New Delhi: In a first for a Central University, Jamia Millia Islamia has started a Diploma course in Unani Pharmacy, launched a Unani medicine laboratory and a mobile van dispensary in recognition of the services rendered to the field of Unani Medicine and to the university by one of its founders, the renowned Hakim Ajmal Khan.
Thirty-five students have been enrolled for the self-financed two-year diploma course which was inaugurated by Vice-Chancellor, Prof Talat Ahmad in the presence of Dr. Anil Khurana, Director General, Central Council For Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM), Ministry of AYUSH, Prof Shahid Ashraf, Pro Vice-Chancellor JMI, Mr. Shoyeb Akram, Chairman, REX Charitable Trust, Prof Shareef Ahmad, Dean, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Dr.S. A. Siddiqui, Programme Coordinator, Unani Pharmacy, JMI, Prof Mohammad Husain, Coordinator, Ph D Unani and Allied Sciences.and other senior members of the Science faculty and students.
The mobile van dispensary will make Unani medicines available to JMI employees and students at subsidised rates. The medicines will be supplied by Unani medicine manufacturer, REX industries. The company has also offered to equip the pharmacy laboratory of JMI as well as provide annual training in packaging and manufacturing to students pursuing the diploma course.
It may be mentioned that JMI has a Ph D programme in Unani medicine. Speaking on the occasion, Prof Talat Ahmad said that the launch of the diploma course in Unani medicine is an apt tribute to the legacy of Hakim Ajmal Khan who was a founder of JMI and one of the biggest names in Unani medicine. This is an old system of medicine in which Hakims would not divulge the method of preparation and contents. As a result, he said, much information could not be passed down to future generations.
“We hope to collect prescriptions of hakims and collate them to use them with other allied sciences and give Unani Medicine a new lease of life”. Prof Ahmad said that JMI will allocate a dedicated space for a herbal garden and also ensure that teaching and research in Unani are housed in one building to make it a full-fledged unit.
He said that he will try to get teaching positions to further consolidate Unani medicine in JMI. Dr Khurana, DG, CCRUM, said that there is a big demand for qualified people in the growing Unani industry and so a structured course along with research will be very useful.
India has the biggest regulatory infrastructure of Unani Medicine in the world which must be tapped to its fullest potential. “We are in the process of granting a piece of land for a herbal garden to Jamia and will provide all logistical support to carry out research and teaching.”, he said. Dr Mushtaq Ahmad, Former Director, Central Research Institute of Unani Medicine, Hyderabad said that despite tremendous developments, allopathic medicines have limitations and Unani is no doubt the best alternative form of medicine.
He expressed his happiness over the launch of Unani teaching in JMI which he said was long overdue. Mr. Shoyeb Akram, Chairman, REX industries gave a one-time stipend of Rs 10,000/- to each student enrolled in the course besides offering cash awards of Rs 31,000/-, 21,000/- and 11,000/- to the first, second and third position holders respectively.