A Health Survey and Development Committee was appointed by the imperial Government of India in 1944 with Sir John Bhore as chairman which was known as Bhore Committee. Prof. Henry E. Sigerist the then Director of Johns Hopkins Institute of History of Medicine, Baltimore, USA, was one of the six overseas experts. He has submitted a memorandum to the Bhore Committee proposing an Institute of History of Medicine in the then contemplated National Medical College, New Delhi (now the All India Institute of Medical Sciences). The Government of India then appointed a Special Committee in 1946 to study the Bhore Committee Report and its recommendations. The Special Committee approved the proposal of Prof. Sigerist.
The idea and suggestion to open a Department of History of Medicine in Andhra Medical College came up from Maj. Gen. S.L. Bhatia, the Surgeon-General of the composite State of Madras, as there was no such department in any medical college in India. The matter of starting a Department of History of Medicine was geared up only after the formation of Andhra State, under the dynamic Directorship of Maj. K. N. Rao. It was sanctioned vide. G.O. No. 1465, Health dated 28-09-1955.
Department of History of Medicine was established on 26-09-1956 at Andhra Medical College, Visakhapatnam. Afterwards, it was transferred to Hyderabad in the month of December 1956 under the honorary Directorship of Dr. D.V. Subba Reddy. In view of the National importance of the Department of History of Medicine, it was handed over to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on 14-02-1969 and was renamed as Institute of History of Medicine. Subsequently it was transferred to Central Council for Research in Indian Medicine and Homeopathy (CCRIM&H) w.e.f. 01-04-1970. The Institute was renamed as Indian Institute of History of Medicine in the 9th Executive Committee of CCRIM&H held on 04-08-1973. When the CCRIM&H was divided into four separate Councils the Institute came under the control of Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha (CCRAS) w.e.f. 01-01-1979. Keeping in view of the Institute’s achievements and credibility, the Dept. of AYUSH, Govt. of India has upgraded the Institute on 15-12-2009 as “National Institute of Indian Medical Heritage”. The Institute is functioning in its own building w.e.f. 21-02-2013. The Institute has further been renamed as National Centre of Indian Medical Heritage with reference to the Letter vide. F.No.12-39/2015-CCRAS/Estt.4788 in Dec 2020.
Institute has a specialized Medico-Historical Library. It functions as a referral library and is not a substitute or replica of any medical college library and is maintained with two objectives. i. Promotion of knowledge of history of medicine amongst medical students, teachers, interested public ii. Promotion of Research into the History of medicine in India during the Ancient, Medieval and Modern periods and elucidation of the inter-relations between the Evolution of Medicine in India and in other centers of civilization in ancient and medieval times.
Library contains 10,384 books (out of which 448 are rare books) on different aspects and branches of History of Medicine and the collection includes several classical texts of AYUSH systems and European medicine which includes some early editions. It possesses 285 Manuscripts (Palm leaf/paper) (Ayurveda-173; Unani-106; Siddha-06). It has 1187 Periodicals/Journals(National/International). The Rare collection of above made the library unique in India.
Institute has a Medico-Historical Museum with two main sections i. The World Medicine ii. Medicine in India. The exhibits include valuable collection with estampages of medical inscriptions, rare photos, paintings, charts, models made up of plaster of Paris, Postal stamps of medico-historical importance and some antique clinical apparatus etc., to illustrate the development of medicine and medico-historical events related to AYUSH and other systems. All together museum consists of 840 exhibits.
The Institute is also having Reprographic section with a Plain Paper Copier, Sanyo LCD Projector to help the research staff of the Institute as well as the outside scholars by providing photocopies of exhibits and research material available in the Institute. It also has 137 Microfilms (35 mm) on Ayurveda (38), Unani (41), Siddha (04) and Moderm Medicine (54).
Institute brings out its Journal “Journal of Indian Medical heritage (JIMH)” and till now 41 Volumes have been brought out with 736 articles (by officers of Institute-462; by others-274).
1. Literary Research and Documentation.
2. Revival and retrieval of texts from Ancient manuscripts and rare books.
3. Search and Collection of information, descriptive notes, editing and publication of rare medical manuscripts and books on AYUSH.
5. Ayurveda Encyclopedia.
6. Museum on History of Medicine.
7. Referral library on AYUSH Systems of Medicine and modern medicine.
8. AYUSH Research Portal.
9. CCRAS- Research Management Information System.
1. Collection/Compilation of rare medical manuscripts and rare books on different systems of Medicine in different languages.
2. Transcription, transliteration, translation and publication of medical works based on manuscripts, rare books and unpublished works related to AYUSH Systems to bring out critical editions in print & electronic form.
3. Collection of medical information from other sources like ancient non-medical literature - Vedas, Puranas etc., Archeological & Epigraphical sources, accounts of foreign travelers in India.
4. Study of historical development and evolution of concepts of diseases, drugs and other aspects of Ayurveda/Siddha system of medicine.
5. Preparation of biographies of physicians/authors, commentators of classical medical literature of different periods.
6. Projects for writing History of Medicine Area wise, Period wise and Theme wise.
7. Collection, editing and publication of News & Notes and historical materials including the publication of the Bulletin of the Institute & Monographs.
8. Arrangement of exhibitions on some specific occasions like seminars, celebrations etc. to exhibit the development of medicine in India and for dissemination of Indian Medical systems.
9. Referral services and guidance to research scholars.
10. Organizing Seminars, Conferences and Workshops on medico historical subjects and others.
11. Preparation of bibliographies of journals/articles on History of Medicine.
12. Collection of oral history i.e. audio recording and the historical background and other details like palm-leaf and paper manuscripts, old books, certificates of grants, awards etc. from hereditary physicians and traditional medical practitioners in and around Hyderabad city.
13. Development and maintenance of Medico-Historical Library.
14. Development and maintenance of Medico-historical Museum.
15. Imparting Ph.D. Programme on History of Medicine with affiliation to Dr. N.T.R. University of Health Sciences, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh.
16. IT Related Projects: Maintaining AYUSH Research Portal for entire AYUSH Systems - a continuous project since 2010.
17. Maintaining CCRAS-RMIS (Research Management Information System) - a continuous service since March 2014.
1. Number of studies carried out and published in Institute’s Journal (41 Volumes) as per mandate on different projects and different systems of medicine- 462
[(Ayurveda- 254; Unani- 108; Siddha- 20; Homeopathy- 07; Naturopathy- 01; Modern medicine- 17; Early European medical writers and their contribution- 04; Book reviews- 33; Compilation of bibliographic index of BIIHM-18 (Grand total - 462)]. Institute’s Journal articles are indexed in PubMed primarily the MEDLINE database on life sciences and biomedical topics Published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
2. Since inception Institute has published 37 publications which include monographs/ books/ e-books (CDs). (Annexure -1)
3. Conferences /Seminars/ Workshops/ Memorial Lectures organized - 42
4. Conferences /Seminars/ Workshops participated by the officers of the Institute - 420
5. Medico Historical Exhibitions organized - 56
6. Teachings carried out -76
7. Conducted Health Melas/Camps - 34
8. Awards won by the officers - 10
9. Extra Mural Research (EMR) Projects completed/published - 02
10. Intra Mural Research (IMR) Projects under publication - 02 (Ayurveda)
11. Intra Mural Research (IMR) Projects Completed and submitted – 07 [Ayurveda (6) and Unani (1)]
12. Intra Mural Research (IMR) Projects ongoing – 05 [Ayurveda (3) and Unani (2)]
13. Total scholars registered for Ph.D. Studies - 11 [Ph.D. Awarded: 03; Scholars; Synopsis Submitted: 1; Pursuing Ph.D.: 07]
Since inception the Institute has published the following monographs/books/e-books:
Western Epitomes of Indian Medicine
Glimpses of Health and Medicine in Mauryan Empire
Union Catalogue of Arabic and Persian Medical Mss. in the Libraries of Hyderabad
Library Catalogue (Part-I) - Author Catalogue
Museum Guide (Part-I) - World Medicine
Museum Guide (Part-II) - Medicine in India
A Checklist of Sanskrit Medical Manuscripts of India
Carucarya by King Bhoja
Chakradatta – Ratnaprabha
Booklet of Activities and Achievement of IIHM
Sanskrit Medical Manuscripts in India
Hand book of Domestic Medicine and Common Ayurvedic Home Remedies (Telugu)
Hand book of Domestic Medicine and Common Ayurvedic Home Remedies (Urdu)
Basavarajeeyam (Hindi Translation)
Sharabharajeeyam by Tulluri Sarabharaja
Vaidyakaprayoga Vignanamu by Shri Indraganti Venkateswara Sharma
Puyameha Vignanamu by Vempati Kotesvara Sastri & Nagalingam Visvanatha Sastri
e- book Ayurvedic Pharmacopeia of India, Part-I Volumes I-V
e- book Ayurvedic Pharmacopeia of India, Part-II Volume-I
e- book Ayurvedic Pharmacopeia of India, Part-II Volume-II
e- book Ayurvedic Formulary of India, Part-I & Part-II
e- book Siddha Pharmacopeia of India, Part-I Volume-I
e- book Ayurvedic Pharmacopeia of India, Part-I Volume-VI
e- book of Caraka Samhita
e- book of Susruta Samhita
Research Data Base of Ayurveda, Siddha & other Traditional Medicines & Related Sciences I-IV Volumes
Anupana Pathya & Apathya
e-book Madhava Nidana
e-book Nighantu (collection of 25 Ayurvedic Lexicons)
e-book Hand book of Domestic Medicine and Common Ayurvedic Home Remedies
Basavarajeeyam (English Translation)
e-book Ayurveda Encyclopedia
Descriptive catalogue on Collection and Digitization of Medical Manuscripts From South India, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh (sponsored by Department of AYUSH)
Research Publications in Ayurvedic Sciences (A catalogue of Catalogue of Research information on Ayurveda and Related Sciences)
Assistant Director In-charge
National Centre of Indian Medical Heritage (CCRAS),
Survey No.314, Revenue Board Colony,Gaddiannaram,