normal duration of a project?
A5: The normal duration of a AB project supported is three years. However, depending on the quantum of work, the duration can vary as well.
Q6: Currently I am executing an EMR project under Life sciences. Whether I am eligible to apply for a project under Ayurvedic biology program?
Q7: I wish to apply for a project on plant based research. Will it will be considered under ABprogram?
A7: Projects that deal with ethnopharmacology will not be considered.
O8: I am a basic biologist I wish to apply a project under AB. Is it mandatory that I should have co-Investigator with Ayurvedic knowledge?
Q9: Are co-investigators allowed in ABproject? If they are from different institutions, can the budget be provided separately to both the principal investigator and co-Investigator (s)?
A9: Yes. Co-Investigator(s) are allowed in AB projects.Separate budget can also be provided to the co-investigator (s) even if they belong to different institutions. However, the co-Investigator (s) role and the budget should be appropriately justified. PI should clearly indicate a Co-Investigators in his institution, who should be qualified, ready and willing to take over in case the PI leaves.
Q10: How does the SERB monitor the progress of funded projects?
A10: Apart from submitting annual progress report and account statements, the investigators may also be called for presentation before the Task force. In certain cases, on site visit also made to assess the progress of work.
Q11: When can I apply for funding? Is there any time schedule for submission of application?
A11: Proposals can be submitted any time of the year.