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Current Affairs

Charak Shapath controversy

Date: 04 May 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous


The government of Tamil Nadu removed dean of Madurai Medical College for allowing batch of new students to take Charak Shapath.



Charak Shapath is an oath in Sanskrit and is associated with sage Charaka. The existing Hippocratic Oath is attributed to Greek Physician Hippocrates.



  • The National Medical Commission (NMC) had recently suggested to medical colleges that the Hippocratic Oath should be replaced by a “Charak Shapath”.

  • The Indian Medical Association (IMA) opposed the move and took the matter to Health Minister. Some sections welcomed the move to replace the traditional oath.

  • The health minister assured that the Charak Shapath will be optional and students will not be forced to replace Hippocratic Oath.

  • The issue was highlighted in the parliament and questions were asked about the idea of introducing Charak Shapath for medical students.

  • The concerned minister answered that there was proposal of replacement of Hippocratic Oath with Charak Shapath.

  • NMC later recommended using it when a candidate is introduced to medical education.


Hippocratic Oath 

  • The Hippocratic Oath is attributed to Hippocrates of the island of Kos. The Oath is a charter of ethical principles that physicians over the ages have sworn to uphold in the practice of their profession.

  • The earliest fragments of the original oath date back to the late 3rd century AD, and a millennium-old version is kept in the library of the Holy See.

  • Many historians agree that Hippocratic Oath itself may not have been the work of the individual identified as the historical Hippocrates.

  • Many medical schools around the world hold a graduation ceremony in which graduating doctors swear to a broad charter of ethics that are sometimes customized by individual institutions.



  • Charaka is said to be the author of a book on medicine known as Charaka Samhita. It is a collection of commentaries and discussions on medical practices that is historically dated to the 1st-2nd centuries AD.

  • Charak Samhita is considered the foundational text of ancient Indian medicine. It is considered in several ways ahead of the Greeks.