Government plan to set up Ayurveda University concerns Nepal Sanskrit UniversityAfter seeing a continuous decline in Sanskrit students, Sanskrit university itself is teaching Ayurveda studies.
The government’s decision to add a new university focusing on Ayurveda studies is set to add to the troubles of Nepal Sanskrit University, which is also teaching Ayurveda after seeing a continuous decline in the enrolment of students to study Sanskrit.
Established in 1986, Nepal Sanskrit University is the second oldest university in the country. But after the number of students wanting to pursue Sanskirt declined, it started to struggle to sustain itself. Then it launched Ayurveda studies at its campuses.
The government, however, has now registered a bill to establish Yogmaya Ayurveda University, which will focus on Ayurveda study and research
The new university, to be fully funded by the government, will be established in Arun Valley of Shankhuwasabha and Solukhumbu and named after Yogmaya Neupane, a religious leader and women rights activist.
There is a need of a university to produce qualified human resources in Ayurveda, according to the bill that will be tabled in Parliament for deliberations on Tuesday.
This is the second bill the incumbent government has registered in Parliament to set up varsities. The government in July last year had tabled a bill envisioning to set up Madan Bhandari University in Chitlang of Makwanpur district.
Officials at Nepal Sanskrit University say the government plan to set up a new university to teach what they are teaching now has left them worried.
“We were trying to expand the Ayurveda course as the number of students of Sanskrit is declining. Setting up a new Ayurveda University will hamper our expansion plan,” Madhav Adhikari, acting registrar at the university, told the Post.
He said the government did not consult them before deciding to set up a new varsity.
If the government really wanted to promote Ayurveda, Adhikari said it could have supported Nepal Sanskrit University rather than coming up with the idea of setting up a new university.
As a majority of the theories of Ayurveda are in Sanskrit, it was natural for the university to promote education, he said.
Records at University Grants Commission show the Dang-based varsity is fast losing students.
The numbers went down to 1,471 last year from 1,925 in 2011. Out of the total enrolment, around 200 is for Ayurveda studies.
The university which offered only Proficiency Certificate Level course in the past has started providing Bachelors in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery.
Adhikari said neither his university nor the proposed one could sustain. There is one Ayurvedic hospital in each district with the posting of two staffers.
Education experts say the government is busy adding new universities without taking proper steps to reform existing universities.
“The government lacks vision about higher education. Decisions are taken on ad hoc basis,” Binaya Kusiyait, a professor at Tribhuvan University, told the Post. “If the government needs a new university for Ayurveda course, it has to declare that the exiting university hasn’t produced quality human resources. I believe more than an Ayurvedic university, the country needs a university for technical studies.”