G20 Declaration Catalyses India’s AYUSH Moment


The historic inclusion of traditional medicine in the G20 Leaders Declaration provides immense opportunity for India’s Ministry of AYUSH to accelerate progress on promoting its indigenous health systems. As global spotlight shines on this field, the Ministry can leverage this momentum to elevate AYUSH within India and share its knowledge worldwide.

Domestic AYUSH Growth

Within India, the Declaration enhances the Ministry’s platform for greater investment, prioritization and integration of AYUSH systems. The recommendations validate decades of Ministry efforts to validate safety and effectiveness of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homeopathy.

The Ministry can leverage the Declaration to advocate for increased public funding for AYUSH education, research and training programs. The global visibility makes a stronger case for public-private partnerships to upgrade AYUSH infrastructure and technology. It also enables advocacy for more AYUSH integration into conventional care through co-location in hospitals, cross-referrals and combining therapies.

The Declaration moment can accelerate growth of the AYUSH industry for domestic healthcare and export markets. The Ministry is well placed to develop policy incentives, quality regulations and support for entrepreneurs to expand the Ayurveda medicine industry in particular. The global spotlight adds momentum for Ministry efforts to digitize AYUSH healthcare, such as telemedicine and AI for diagnostics and treatment.

To fully harness the Declaration, the Ministry may develop a strategic plan engaging all stakeholders on utilizing this opportunity domestically and globally. This requires mobilizing additional Ministry resources dedicated to implementation and cross-sector coordination.

International Leadership

As G20 host, India has a unique opportunity to assert leadership in guiding the traditional medicine agenda. The Ministry should leverage India’s reputation as the ‘pharmacy of the world’ with a age old lineage of holistic wellness knowledge.

The Declaration enables India to spotlight its pioneering work on integrative medicine combining AYUSH with conventional care. India can highlight how its government-supported research on Ayurveda and Yoga therapies generates global public goods.

By sharing its wealth of traditional expertise, the Ministry can reinforce India as a lead resource country for  cooperation on traditional medicine. It can expand collaboration through the WHO Centre for Traditional Medicine in Jamnagar to provide technical assistance for integrating AYUSH globally.

Research and Development

The Declaration recommendations necessitate a strategic research agenda to evaluate AYUSH therapies and build robust practice guidelines. The Ministry should develop strategy for better coordination among  national research bodies, universities and private actors to prioritize evaluating safety and efficacy of popular AYUSH treatments and formulations. Rigorous studies published in international journals will take these systems from empirical wisdom to evidence-based medicine respected worldwide.

Innovations such as Ayurgenomics blending genomics with Ayurvedic prakriti analysis need more investment to translate findings into validated diagnostics and personalized therapeutics. Public-private venture funding can support start-ups to take AYUSH digital tools and modern therapy upgrades to market and global scale.

Mainstreaming AYUSH

The Declaration emphasis on integrating traditional medicine creates openings for further mainstreaming AYUSH in India’s public health system. The Ministry should issue guidance for public hospitals on providing AYUSH therapies and enabling cross-referrals with AYUSH providers.

It can promote AYUSH therapies as first-line treatment options within the Ayushman Bharat digital health record system. AYUSH providers should be incorporated into primary care with cadres like the mid-level healthcare practitioner. Their therapies can help India achieve universal health coverage in a culturally-resonant manner.

Education and Training

To underpin integration, the Ministry must prioritize scaled up education on AYUSH disciplines within conventional health profession training. This includes bridging modules on Ayurveda principles for allopathic students and vice versa. India should also take the lead in developing WHO guidelines on competency frameworks for traditional medicine practitioners.

The Ministry can facilitate India becoming a global education hub for traditional medicine. It can provide more scholarships and research fellowships to attract international students to India’s acclaimed AYUSH institutes. Active partnerships with reputed foreign universities can establish joint AYUSH programs and departments for global sharing.


The G20 Declaration sets the stage for India’s AYUSH Ministry to elevate its AYUSH health systems domestically and globally. With a strategic plan engaging stakeholders, it can leverage this milestone to accelerate growth, investment, credibility, integration and sharing of AYUSH for universal health and wellbeing. The Ministry should act ambitiously to maximize this opportunity for advancing India as a leader in human-centric, holistic and sustainable models of care. 

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