Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa and Homoeopathy, offer a wide range of holistic treatments covering preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative and rejuvunatary needs. These systems of medicine are generally cost effective and valuable and attracting increasing attention globally. AYUSH systems of medicine are being used for centuries and have continuous traditions of acceptance and practice.

There is a need for spreading the knowledge & benefits of AYUSH system of medicines to the large section of the peoples across the globe. This is possible only if the drugs & practices are validated through an exhaustive research process based on standard parameters.

The AYUSH Research councils have been conducting research over last 40 years. In the country several other educational, scientific institutions and universities have also contributed significantly to clinical research, ethno-botanical surveys, pharmacognostical and pharmacological studies on plants and drugs standardization of simple and compound formulations used in Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani system of medicine. The growth is largely through multi-disciplinary approach.

In this current genome era evidence for safety and efficacy is being demanded by the users. Though various organisations are actively involved in this herculean task, yet a lot remains to be achieved. The Ministry of AYUSH has taken up a series of programs/interventions wherein to create evidence based support for the efficacy, safety, quality control and consistency of products.

In the post globalization era, India has to compete with foreign herbal products within its own territory. The need to have a greater impetus on research will not only boost trade and practice of Indian product but will also help in spreading the traditional Indian knowledge to other parts of the world by fulfilling the national as  well as international regulatory requirements.

Many public and private organisations, pharmaceutical industries, educational institutions, Universities, hospitals and individuals in India have been also conducting research on their own initiatives over the years.  But it has been observed that research has not been keeping pace with the times and not been re-oriented and prioritized as per the requirement of scientific standards. The Ministry of AYUSH has introduced a scheme for Extra Mural Research to tap the potential of these organisations for the research needs of AYUSH sector.

In the context described above the Extra Mural Research Scheme of Ministry of AYUSH is designed to encourage R&D in priority areas based on disease burden in alignment to National Health programme. It also aims to utilize the vast research infrastructure available within the country for standardization and validation of classical drugs. This scheme is meant for focused outcome in tandem with the needs of AYUSH sector and also encourage young scholars of AYUSH system, to use their wisdom and energy in the research of AYUSH system on modern scientific parameters.