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Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai June 07 , 2019
Although the Central Council of Research in Siddha (CCRS) based in Chennai was carved out of Central Council of Research in Ayurveda and Siddha (CCRAS), New Delhi a decade ago, no research activity is being carried out in CCRS for the last ten years, according to retired officials of Ayush department and Siddha experts who initiated efforts for bifurcation of the council.

The CCRS is not carrying out any activity to achieve its goal or performing any work mandated as its responsibility after it was bifurcated and shifted to Chennai in 2010, says Dr M A Kumar, former adviser to Siddha in the Ayush ministry. Dr Kumar was instrumental in separating the Siddha research council from CCRAS with a view to carry out efficient research oriented activities.

According to him, the money allocated for various research activities and studies remain unutilised every year because of dearth of any project and proper planning. No performance audit is conducted at the council by the ministry and no authority is monitoring the council’s activities.

 Even after ten years of its existence the council is not focusing on its mandated responsibilities including undertaking of clinical studies on diseases of national priorities, standardizing the most frequently used Siddha medicines and bringing out the pharmacopoeial standards, filing of patent applications for new drugs, carrying out researches in traditional palm leaves manuscripts and books, conducting research activities in medicinal plants and herbs, holding pharmacological studies in the safety and efficacy of Siddha products..etc. Owing to lack of vision and planning, the money funded by the ministry of Ayush for research activities remain unused without any research work, Dr Kumar alleges.

Sharing more information on the issue, Dr. Thirunarayanan, a Siddha expert and trainer in Chennai, said the CCRS in Chennai has so far not brought out any clear research outcome or clinical studies on diseases. According to him, the council is spending huge amounts of money in the name of research without any study or any  result. Regarding pharmacopoeaial standards of Siddha formulations, not even a single study has been published by the council. At the time of the combined councils, there were some studies published on single ingredients standards. In the last ten years, CCRS Chennai filed only two patent applications, but no special or significant innovation was made. Huge amounts of money was spent in the name of patents.

He said the clinical units set up in Chennai and in Pondicherry as part of research studies do not attract adequate number of patients. Although there are centres in Bengaluru, Delhi, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, Pondicherry and Palayamkottai, no multi-centre trials or studies are taken place due to lack of proper planning or vision.

The former Siddha adviser, Dr M A Kumar said at the time of bifurcation, the then department of Ayush and Siddha wing was expecting that the council people would do researches with a new vision and planning. All the expectations of those who undertook initiative for creating a separate council have failed now. No body in the council is showing any interest for a good research study. The ministry of Ayush is neither encouraging nor monitoring the activities of the council.

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