Letter from Cambridge

Greetings from Cambridge!

The recently concluded COP21 | United Nations conference on climate change | www.cop21.gouv.fr/en/ offered important glimpses into the interconnectedness that both enabled Life on this planet and continues to shape Life on our planet.  This also impacts on the quality of life and health. The PunarnavaTrust’s ​5​th INTERNATIONAL AYURVEDA CONFERENCE ~ Where Science Meets Consciousness: ​​Exploring Interconnectedness of​ ​Man and Nature (Coimbatore, December 11-18, 2015, http://www.ayurvedaconference.com/) offered important perspectives on this subject.  One of the ambitions highlighted at this event was the “contemporization, modernization and globalisation of ancient knowledge and wisdom”.

These ambitions were further reiterated at the 21st INCOFYRA – International Conference on Frontiers in Yoga Research and Its Applications (http://svyasa.edu.in/jan-2016-21-incofyra/) with a theme “Integrating Best of East with Best of West in Medical Practice” held at PrashantiKutiram, International Headquarters of VYASA, Bengaluru and home of S-VYASA: Swami Vivekananda Yoga AnusandhanaSamsthana – The Yoga University (svyasa.edu.in/) and reinforced by Prime Minister Modi in his address:”… We must also apply the techniques and the methods of modern science to test and validate results, assure quality, and explain benefits.  And this is why we are placing emphasis on our efforts to increase average acceptance and adoption of AYUSH systems of Medicine and in doing so we will create better wellness among people, rely more on local resources and reduce healthcare costs”(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jov-cYQ4fCU&feature=youtu.be)

The translation of this vision into tackling five major non-communicable diseases : diabetes, cancer, psychiatric conditions, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases  is explicit inNarendraModi’s address at Yoga Research and its Applications (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQ2nUKPoC70).  Though attention is now being focused on inflammation and errors in communication between cells in the human body as the basis of all these diseases, this concept is well appreciated in Ayurveda and alluded to in several articles in this issue of Ayurveda & Health Tourism.The Agenda for the International Symposium on Inflammation and Health (https://med.ucf.edu/inflammation-conference/files/2015/02/International-Symposium-on-Inflammation-and-Health-9_24_15.pdf) provides a powerful layout for how different systems of medicine and understanding can come together to benefit mankind.

In India and across the globe today, in Government, in Industries, in Civil Society, in Citizen Groups and in other quarters there is a deep, strong and urgent call for the contemporization, modernization and globalisation of ancient knowledge and wisdom particularly in the arena of health sciences – environment, plant animal and human.   This is also consistent with the WHO’s call for promotion of Traditional and Complementary Systems of Medicine in different nations of the world.  The call, in brief  “Everyone has a role in building a health creating society”.These themes also resonate deeply with the Prevention Action now in operation in Germany which will hopefully be replicated in other nations of the world.

However, there is a need for data to support the call – evidence for standards, manufacturing standards, quality, and quality control to enable effective action by providing baseline for future reference.  Without a baseline all horizons and trajectories are meaningless and there is no possibility of having the consensus of where to begin.

This call accommodates the AYUSH portfolio of health promotion, health maintenance, disease promotion and cure – the bold themes of the 2nd European World Ayurveda Congress in October 2016 in Koblenz, Germany.  How Ayurveda & Yoga (and AYUSH systems) helps prevent disease will be a theme at this Congress and clearly a challenge for the future.  The forces that shaped and enabled Life on this planet must also hold the solutions.  This event is organized by
European Ayurveda Association (EUAA – www.euroayurveda.eu/).


Dr. Madan Thangavelu Ph.D.

Madan is a genome biologist with an unusually diverse academic background and range of research interests. He is an Inlaks Foundation Scholar (1982 Trinity Hall) and has a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics. His current primary research interest is the development of single DNA molecule and single cell techniques for genome analysis.  He is the inventor of the Molecular Copy Counting technique – very high resolution and high sensitive technique for describing genomic variation at the level of single cells and single DNA molecules.


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