Padma Shri Professor Darshan Shankar awarded Ayurveda Ratan by APPG Indian Traditional Sciences

The All Party Parliamentary Group – Indian Traditional Sciences (ITSappg) in partnership with the High Commission of India and The Nehru Centre celebrated UN Int’l Yoga Day and NHS @ 70 on Monday 18th June 2018 from 10am to 5:30pm at The Nehru Centre, London.

A galaxy of scholars and academics spoke of the importance of Indian Traditional Sciences working alongside modern medicine and their implication in the NHS. The power of these therapies would lessen the financial burden on the NHS and help to target the root cause of disease without side effects.

Amarjeet S Bhamra the Secretariat at ITSappg gave a brief overview as it is the original Parliamentary Group that promotes and facilitates informed discussions on Yoga, Ayurveda, Sangeetam, Unani, Vastu and Jyotish since its inception in 2014, by providing a forum for cross-party parliamentarians, policy makers, academics, practitioners, leading community and thought leaders, practitioners of Indian Sciences and other stakeholders for inclusion in the national health architecture. He spoke about the ability of the APPG-ITS to hold three official events A Confluence on Preventative Medicines in the NHS supported by the High Commission of India and High Commission of Sri Lanka to celebrate UN Int’l Yoga Day 2018 and NHS @ 70. The first event is takin place at the Nehru Centre, te second on Thursday 21st June at Victoria Tower Gardens outside the parliamentary building and the third event in the House of Commons.

Srinivas Gotru, Director of The Nehru Centre and Minister in-charge of Media & Cultural Relations at the High Commission of India officially welcomed all speakers and delegates. He said this was the second year that the High Commission was supporting this programme at the Nehru Centre and thanked the efforts of the APPG Indian Traditional Sciences for bringing the health values of Yoga other Indian Health Sciences to the wider UK population.

Prof Darshan Shankar came to this event from his university town of Bangalore in India. He is the Vice Chancellor of the Transdisciplinary University (TDU), Bangalore, India. He is also a managing Trustee, of the Foundation for the Revitalization of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT) and has led many other prestigious organizations. He was an advisor, to the Health Division, Planning Commission Government of India, where he worked on AYUSH 5-year plans.

His contributions to the Indian Health Sciences have been on the conceptualization and development of strategic research and outreach programs for demonstrating contemporary relevance of the Indian medical heritage. He has also served as a consultant to the office of the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Technology and has made valuable inputs to the National Technology mission 5-year health plans.

Prof Shankar’s work has also involved the creation of strategies to revitalize community health practices based on traditional knowledge and studies on decentralization, developing programs of Science & Technology applications. His research career has involved working with the United Nations University, UNICEF and international universities. In recognition of his contributions to the field he has received many prestigious awards like the Commonwealth Youth Service Award given for designing and implementing the best educational project in the Commonwealth for linking University education to community needs. In 1998, ‘Norman Borlaug’ Award for contributions to promoting conservation of wild populations of medicinal plants. In 2003, he was awarded Columbia University’s Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicines International Award, in recognition of FRLHT’s outstanding contributions to the revitalization of traditional systems of health-care in India. In 2011, the India Government also conferred its civilian award of the Padma Shri to Prof Shankar

Prof Shankar delivered his keynote speech, Listening to Voices from the ground – A pathway to transform healthcare in 21st Century and captured the minds of over 100 delegates. The APPG Indian Traditional Sciences then conferred the prestigious Ayurveda Ratan Award for the first time to a Vice Chancellor of an Indian University.