At a time when most are living under stress and uncertainty, there have been encouraging news from different corners of the Country and in particular of the North East, where individuals and organizations have risen above the pandemic challenge to prove that there is much that one can do, in any given situation. Among such news is of NECU, the North East Christian University at Dimapur, achieving national and International recognition by being recently accredited by the NABCB (National Accreditation Board of Certification Bodies) under the provisions of ISO/IEC 17024:2012 and the International Accreditation Forum. To understand the subject and matter, one would need to know a little about the background.

The Quality Council of India (www.qcin.org) is the highest authority in the country that vets and approves Certifications of all standard (from products as in ISI and BIS to Hospital under NABH and Laboratories under NABL). As per international Prevalence, one can also certify individuals (Personnel) for their knowledge and skills. QCI conducted a pilot project for five years to work on the feasibility of recognizing and so certifying Traditional Healers (Traditional Community Healthcare Providers- TCHP) in six States. 517 such Healthcare Providers were evaluated and found qualified to be certified then – in Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, and Tamil Nadu. QCI then, in 2017, invited third party organizations to take up the matter of Evaluation and Certification, since QCI is the final authority and should not do the evaluation itself so avoid any conflict of interest.

With tradition and Biodiversity being strong in the NE, and NECU identifying these as thrust areas for itself, NECU applied in 2018 to QCI to be considered and recognized as a Certification Body for Personnel in traditional healing (PrCB for TCHP). QCI also has PRCB for Yoga and more recently for best clinical practices. Through a process of training, inspection, and interaction, QCI recognized NECU as a PrCB for TCHPs. NECU has QCI trained senior Traditional Healers (TCHPs) to act as evaluators. A team of three in a particular domain (common ailments, arthritis, Jaundice, poisonous bites, traditional Bone setting and traditional birth attendants) with an Aryuvedic Doctor, take usually two days to evaluate a TCHP to qualify for certification, necessarily visiting the place of practice. All such candidates will have learned their skills and knowledge from traditional lineage and mentoring. Faith healers are not included. NECU is the first University in the country to get this recognition. NECU has certified healers in Tripura, Assam and Nagaland and is ready for applicants from Manipur and Meghalaya. All such certified persons particulars are on the QCI website. As of now there are only four QCI recognized PRCBs for TCHPs in the country.

What one is doing here is recognizing our traditional healers who have been rendering tremendous service to our society by certifying them to be meeting International standards and so duly recognizing them. They may not attend formal or informal classes at any educational institution, but their knowledge and skills might surpass many who have had a formal education. They are often the last mile health service provider, often in places not accessible by vehicles. NECU, as a PrCB is contributing a small part in assisting with the evaluation and certification of such frontline workers.

To get further recognition at the International level NECU applied to the NABCB (National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies), also within QCI, to evaluate NECU PrCB for accreditation under ISO 17024 standards. This exercise was done in February 2020, including observing in the field the Tuensang TCHP Evaluation that was being conducted by NECU PrCB. NECU was found qualified and NABCB has recently issued its Certificate of Accreditation to NECU PrCB. NECU is the only PrCB for TCHPs to be accredited by NABCB in India. Even in the world, in the category of TCHPs, NECU is the first and only one. It can now use the International Accreditation Forum logo on its Certificates.

The above will indicate not only the achievement of international recognition that NECU has obtained. It will also reflect the high benchmarks that NECU strives for and has in its quality of manpower. NECU started its classes only in 2018 but strives to maintain a high standard of staff and teachers. All (100%) of its regular faculty are PhD completed.

NECU has brought laurels to Nagaland and the North East by its distinct achievement.