Context: The government will conduct a randomised controlled clinical trial to assess the efficacy of ayurvedic drug ashwagandha as a preventive intervention among healthcare professionals and high-risk COVID-19 population in comparison with hydroxychloroquine.

More about news:

  • This will be a joint initiative of the ministries of AYUSH, health, and science and technology through the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) with technical support from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
  • Also, the Union Health & Family Welfare Minister launched the ‘AYUSH Sanjivani’ App  and two AYUSH based studies related to COVID-19 situation.

About the ‘AYUSH Sanjivani ’ mobile app 

  • It will help to generate data on acceptance and usage of AYUSH advocacies and measures among the population and its impact in prevention of COVID 19. 
  • It is developed by the Ministry of AYUSH and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) and shall reach out to a target of 50 lakh people.


  • AYUSH is the acronym of the medical systems that are being practiced in India namely Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha & Sowa-Rigpa and Homoeopathy.
  • These systems are based on definite medical philosophies and represent a way of healthy living with established concepts on prevention of diseases and promotion of health. 
  • The basic approach of all these systems on health, disease and treatment are holistic. Because of this, there is a resurgence of interest on  AYUSH systems.

Launching of two more scientific studies

  1. Collaborative clinical research study on Ayurveda interventions as prophylaxis: It shall be a joint initiative of Ministry of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the Ministry of Science & Technology through Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) with technical support of ICMR. 
  • The Interdisciplinary Ayush R&D Task Force headed by  Vice Chairman, University Grant Commission (UGC), has formulated and designed clinical research protocols for prophylactic studies and add-on interventions in COVID-19 positive cases.
  • It reviewed the consultative process of experts of high repute for studying four different interventions viz. Ashwagandha, Yashtimadhu, Guduchi +Pippali and a poly herbal formulation (AYUSH-64). This includes the following two areas:
  1. Ashwagandha for the Prophylaxis Against SARS-COV-2 in subjects with increased risk during the COVID 19 Pandemic: A comparison with Hydroxychloroquine in the health care providers.
  2. Effectiveness of Ayurveda Formulation as an adjunct to ‘Standard of Care’ for the Treatment of Mild to Moderate COVID-19. It is a Randomized, Open Label, Parallel Efficacy, Active Control, Multi-Centre Exploratory Drug Trial.

2. Population based interventional studies on impact of AYUSH based prophylactic interventions for prevention of COVID-19 infection in high risk population. 

  • The core objectives comprise of assessment of preventive potential of AYUSH interventions for COVID 19 and to assess the improvement in quality of life in high risk population. 
  • The study will be carried out through four Research Councils under Ministry of AYUSH and National Institutes in 25 states across the country and several State Governments covering approximately 5 lakh population. 

Significance: These studies shall re-establish the importance of AYUSH pathies with the help of rigour of CSIR, ICMR and DCGI. 

  • The modern pathies of medicine and science are not in competition with those of AYUSH, but they complement and strengthen each other in intrinsic ways.

COVID-19 mangement has provided a potent platform for alliance between MoHFW, MoAYUSH and technology organisations such as CSIR, ICMR, and UGC to not only develop AYUSH interventions and solutions, but also help in promoting AYUSH knowledge for the larger good of the global community.

Image Source: Ministry of Ayush