Banaras Hindu University To Offer ‘Bhoot Vidya Certificate Course On Ghost Studies
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Banaras Hindu University To Offer ‘Bhoot Vidya' Certificate Course On Ghost Studies

Banaras Hindu University (BHU) is now offering a six-month certificate course, ‘Bhoot Vidya’, to teach doctors how to treat people who claim to see or be possessed by ghosts.

The course is scheduled to begin from January 2020 and will be conducted by the Department of Ayurveda. Although it’s named ‘Bhoot Vidya’, the syllabus will focus on psychosomatic disorders which are often confused with paranormal occurrences.

“Bhoot Vidya mainly deals with psychosomatic disorders, diseases caused by unknown reasons and diseases of mind or psychic conditions,” BBC quoted Yamini Bhushan Tripathi, the Ayurveda faculty dean, as saying.

She further added that BHU is the first university in the country to offer such a course that would teach doctors about “the Ayurvedic remedies to treat ghost-related ailments”.

Six months ago, the heads of sixteen departments of the University approved this project. The proposal was then accepted by the Academic Council of BHU.

Several tweets with varying opinions surface soon after the announcement by the varsity. While some expressed that therapy and medicine is the appropriate treatment, others ridiculed the name of the course.

Psychosomatic refers to the mind (psyche) and body (soma). The psychosomatic symptom manifests as a physiological consequence of an emotional state. For example, depression as a consequence of terminal cancer. The term psychosomatic disorder is also used when mental factors cause physical symptoms in the absence of physical disease.

Students holding Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) and Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degrees are eligible for the course.

Bhoot Vidya or paranormal science is one of the eight branches of Ashtanga Ayurveda. Ayurvedic therapies generally include herbal medicines, diet changes, massages, breathing and other forms of exercise.

A report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed that 7.5 per cent of the Indian population suffers from some form of mental disorder. Mental illnesses constitute one-sixth of all health-related disorders in the world. India accounted for nearly 15% of the global mental, neurological and substance abuse disorders.

WHO also predicts that by 2020, roughly 20 per cent of India will suffer from mental illnesses. And to cater to this demographic, there are less than 4,000 mental health professionals.

Due to widespread social stigma, only a handful seek professional help or care and many Indians, especially in rural areas, visit shamans and witch-doctors to find a cure for their mental illnesses.

Also read: Modi Govt May Cut School Education Budget By ₹3000 Crore Amid Cash Crunch, Likely To Affect Teachers’ Salaries

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