With its origins dating back over 5,000 years, Ayurveda has evolved into a holistic system of medicine that not only addresses physical ailments but also nurtures the harmony between mind, body, and spirit. In the diverse landscape of India, Ayurveda has thrived as a time-honoured healing tradition, offering a unique blend of natural remedies, dietary guidelines, and lifestyle practices that aim to restore balance and vitality. Under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ayurveda has experienced a renaissance, with renewed efforts to integrate its principles into modern healthcare, promote research, and position it as a beacon of holistic wellness on both national and international fronts.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has underscored the significance of Ayurveda, portraying it not merely as a medical system but as an integral facet of Indian tradition and ethos—a veritable way of life. Recognising India as the birthplace of Ayurveda, PM Modi has expressed unwavering commitment to amplifying its global influence. India takes strides to expand Ayurveda's global footprint, which symbolises a harmonious blend of ancient wisdom and contemporary global wellness paradigms. Underlining a revolutionary shift towards wellness and prevention, PM Modi has reiterated the significance of integrated and holistic medicine systems for the overall health and wellness of the populace.


PM Modi took to X in 2021 to declare the WHO's decision to announce the setting up of the Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in India, which has encouraged students from various countries to come to India to study Ayurveda and traditional medicines.


Prime Minister Modi has steered the nation's health agenda towards comprehensive methodologies, intertwining integrated medicine systems to address contemporary health challenges. He has underlined the pivotal role of evidence-based research structures in the 21st century, stressing the importance of their contribution.


During the pandemic, the global demand for Ayurvedic products soared, registering a remarkable 45 per cent increase. Prime Minister Modi celebrated this surge as a testament to the newfound confidence in Indian spices, like ginger, turmeric, cloves etc.. and Ayurvedic solutions worldwide. He emphasised that during the then ongoing health crisis, the focus extended beyond the use of Ayurveda alone to encompass advanced research in Ayush, both within the country and globally.


Prime Minister Modi asserts that Ayurveda is no longer an alternative but a fundamental pillar of the country's national health policy and interventions. Congratulating the two premier Ayurveda Institutes, he urged them to pioneer new curricula aligned with emerging opportunities and challenges in modern medicine. Furthermore, he called upon the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MoHRD) and the University Grants Commission (UGC) to enhance postdoctoral and doctoral studies, positioning Ayurveda as a global leader through its contributions to the "Vocal for Local" initiative. Highlighting the imperative of wellness, Prime Minister Modi envisions the establishment of 1.5 lakh Health & Wellness Centres across the country as part of the Ayushman Bharat Yojana. Among these, 12,500 centres will specifically focus on Ayush Wellness, further promoting integrative medicine systems.


The Indian Government has exhibited commendable efforts in promoting alternative medicine, particularly through its support and development of traditional systems like Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy, collectively known as AYUSH. Several initiatives and policies underscore the government's commitment to integrating alternative medicine into the mainstream healthcare system.


In December 2022, the nation saw the establishment of three distinguished National Ayush Institutes specialising in Ayurveda, Homoeopathy, and Unani. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the All India Institute of Ayurveda in Goa, the National Institute of Unani Medicine in Ghaziabad, and the National Institute of Homoeopathy in Delhi.


During the closing ceremony of the 9th World Ayurveda Congress (WAC) in Panjim, Goa, Prime Minister Modi emphasised the need for ongoing efforts to document 'Data Based Evidence'. While acknowledging Ayurveda's positive outcomes, he noted a previous deficiency in supporting evidence. Stressing the importance of consolidating medical data, research, and journals to validate claims using modern scientific parameters, he urged the need for comprehensive evidence.


Amid the commencement event of World Food India in 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed, "India's sustainable food culture is the result of a journey of thousands of years. Our ancestors had linked Ayurveda with the food style of the common people. Just as international food culture was developed on the initiative of India, Yoga Day took Yoga to every corner of the world, similarly now Millets will also reach every corner of the world.".


Since 2016, the Ministry of Ayush has annually observed 'Ayurveda Day' on Dhanwantari Jayanti (Dhanteras), symbolising a commitment to the continued evolution and recognition of Ayurveda in the contemporary health landscape.


On the very same occasion, The Prime Minister of India posted on X:


“On the auspicious of Dhanteras, we also mark Ayurveda Day. It is an occasion to salute the innovators and practitioners who are blending this ancient knowledge with modernity, propelling Ayurveda to new heights globally. From groundbreaking research to dynamic startups, Ayurveda is furthering new paths to wellness. Supporting Ayurveda is also a vibrant example of being Vocal For Local.”


The government has also taken steps to enhance the global recognition of traditional Indian medicine. Ayurveda, in particular, has gained acknowledgement worldwide, with more than 30 countries recognising it as a traditional medical system. This international recognition is the result of diplomatic efforts, collaborations, and promotional activities undertaken by the government to showcase the efficacy of alternative medicine.


Furthermore, the integration of AYUSH into the mainstream healthcare framework is evident through various policies and initiatives. The launch of the Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, which has already been successful in generating approximately 9.38 crore Ayushman Cards during 2023 as one of the world's largest healthcare schemes, includes coverage for traditional systems, making alternative medicine more accessible to a broader section of the population. PM Modi has also highlighted that Ayurveda goes beyond treatment, also emphasising wellness. He even expressed that the world is turning back to traditional medicine, with Yoga and Ayurveda offering new hope globally, thereby reflecting the immense growth of Medical tourism in India. The promotion of Medical Value Tourism, with a focus on Ayush, and the facilitation of Ayush Visas for those seeking health services further showcase the government's efforts to position India as a global leader in alternative medicine.


In conclusion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has played a pivotal role in promoting Ayurveda, spearheading government efforts to integrate traditional medicine into the mainstream healthcare system. The establishment of three National Ayush Institutes of Eminence, inaugurated by the Prime Minister, showcases a commitment to advancing education, research, and development in traditional systems like Ayurveda, Unani, and Homoeopathy. The government's comprehensive approach extends beyond domestic initiatives, as evidenced by the global promotion of Ayurveda. More than 30 countries recognising Ayurveda as a traditional medical system is a testament to diplomatic efforts and collaborations, positioning India as a leader in alternative medicine on the international stage. In tandem with these efforts, the government's focus on evidence-based practices is crucial for the credibility and acceptance of Ayurveda. Initiatives such as the emphasis on 'Data Based Evidence' demonstrate a commitment to modernising traditional practices, aligning them with contemporary scientific standards. The government's promotion of Medical Value Tourism, with an emphasis on Ayush, and the facilitation of Ayush Visa further underscore India's commitment to becoming a global hub for holistic healthcare. Collectively, these efforts reflect a holistic approach to healthcare, blending the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda with contemporary medical practices. Prime Minister Modi's leadership and the government's initiatives not only preserve India's rich cultural heritage but also position the country as a progressive force in the promotion of alternative medicine and medical tourism, contributing to the well-being of both its citizens and those seeking holistic healthcare solutions from around the world.

 

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"Building Atmanirbhar Bharat Through Comprehensive Job Creation"
February 24, 2024

One of the most effective pathways of aspirational and practical self-actualization for citizens of a nation is employment generation at scale and expanse. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has been cognizant of this need and has moved the needle comprehensively so that job creation today is happening across the spectrum: in the formal and informal sectors, through direct and indirect opportunities, in conventional and unconventional fields, and via self-employment and the opening up of multiple avenues for gigs, start-ups and novel entrepreneurship.


Government Initiatives
If on the one hand, Bharat is seeing the exponential growth in the number of start-ups and a conducive environment has made it one that has the largest number of unicorns, on the other hand a record number of Mudra loans sanctioned have fuelled unprecedented women-led growth, and the Agniveer scheme that aims to recruit youth into the Armed services has seen adoption in record numbers. According to a Harvard University research, India is among the top quartile of fastest-growing countries till 2029 and is undergoing a historic transition towards becoming a more formalized and technologically advanced, digitally evolved nation.


In the three years between 2017-18 and 2020-21, total employment increased by 8.4 crore which is a manifestation of several key factors such as demonetisation, rationalisation of taxes, the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), digital inclusivity and digitisation of financial transactions, inclusion of skill development and vocational training in the National Education Policy, increasing the number of Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), a fillip to the hitherto marginalized segments such as rural and tribal populace, and effective incentivization for a highly labour dominant unorganized sector. An example is how PM Street Vendor’s Atmanirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi), has benefitted more than 56 lakh rehri or street vendors from June 2020 to November 2023.


Formalisation
Immense positive impact can be seen in the nation’s formal employment sector. India is the 5th largest economy in the world with 1.12 crore net additional employment created between 2015 to 2018. This is a result of the confluence of progressive, pro-industry policy decisions, leveraging of advancements in technology, reforms to ease business investment, and a focus on skilling. An example of how this translates on the ground is that with the PM MUDRA Yojana More than 15 crore people have been employed in the MSME sector out of which 3.4 crore are women.


In the IT Industry alone, around 20 lakh people have been employed between 2013-14 and 2021-22. Indirectly, about 6.24 crore jobs were created between 2014 and 2019 in India’s digital economy. When it comes to a boost in employment generation across sectors, let’s take the example of tourism – a revamped and increasingly attractive tourism and hospitality industry led to 1.9 crore indirect jobs being created in the tourism sector between 2017 and 2020. The overhaul in the hospitality sector has led to the creation of many such jobs directly, and indirectly; India is among the most visited countries in the world and has been experiencing a growing influx of tourists. This has led to business incentivization and a boost to local artisans, transport providers, and hotels and restaurants within the larger hospitality service industry. In Air transport alone, for every Rs. 100/- invested in the sector, 610 indirect jobs are generated.


Infromal Sectors
The winds of change can also be seen in the disruptive as well as informal sectors. Providing security and stability to the unconventional health and wellness, since 2014, about 5.65 lakh practitioners have been provided employment under Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, and Homoeopathy (AYUSH). The introduction of several new reforms, an increase in FDI, which have further helped in improving the ‘ease of doing business’ along with low data costs, improvised processes and ready adoption have created a thriving new ecosystem for employment – the gig and platform economy. Gig-economy jobs grew year-on-year by 13% and over 29.20 crore people have registered so far on the E-Shram portal. From 2016 to May 2022, ‘Hunar Haat’ has created employment avenues for over 10.5 lakh artisans and talented Vishwakarmas.


The continuing chain of beneficiaries in the government’s Gati shakti model include processes that act as catalysts for indirect job creation in sectors such as transport, logistics, mobility, food, consumer goods and manufacturing products. Up to 2021-22, 53,696 km of roadways were created which generated 21.8 crore man-days of employment. As mentioned before, round 6 crore people employed in unorganized sector between 2017-18 and 2019-20 have benefited from the SVANidhi Yojana – making PM Modi’s vision of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas aur Sabka Prayas a quintessential facet of employment for all.


People-first policies such as the flagship program for equitable housing, the PM Awas has created 2.39 crore indirect jobs up to 2022. Another great example of the ripple effect of employment generation can be seen in the form of Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes which enable the expansion of existing industries into larger ones, while promoting the creation of new ones. As an example, 5 lakh incremental jobs have been created in the mobile manufacturing sector due to PLI. As per the Economic Survey 2023, PLI schemes are slated to create 60 lakh jobs. In addition, India’s fintech adoption rate of 87% as against the world average of 64% has enabled the creation of an ecosystem that is touching the lives and livelihoods of all – including the self-employed and small business owners.


To this end, Rozgar Melas that aim to provide 10 lakh jobs in less than two years, and that meld employment opportunities and unique talent have been a boon for the economy. Rozgar Mela is a key step towards the fulfilment of the commitment to accord the highest priority to employment generation in the country. On 12th February, 2024, PM Modi distributed more than 1 lakh appointment letters to newly inducted recruits and also lay the foundation stone of Phase I of the Integrated Complex “Karmayogi Bhavan” to promote collaboration and synergy amongst various pillars of Mission Karmayogi. “Rozgar Melas are playing a crucial role in enhancing the contribution of our Yuva Shakti in nation building”, said PM Modi. Rozgar Mela will be held at 47 locations across the country this year with recruitments taking place across central government departments and state governments/UTs supporting this initiative. These melas ascribe gainful opportunities to the youth, the Amrit Generation, and create pathways for their direct participation in national development. Similarly, under the Prime Ministers Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), over 43.77 lakh people have got employment and the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) has led to the placement of over 24.51 lakh candidates.


As policy making becomes efficient, so do its representative tools; more than 19.9 lakh people have been placed in jobs through employment exchanges between 2017-2022. The government has incessantly been taking many measures to tackle unemployment issues and stem the unemployment rate. The Amrit generation is benefitting from a multi-pronged approach; if on the one hand, Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI), has benefitted around 2.94 lakh from 2014-15 to December 2022, on the other hand, over 1.80 lakh new job-creators and entrepreneurs are now operating under the Stand-Up India scheme.


New India – Naya Bharat – is one that thrives on a developed mindset with the aim of making the country Atmanirbhar, and a Vishwa Mitra – one the world leans on. As an example of this commitment, in the current financial year, Khadi has achieved a historic milestone by generating over 9.54 lakh new jobs. Be it our push towards renewable energy, creating a decarbonized energy sector which ranks India is 4th globally or the reduction of unemployment rate in rural areas, (decreased from 5.3% in 2017-18 to 2.4% in 2022-23) the commitment of PM Modi’s government to decisively mitigate unemployment stays foremost.


A spurt in the employment index is predicated on employment mobility to higher productivity jobs, rising job rates in secondary and tertiary sectors, promotion of women as economic catalysts and the increased formalisation of the unorganized, informal sector. PM Modi’s government has consistently come good on all the parameters which is the reason why milestone, upon milestone, Bharat’s journey towards becoming Atmanirbhar and the world’s third largest economy, is only a matter of time.