A prestigious Indian university is offering a certificate course to teach doctors how to treat people who claim to see or be possessed by ghosts.
The six-month course at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in the northern city of Varanasi will start in January.
Officials say it will focus on psychosomatic disorders which are often confused with paranormal occurrences.
The course will be conducted by the faculty of Ayurveda, the ancient Hindu system of medicine and healing.
A BHU official told news agency IANS that a separate unit of Bhoot Vidya (Ghost Studies) had been set up in the university.
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“Bhoot Vidya mainly deals with psychosomatic disorders, diseases caused by unknown reasons and diseases of mind or psychic conditions,” Yamini Bhushan Tripathi, the Ayurveda faculty dean, said.
She added that the university was the first in the country to offer such a course which would teach doctors about “the Ayurvedic remedies to treat ghost-related ailments”.
Ayurvedic therapies generally include herbal medicines, diet changes, massages, breathing and other forms of exercise.
According to a 2016 study by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience (Nimhans), nearly 14% of Indians are mentally ill . And in 2017, the WHO estimated that 20% of Indians might suffer from depression at some point in their lives.