From September, astrologers provided by a state-run institution will advise and diagnose patients in government hospitals in Madhya Pradesh (MP), some media outlets (1, 2, 3) reported earlier.
But now, Hindustan Times reports that the MP government has denied any such plans. State health minister Rustam Singh said the government had made no such decision and denied even a discussion on the issue had taken place.
“Media persons using the information on OPD in government hospitals should have taken care to at least talk to any government authority to know if the information they were having was correct … I am amused at the news. This is absurd, unfounded and it is not possible at all,” he said.
Reports indicated that the government would start astrology Out Patient Departments (OPDs) in state-run hospitals to establish astrology as a “calculative science and not a hunch” and to produce a pool of “qualified” astrologers across the state. These OPDs would reportedly also have vastu experts, palmists and soothsayers to offer medical advice to patients.
The astrologers would interact with patients twice a week and on weekends. The soothsayers would be certified under the Maharshi Patanjali Sanskrit Sansthan (MPSS).
“It will not be an OPD but a consultation centre”
Sansthan deputy director Prashant Dolas said the Yoga Centre was already giving advice to people how to cure diseases with the help of Yoga. The venture would begin in a Bhopal Yoga Centre and would be a consultation centre and not an OPD, the minister said.
“We will add astrology and vastu to it. Astrology and vastu are established sciences. The idea of giving advice to people by astrologers and vastu experts of Sansthan came as we are going to run diploma courses on these two subjects from September onwards. There is no government decision as such,” Dolas said.
Diploma courses on astrology and priesthood begun by MPSS
The centre, as reported, will be operational at the Yoga Center building situated close to the Red Cross building in Bhopal, MP.
“Only we are giving it the name of astro-OPD and in no way will it be any kind of medical OPD to be operated at hospital,” MPSS director PR Tiwari told The New Indian Express. “Like OPDs where junior doctors work under the supervision of seniors, aspiring astrologers will assist astro experts in dealing with various kinds of cases in the astro OPDs.”
The experts at the aforementioned OPD will be faculty members teaching the annual diploma courses for astrology, vastu and paurohitya (priesthood). These courses were started a few weeks ago by MPSS.
“The students in these diploma courses will not only act as assistants to qualified astrologers in the OPD, but will also get hands-on training in devising astro-based solutions for different problems in the manner junior doctors get from senior specialists in regular medical OPDs,” said Tiwari.
Similar centres could spring up in 138 Sanskrit schools
Based on the success of the venture in Bhopal, similar centres could spring up in 138 Sanskrit schools run by MPSS across MP. This is in tandem with School Education Minister Kunwar Vijay Shah’s desire to “produce a pool of qualified astrologers and vastu experts” in the state.
Tiwari told The New Indian Express, “We’re planning to extend the annual diploma course in astrology, vastu and paurohitya to the Sanskrit schools in form of two years diploma courses. The students of Uttar Madhyama (equivalent to Class XI and XII) at the 138 Sanskrit schools who enroll in the two-years diploma courses, will study the diploma course subjects as additional subjects in the years of regular Uttar Madhyama course.”