The state would focus on improving the infrastructure of ayurvedic colleges in the next fiscal before setting up research centres for the alternative mode of medicines at the institutes.
Nand Kishore Yadav, the health minister in NDA-I, had announced in a news meet in 2008 that the government would set up the research centres. While the decision is yet to see the light of day, joint secretary, health, Sanjay Kumar claimed he was not aware of any such announcement from the former minister. He, however, said the state would first focus on developing the infrastructure at its five ayurvedic colleges, which are grappling with several problems, in the 2013-14 fiscal and then think about the research centres.
He said: “Right now, the government ayurvedic colleges are grappling with several problems. They don’t have the basic infrastructure, so first we have to solve these problems. Then only can we think about developing the research centres for ayurvedic medicines. As of now, there is no development in this project.”
While undergraduate courses are run from four of the ayurvedic colleges in the state — Bhagalpur, Buxar, Begusarai and Darbhanga — the one in Patna offers postgraduate courses.
Kumar said: “The ayurvedic colleges of the state are in dire need of a makeover and we have decided to improve their infrastructure. We have got funds of around Rs 49 crore from the Union government and it would be used for this purpose. The state will chip in with Rs 19 crore for the infrastructure development.”
Sources said most of the five colleges do not have proper libraries or washrooms. Most of the buildings are also dilapidated. Nor do the students have hostels.
On the plans to develop the Government Ayurvedic College, Patna, Kumar said: “We have decided to carry out electrification work at the college. We also plan to develop a canteen and install a lift in the building. The basic infrastructure of other government ayurvedic colleges would be developed on similar lines.”