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August 28, 2020
CSIR-CMERI has developed the World's Largest Solar Tree, which is installed at CSIR-CMERI Residential Colony, Durgapur. Prof.(Dr.) Harish Hirani, Director, CSIR-CMERI, while elaborating about the technology stated that, "The installed capacity of the Solar Tree is above 11.5 kWp. It has the annual capacity to generate 12,000-14,000 units of Clean and Green Power".
The Solar Tree has been designed in a manner to ensure maximum exposure of each Solar PV Panel to Sunlight and also creation of the least amount of shadow area beneath. There are a total of 35 Solar PV Panels in each tree with a capacity of 330 wp each. The inclination of the arms holding the Solar PV Panels are flexible and can be adjusted as per requirement, this feature is not available in Roof-Mounted Solar facilities. The energy generation data can be monitored either real-time or on daily basis.
Prof.(Dr.) Harish Hirani explained, "The CSIR-CMERI developed Solar Tree besides being the World's Largest Solar Tree also has certain customizable features for application at diverse sites. The Solar Trees were designed in a manner to ensure minimum Shadow Area, thus potentially making these Solar Trees available for widespread usage in Agricultural activities such as High Capacity Pumps, e-Tractors and e-Power Tillers.
These Solar Trees can be aligned with Agriculture for substituting price-volatile fossil fuels. Each Solar Tree has the potential to save 10-12 tons of CO2 emissions being released into the atmosphere as Greenhouse Gases when compared with fossil fuel fired energy generation.Besides, the surplus generated power can be fed into an Energy Grid.
This Agricultural Model can provide a consistent economic return and help the farmers counter the effects of the uncertain variations in Agriculture related activities, thus, making farming an Economic and Energy Sustainable practice."
Each Solar Tree will cost Rs 7.5 lakhs and the interested MSMEs can align their Business Model with the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evem Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) Scheme for farmers, for developing a Renewable Energy based Energy Grid.
The solar tree has the capability to incorporate IOT based features, i.e. round-the-clock CCTV surveillance in agricultural fields, real-time humidity, wind speed, rainfall prediction and soil analytics sensors. The CSIR-CMERI developed solar powered e-Suvidha Kiosks may also be connected to the Solar Trees for real-time access to the vast majority of agricultural database as well as to the eNAM i.e. National Agricultural MarketPlace for instant and real-time access to an unified online market.This Solar Tree is a Quantum Leap towards making an Energy Reliant and Carbon Negative India.
August 1, 2020 (N. Delhi)
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister for Science & Technology, Health & Family Welfare and Earth Sciences announced the successful completion of PAN-India 1000 Genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 here today. He took a meeting with Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and reviewed the COVID-19 activities of DBT, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and DBT-Autonomous Institutions (AIs).
During the meeting, Dr. Harsh Vardhan also launched and dedicated to the nation the largest network of five dedicated COVID-19 Biorepositories established by Department of Biotechnology in record time. These are at Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) Faridabad, Institute of Life Science (ILS) Bhubaneshwar, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) New Delhi, National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS) Pune and Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine (InStem) Bangalore. He complemented the efforts of DBT in "the relentless war for mitigation of this Pandemic".
Dr Harsh Vardhan said, "Given the importance of this information for public health response initiatives requiring investigation into the transmission of COVID-19, the sequence data will soon be released in Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) for use by researchers across the Globe". "The information in the database will improve our understanding on how the virus is spreading, ultimately helping to interrupt the transmission chains, prevent new cases of infection, and provide impetus to research on intervention measures", he added. The Minister also pointed out, "The data analysis, which is ongoing, may bring out some interesting conclusions to help in our fight against COVID-19."
Dr. Harsh Vardhan also highlighted that "16 Vaccine Candidates are in different stages of development. The BCG Vaccine is undergoing phase 3 trial, Zydus Cadila DNA Vaccine is in phase I / II trial and 4 Vaccine candidates are in advanced stages of pre-clinical study". "5 Good clinical laboratory practice (GCLP) clinical trial sites have been developed and 6 animal models for Vaccine Development Studies are also ready", he said.
The Department of Biotechnology had launched a Pan India 1000 SARS-CoV-2 RNA Genome Sequencing programme in May this year to be done by Autonomous Institutes of DBT, collaborating with national laboratories and clinical organizations.
The consortium coordinated by National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG-Kalyani), West Bengal and Five other National clusters, ILS-Bhubaneswar, Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD)-Hyderabad, InStem- National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS)-IISc-Bangalore, and NCCS-Pune are actively participating in sequencing and analysis. Collaborating National Institutes and clinical organizations involved are ICMR - National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research (IPGMER)-Kolkata, IISc-Bangalore, AIIMS- Rishikesh (Uttarakhand), Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC)-Delhi, THSTI-Faridabad, Grant Medical College (GMC)-Aurangabad, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS)-Wardha, Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) and Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Government Medical College (BJMC)-Pune, and other hospitals.
The Consortium has achieved its initial goal of completing the sequencing of 1000 SARS-CoV-2 genomes from nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs collected from individuals testing positive for COVID19 by Real Time PCR. The samples were collected across 10 states covering different zones within India.
DBT is supporting COVID-19 Bio Repositories through a well strategized plan so that novel technological interventions can be developed in due course of time. The main purpose of these biorepositories are archival of inactivated virus and clinical samples, including naso-oropharyngeal swabs, stool, urine, saliva, serum, plasma, PBMC and Serum.
These designated bio repositories will use the clinical samples for R&D purpose and are authorized to share the samples with academia, industry and commercial entities involved in development of diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines etc., after scrutinising the purpose of the request and ensuring benefit to the country. Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) for sample collection, transportation, aliquoting, storage and sharing have been developed. As on date, 44452 clinical samples have been collected and stored in these five centres. More than 5,000 samples have been shared.
During the meeting which was attended by Dr Renu Swarup Secretary DBT, and joined through video-links by Senior officers of DBT and its Autonomous Institutes and Public Sectors BIRAC and BIBCOL,the Minister was presented an update on the DBT?BIRAC COVID 19 Research Consortia under which more than 150 Research Groups have been supported involving nearly 80 Industry /Academia collaborations, 40 Academic Research Institutes and more than 25 Startup Research Groups.
The consortium has successfully developed 100 percent self-reliance for producing more than 5 lakh RTPCR diagnostic kits per day. 4 technologies of DBT AI's have been transferred to the Industry for commercial manufacturing of diagnostic kits. DBT AI's are also providing services for Diagnostic Testing, Kit Validation and Antiviral testing.
July 2, 2020 (N. Delhi)
Government launches Drug Discovery Hackathon 2020 (DDH2020), a first of its kind National Initiative for supporting drug discovery process
The Union Government launched Drug Discovery Hackathon here today in the presence of Union Minister for Science and Technology Dr. Harsh Vardhanand Union Minister for Human Resource Development Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank'. This Drug Discovery Hackathon is a joint initiative of MHRD's Innovation Cell (MIC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and supported by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), MyGov as well as private players.
Minister of State for HRD Shri Sanjay Dhotre, Principal Scientific Advisor Prof. VijayRaghavan, DG CSIR, Dr.ShekharMande, Chairman AICTE, Prof. Anil Sahasrabudhe, President, Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) Prof. B Suresh and Chief Innovation Officer, MHRD, Dr. Abhay Jere were also present during the online launch program. This Hackathon is first of its kind National initiative for supporting drug discovery process and will see participation from professionals, faculty, researchers and students from varied fields like Computer Science, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Medical Sciences, Basic Sciences and Biotechnology.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister for S&T said, "We need to establish the culture of Computational Drug Discovery in our country. In this initiative, MHRD's Innovation cell and AICTE will focus on identifying potential drug molecules through the Hackathon while CSIR will take these identified molecules forward for synthesis and laboratory testing for efficacy, toxicity, sensitivity and specificity." Pointing out that drug discovery is a complex, expensive, arduous and time-consuming process, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, "While we pursue clinical trials of few repurposed drugs for COVID-19, as they are faster and can quickly be launched, it is also important that we find other suitable repurposed drugs while at the same time continue working on new drug discovery to develop specific drugs against COVID-19". He added, "in-silico drug discovery which utilizes Computational methods such as Machine Learning (ML), AI and Big Data will help in accelerating this process".
Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank', HRD Minister said, "MHRD and AICTE have huge experience in organizing Hackathons but for the first time, we are using hackathon model for tackling a great scientific challenge. More importantly, this initiative is open for researchers/faculty across the globe as we are keen on attracting international talent to join and support our efforts."
Minister of State for HRD Shri Sanjay Dhotre also appreciated the concept and said, "Our government has kick-started Hackathon culture in this country which is very critical for challenging our youngsters to solve some of the daunting problems faced by our nation."
Prof K. Vijay Raghavan, PSA, Govt. of India said, "I wish to thank MHRD, AICTE and CSIR and all our partners for supporting this Hackathon which will help India establish new model for expediting drug discovery process. The Hackathon consists of challenges that are posted as problem statements and, are based on specific drug discovery topics which, are open to the participants to solve. It will have three phases of three months each and the whole exercise is to be completed by April-May 2021. At the end of each phase, successful teams will be rewarded. The 'lead' compounds identified at the end of phase 3 will be taken forward for experimental level at CSIR and other interested organizations.
During the launch function, Dr.Abhay Jere, Chief Innovation Officer explained the concept of Drug Discovery Hackathon, while Prof. Anil Sahasrabudhe extended all the support from AICTE and appealed all technical institutions to participate in this initiative in big numbers. Dr.Shekhar Mande extended all the required commitment from CSIR's side for this initiative. He also expressed satisfaction on the quality and variety of problem statements released today.
Background Information and Methodology of Hackathon
June 18, 2020 (N. delhi)The Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated and flagged off India's first I-Lab (Infectious disease diagnostic lab) for Covid testing in rural and inaccessible areas of India, here today. Secretary, Department of Biotechnology Dr. Renu Swarup and other officials were present on the occasion. Dr. Jitendar Sharma, CEO, Andhra Med Tech Zone CEO, and senior officials from NITI Ayog, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, MeiTY, other ministries, ICMR, DST, CSIR etc joined the function through web online.
Expressing his happiness to launch the I-Lab, infectious disease diagnostic laboratory-a mobile testing facility, Dr. Harsh Vardhan dedicated this facility to provide Covid testing access to rural India. This mobile testing facility will be deployed through the DBT testing hubs to remote regions of the country for Covid testing. He congratulated and appreciated the efforts of the DBT in tackling the Covid pandemic, and added that DBT coordinated in scaling-up testing for Covid by reorienting premiere laboratories as Covid testing centers in a hub and spoke model. There are now over 20 hubs in the country with 100 testing laboratories and these have tested more than 2,60,000 samples.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, "This has been possible through the DBT-AMTZ COVID Command Consortia (COVID Medtech Manufacturing Development] Consortia)" to cope-up with the current situation in the country and move progressively towards a stage of self-sufficiency. The I-lab will be deployed through these hubs into remote and interior places". The Minister appreciated the "Andhra med-tech zone team for building this unique, innovative facility for the country at the period of lock-down through tireless, dedicated and committed efforts". He informed that AMTZ through the support of DBT has also established manufacturing facility for indigenous manufacturing of kits and reagents for various testing kits which were initially imported thereby helping us realise the vision of Pradhan mantriji on- Make-in India, Make for India". He pointed out that today there are 953 testing laboratories in all corners of the country and elaborated on "Various steps taken by the ministry and departments towards achieving research components indigenization and their in-house manufacturing." Dr. Harsh Vardhan emphasised that "In the near future with all these collective and cooperative efforts, India will achieve self-sufficiency in healthcare technologies leading towards Atma Nirbhar Bharat."
Dr. Renu Swarup said on the occasion that through the concerted efforts Indian scientists, the country has achieved a capacity of producing nearly 5 lakh testing kits per day, exceeding the target of having one lakh test kits by May 31, 2020. She pointed out that this I-Lab has been created in a record time of 8 days by the Andhra Pradesh Med-tech Zone team with the support of DBT under the National Biopharma Mission being implemented by the Public Sector BIRAC. She highlighted that the unit has biosafety facility and is capable of performing RT-PCR as well as ELISA tests.
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology along with Andhra Pradesh Med-tech Zone (AMTZ) has initiated the DBT-AMTZ COMManD [COVID Medtech Manufacturing Development] Consortia to address the shortage of critical healthcare technologies in India and move progressively towards a stage of self-sufficiency.
Under this Consortia, India's first I- lab (infectious disease diagnostic lab) has been built at AMTZ in record time of 8 days from the date of receipt of Automotive Chassis, from Bharat Benz. This is a mobile diagnostic unit with biosafety facility. The I- lab is a BSL-2 facility with on-site ELISA, RT-PCR, Bio chemistry analysers. It can run 50 RT-PCR reactions and about 200 ELISA in a day.Double set of Machines can help increase the capacity to about 500 per day in 8 hours shift.It can be deployed in remote areas and can be lifted from Automotive Chassis and can be put on goods train for sending to any location in the country.The BSL-2 Lab is as per NABL specifications and is being attached to DBT's certified Testing centres.
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), under the Ministry of Science & Technology, promotes and accelerates the development of biotechnology in India, including growth and application of biotechnology in the areas of agriculture, healthcare, animal sciences, environment and industry.
AMTZ is Asia's first medical equipment manufacturing ecosystem, uniquely dedicated for Medtech and supported by various Ministries.
INFECTIOUS DISEASE DIAGNOSTIC LABORATORY (I-LAB)
June 13, 2020 (N. Delhi)
A CSIR National Healthcare Supply Chain Portal that aims to provide real-time availability of critical healthcare supplies https://www.aarogyapath.in has been launched on June 12,2020. AarogyaPath would serve manufacturers, suppliers and customers. During the present national health emergency arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic, where in there is severe disruption in supply chain,the ability to produce and deliver the critical items may be compromised due to a variety of reasons. The information platform named AarogyaPath with a vision of "providing a path which leads one on a journey towards Aarogya (healthy life)" was developed to address these challenges.
This integrated public platform that provides single-point availability of key healthcare goodscan be helpful to customers in tackling a number of routinely experienced issues. These issues include dependence on limited suppliers, time-consuming processes to identify good quality products, limited access to suppliers who can supply standardized products at reasonable prices within desired timelines, lack of awareness about the latest product launches, etc.
It also helps manufacturers and suppliers to reach a wide network of customers efficiently, overcoming gaps in connectivity between them and potential demand centers like nearby pathological laboratories, medical stores, hospitals, etc. It will also create opportunities for business expansion due to an expanded slate of buyers and visibility of new requirements for products. Over time, analytics from this platform is expected to generate early signals to manufacturers on over capacity as well as on looming shortages. This would help to reduce wastage of resources due to inefficient forecasting and excess manufacturing, generate awareness about the demand for new technologies.
CSIR expects AarogyaPath to become the national healthcare information platform of choice in the years to come, filling a critical gap in last-mile delivery of patient care within India through improved availability and affordability of healthcare supplies.
It was launched by Shri Rajesh Bhushan Officer on Special Duty, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in presence of DG CSIR, Dr Shekhar C. Mande. Shri Sudhir Garg Joint Secretary, Ministry of MSME and Dr. Vijay Chauthiawale Pharma Sector Expert were guests of honour at this event. Dr Shekhar Mande complemented the CSIR team involved in development of the portal, which was led by Dr Anjan Ray, Director CSIR-IIP. The portal was developed in partnership with Sarvodaya Infotech and institutional users and manufacturers / authorized suppliers of healthcare essentials are encouraged to register and participate actively.
June 8, 2020 (N. Delhi)
The proposed clinical trial is aimed to assess the safety, tolerability and exposure of the compound in humans along with the early efficacy indicators in pancreatic cancer patients
CSIR constituent lab CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM) Jammu, has received Investigational New Drug (IND) approval from New Drugs Division of Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) for a potent anti-cancer, New Chemical Entity (NCE) effective against pancreatic cancer after successful completion of preclinical development and IND submission.
This will pave way for CSIR- IIIM for conducting the clinical trial of this important drug candidate IIIM-290 in pancreatic cancer patients. The proposed clinical trial is aimed to assess the safety, tolerability and exposure of the compound in humans along with the early efficacy indicators in pancreatic cancer patients. This drug was discovered and developed at the natural-products driven drug discovery programme of CSIR-IIIM.
Dr Shekhar Mande, DG, CSIR complemented the team of scientists Sandip Bharate, Sonali Bharate, Dilip Mondhe, Shashi Bhushan and Sumit Gandhi who were led by Dr Ram Vishwakarma, Director, CSIR-IIIM, on this significant milestone. They conducted close to a decade of high-end research as a prelude to grant of regulatory approval for clinical trials against pancreatic cancer.
Dr Ram Vishwakarma, highlighting the R&D carried out, informed that the anti-cancer screening against NCI-60 cancer cell lines panel and clinically validated protein kinase enzymes involved in cancer provided in 2011, provided an initial potent hit (rohitukine, a pure molecule natural product from the leaves of a tree from the Western Ghats Dysoxylum binectariferum,commonly known as Indian white cedar). Further medicinal chemistry designed to address efficacy/selectivity against a class of cell-cycle regulatory kinases (i.e. cyclin-dependent kinases) identified this preclinical candidate IIIM-290 showing excellent pharmacokinetics, oral bioavailability and potent anticancer activity in a number of animal xenograft models, with the best activity against the pancreatic cancer model.
In the last three years, researchers completed all the preclinical safety, regulatory and other IND enabling studies, obtained global patents and published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry in 2018.
Pertinently, pancreatic cancer currently ranks 12th among most common cancers in the world but has the notorious distinction of being the 4th leading cause of cancer-related deaths. The incidence of pancreatic cancer in India is 0.5?2.4 per 100,000 men and 0.2?1.8 per 100,000 women.
Globally, it causes more than a quarter of a million deaths annually. This cancer is considered as one of the untreatable cancer types, because of its very late diagnosis and therefore there is a huge scarcity of drugs for the treatment of this cancer. This indigenous drug discovery program based on natural products opens potential therapeutic options for pancreatic cancer.
NewsDr. Harsh Vardhan launches CSIR Technologies for rural deve..
September 30, 2020
The Minister of Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhantoday launched CSIR Technologies for rural development under a joint initiative of Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA), Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD) and Vijnana Bharti (VIBHA). The event was organized through online platform on the occasion of CSIR-NISTADS 40th Foundation Day, here.The technologies released included:
The Minister also released CSIR-NISTADS e-Compendium and e-Coffee Table Book, on the occasion.
Dr. Shekhar C Mande (DG-CSIR, Secretary, DSIR, GOI), Padma Bhushan Shri Vijay P. Bhatkar (Chairman-National Steering Committee, UBA), ProfRam Gopal Rao (Director, IIT Delhi), Prof. Virendra K. Vijay (National Coordinator, UBA), Dr. Ranjana Aggarwal (Director, CSIR-NISTADS) were among the speakers throwing light on the synergy among science and technology interventions and rural upliftment. Various stakeholders including famous dignitaries, science experts, field experts, all Regional Coordinating Institutes and Participating Institutes of UBA, non-profit organisations, UBA volunteers, villagers and farmers of the adopted villages also participated in this programme organized with a purpose to enable the outreach of CSIR rural technologies to society.
A tripartite MoU to this effect was signed by the three parties on 28th July 2020 at CSIR to work jointly for post-COVID fast track action plan to create livelihood opportunities in rural areas, particularly for the people who have returned to their native villages in the lockdown period.
Over the years CSIR has developed several appropriate technologies which could be deployed in rural areas for development and livelihood generation and achieving sustainable development goals. These technologies will now be disseminated to society through the Higher Education Institutional network of UBA and local chapters of VIBHA. CSIR-National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (CSIR-NISTADS) is acting as a nodal CSIR Lab to establish linkages between CSIR laboratories, UBA, VIBHA, and stakeholders.
In his keynote address, Dr Harsh Vardhan congratulated CSIR-NISTADS on their 40th Foundation Day, and said, "they have been involved in exploring continuously the interface between Science, Technology and Society and have played an important role in science policy research in CSIR and at National Level also". Stating that "appropriate intervention of Science & Technology can play a crucial catalytic role in bringing equity and equality in the process of development", Dr Harsh Vardhan said that "Corporates, Research agencies, Organizations working with medium, small, and cottage level entrepreneurs, voluntary social organizations, NGOs, and socially cognizant citizens need to partner on a common platform to address various problems affecting the lives of millions". He said, "the challenges that we would be facing need actions at several levels, and we need to explore and reinvent innovative approaches for actions from different stakeholders that include not just Government agencies but also voluntary social organizations, NGOs, Corporates, Entrepreneurs, academicians & Scientists and constructively supplement these efforts".
He highlighted that "Unnat Bharat Abhiyan" is a flagship programme of Ministry of Education conceptualised and launched in IIT Delhi, with a vision of transformational change in rural development processes by leveraging knowledge institutions to help build the architecture of an Inclusive India."Unnat Bharat Abhiyan now constitutes 45 Regional Coordinating Institutions (RCIs) and 2,614 Participating Institutions (PIs). Till date, a total of 13,760 villages have been adopted under Unnat Bharat Abhiyan", he added.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan expressed his confidence that "the agencies known for its knowledge, grassroot presence and technical competency, like IIT Delhi, VIBHA and their joining hands with CSIR can prove to be very useful for deployment of indigenously developed technologies by CSIR in rural areas". He called for "greater synergy among innovative scientific solutions and tradition knowledge systems so that the fruits of this combination reaches to the every person, every village to for betterment of their lives and development of the country."
CSIR, UBA, Vijnana Bharti have planned to work jointly on a framework for scientific intervention to create sustainable livelihood opportunities in the rural clusters under synergy of S&T Organizations (CSIR/DST/DBT/DRDO etc), VIBHA and UBA. It began with strengthening the network, where R&D organizations and institutions to take the role of nodal agencies who provide solutions to the felt need of the communities in the country. UBA nodal centers- RCIs are the solution facilitators and are the link that build capacities and connect to the solution seekers (community, farmer etc.) and solution disseminators such as Development agencies, Institutes, NGOs, and Panchayati Raj Institutions etc.
CSIR-National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies(NISTADS), New Delhi is one of the constituent laboratory of CSIR. It is devoted to a study of various aspects of interaction among science, society and state and exploring continuously the interface between Science, Technology and Society. Currently, the faculty comprises of highly qualified faculty members drawn from a variety of academic disciplines. This intellectual diversity is the mainstay of the institute. The Institute has core competence in Science and Technology policy Research mainly addressing the concerns and problems of developing countries. The institute, s strength mainly lies in Interdisciplinary research teams, multi-discipline in faculty, long experience of field research.
Vijnana Bharti(Vibha): VIBHA, a science movement with swadeshi spirit, has a greater role to play. Swadeshi Science Movement was started in Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru by some eminent scientists under the guidance of Prof. K. I. Vasu. One of the founding principles of VIBHA is? Swadeshi Movement with modern sciences adapted to national needs.
September 26, 2020
On the occasion of CSIR Foundation Day, Avra Laboratories, a leading pharmaceutical company founded by Padmabhushan Dr A. V. Rama Rao, announced today that it would establish three research chairs at CSIR to support and recognize exemplary work in the field of translational research. The chairs, will provide a three-year fellowship to selected scientists to recognize and advance their efforts. Dr S. Chandrasekhar, Director, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology and Dr Amol A. Kulkarni, Senior Principal Scientist, CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory have been awarded the fellowship for the period 2020-2023.
As part of their Corporate Social Responsibility program, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), has agreed to extend generous funding support to Establishment of one Makeshift Hospital in Himachal Pradesh and a COVID Testing Centre at Ladakh at a cost of over a crore".
The prestigious CSIR Diamond Jubilee Technology Award for the year 2019 is conferred on Tata Chemicals Limited (TCL), Pune for the technological advancement it has made in the production of 'Fructo-oligosaccharides' (FOS), also known as FOSSENCE which being 100./0 soluble dietary fiber caters to the growing base of health and lifestyle-conscious consumers.
CSIR celebrated its 79th Foundation Day at its premises here today. Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Health and Family Welfare and Vice President, CSIR presided over the event. While, Dr. Shekhar C. Mande, DG, CSIR & Secretary, DSIR (Department for Scientific & Industrial Research) and Mr. A. Chakraborty, Head, HRDG, were present on the occasion, all CSIR labs and several others joined the event through various social media platforms.
September 23, 2020
Department of Biotechnology (DBT), facilitated Transfer of Technology of novel Brucella vaccine viz. Brucella abortus S19 delta per vaccine, through Video Conferencing (VC), earlier this week and an MoU was signed. This vaccine was developed by ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (ICAR-IVRI), Izatnagar, Uttar Pradesh through a Network project on Brucellosis supported by DBT in which a gene was knocked out from Brucella abortus S19 strain.
This vaccine has confirmed protection against virulent challenge in experimental mice model conducted at IVRI, Izatnagar and in buffalo calves conducted at National Institute of Animal Health, an institute of Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying. The developed vaccine is also found to have DIVA compatible. Brucella abortus S19 delta per vaccine can play an important role in National Brucellosis Control Programme initiated by Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Government of India.
Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease which causes production losses in livestock. The disease induces abortion at the last stage of pregnancy, infertility and other reproductive problem which causes losses in production of milk and meat. Globally the disease is reported in approximately half a million human population every year. In India huge population involved in dairy farming is directly affected with the Brucellosis.
The technology of vaccine was transferred by BIRAC to M/s Hester Biosciences Pvt. Ltd. in the presence of Secretary, DBT; DG, ICAR; AHC, DAHD; Director, IVRI; Dr. Pallab Chaudhury, Inventor; Dr.Aun Rawat Adviser, DBT; MD, Hester Biosciences Pvt. Ltd., and representatives of Agrinnovate, BCIL etc.
September 23, 2020
The Department of Biotechnology, Government of India through the Ind-CEPI mission (India Centric Epidemic Preparedness)for Rapid Vaccine Development and Supporting Indian Vaccine Development which is aligned with the Global Initiative of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), aims to strengthen the development of vaccines and associated competencies/technologies for the diseases of epidemic potential in India. One of the key focus areas of the mission is to support capacity building and regional networking with LMICs(Lowand Middle Income Countries).
In the current COVID19 Pandemic situation it is important to build capacities for clinical trials of vaccine. Keeping with the principles outlined by our Science Diplomacy initiatives, DBT hasinitiated the First phase of the "Training program to strengthen clinical trial research capacity for neighbouring countries" in partnership with Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. The objective of these trainings would be to support researchers and investigator teams for enhancing and strengthening their clinical trial capabilities for conducting clinical trials in compliance with ICH-GCP (International Conference on Harmonisation-Good clinical practice). Through,this training program and knowledgesharing efforts, Govt of India is fulfilling its commitment of building various technical capacities in its neighbouring countries. Efforts to network with South Asia, ASEAN and African regions for this purpose would be aided through Ind-CEPI.
The First online orientation to this training program was conducted on 22nd Sep 2020.Speaking on the occasion Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary, DBT and Chairperson, BIRAC said that building clinical trial capacity in our neighbouring countries and all LMICs is a priority for the Department and this initiative is a step in the right direction under the Ind-CEPI mission.This will help our participating countries to build capacities for vaccine trials and for conducting Phase III trials for COVID 19 vaccines.
The training program which will extend for about 6-8 weeks will see participation of investigators, epidemiologists, clinicians and representatives from different departments from Nepal, Maldives, Bangladesh, Mauritius, Srilanka, Bhutan and Afghanistan. Senior Representatives from all these countries attended the "Orientation to the training program" held on 22nd September, 2020. This was also attended by Senior representative from MEA, DBT, BIRAC and CDSA.
DBT, under the Ministry of Science & Technology, promotes the use and application of biotechnology in the areas of agriculture, healthcare, animal sciences, environment and industry.
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) is a not-for-profit Section 8, Schedule B, Public Sector Enterprise, set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India as an Interface Agency to strengthen and empower the emerging Biotech enterprise to undertake strategic research and innovation, addressing nationally relevant product development needs.
September 23, 2020
The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), India's premier research organization, and Mylan Laboratories Limited, the India-based subsidiary of leading global pharmaceutical company Mylan, today announced a partnership to address unmet patient needs amidst the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Under the partnership, CSIR's constituent laboratory Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT), and Mylan will collaborate to identify potential therapies for COVID-19.
A series of clinical trials will be conducted towards new and innovative solutions to manage COVID-19 pandemic in India as part of this collaboration. The first of the clinical trial to be rolled out is a multiple arm phase 3 study that will be conducted in adult patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 at risk of complications.
Director General of CSIR, Dr. Shehkar C Mande stated, "The current collaboration with Mylan is a significant milestone and during the current COVID-19 pandemic, CSIR has prioritized conducting clinical trials of well proven drugs in partnership with industry towards the development of multiple therapeutic options for COVID-19."
Director of CSIR-IICT, Dr Chandrasekhar said, "CSIR is delighted to associate with Mylan as knowledge and scientific partner, and looks forward to working with the company, especially given Mylan's vast industry experience in clinical trials and commercialization."
Mylan Chief Operating Officer, Sanjeev Sethi stated, "Our collaboration with CSIR is a strategic step forward aimed at identifying effective treatments for patients with COVID-19. In addition to bringing forward new indications, this partnership will also help us identify multiple molecules that can potentially be leveraged in therapies for various other infectious diseases in the future."
The application for the clinical trials has been submitted to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for regulatory approval.
CSIR has appointed Dr. Ram Vishwakarma, Honorary Advisor to DG-CSIR and former Director CSIR-IIIM (Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine) as a mentor to lead this collaboration.
The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), known for its cutting-edge R&D knowledgebase in diverse Science & Technology areas, is a contemporary and premier R&D organization. Having a pan-India presence, CSIR has a dynamic network of 38 national laboratories, 39 outreach centres, 3 Innovation Complexes and 5 units. CSIR covers a wide spectrum of science and technology-from oceanography, geophysics, chemicals, drugs, genomics, biotechnology and nanotechnology to mining, aeronautics, instrumentation, environmental engineering and information technology.
Mylan is a global pharmaceutical company committed to setting new standards in healthcare. It is one of the world's largest producers of active pharmaceutical ingredients.(For further information, please contact: Dr Geetha Vani Rayasam, Head - Science Communication and Dissemination)
September 15, 2020
It has been a part of Government's Science and Technology (S&T) policy toencourage the students/youth of the country towards the field of science and technology.
The first three key elements of Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) Policy of 2013
Government is implementing several schemes to encourage students/youth of the countrytowards the field of science and technology. The "Innovation in Science Pursuit for InspiredResearch (INSPIRE)" is a major scheme in operation to attract, motivate, nurture and traintalented and meritorious students to study science subjects and opt for careers in Research andDevelopment (R&D) to build a pipeline of quality manpower, thereby widening the R&Dmanpower base of the country. Close to 42,000 young students of class 6th - 10th receivethe INSPIRE Award MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspiration and Knowledge)per year from all recognized schools across the country. About 20,000 students/year attend INSPIRE Internship Camps to experience the joys of creative pursuit of science. About 10,000students in top 1% of Class 12th Board examinations receive Scholarships For Higher Education (SHE) every year to pursue B.Sc and M.Sc courses in Basic and NaturalSciences. Every year, about 1,000 students are availing INSPIRE Fellowships for pursuingPh.D. degree. 100 young researchers/year are availing INSPIRE Faculty Fellowships toestablish themselves as independent post-doctoral researchers. In order to attract andmotivate young students, several international programmes are also being implemented bythe Department of Science and Technology (DST) such as Lindau meeting with NobelLaureates, Asian Science Camps, Raman Charpak Fellowships, Sakura Exchange programme,etc.
Autonomous institutions in the DST family also train large number of summerresearch interns, Ph.D. and post-doctoral fellows, organize large number of importantnational/international conferences, outreach programmes for school and college students including lectures by their scientists, orientation programmes etc.
The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a statutory body of DST supports young researchers in a big way, through early career grants, core research grants, doctoraland postdoctoral fellowships etc. Some of the notable programmes targeted at youngscientists include: National Postdoctoral Fellowship (N-PDF), Start-up Research Grant(SRG), the Prime Minister's Fellowship for Doctoral Research, Swarnajayanti Fellowships etc.
These schemes are designed to identify promising young researchers and provide them with training and research opportunities in frontier areas of science and engineering. Close to 250 young researchers receive National Postdoctoral Fellowships annually. Majority of the 500 scientists supported under the Start-up Research Grant have been budding young researchers who take up high-end R&D in the country. There are 100 slots of fellowships available annually to researchers to pursue Ph.D.in partnership with Industry under the PM Fellowship for Doctoral Research.
The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has been providingdoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships to young and budding researchers through its variousfellowship programmes such as Junior Research Fellowship ?National Eligibility Test (JRFNET),Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Fellowship (SPMF), Senior Research Fellowship (SRFDirect),Research Associateships and CSIR-Nehru Science Postdoctoral Research.
Fellowship (CSIR-NSPDF). Annually, CSIR offers about 4500-5000 such fellowships to youngstudents who are going to be future scientists. At any given time, CSIR supports about about8000-9000 young researchers in their pursuit for doctoral and postdoctoral research in the fieldof science and technology.
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has implemented integrated HumanResource Development Programme in Biotechnology including Star College Scheme forstrengthening of Undergraduate Science Education, Postgraduate Teaching Programme,
DBT-Junior Research Fellowship Programme, DBT-Research Associateship and DBTBiotechnologyIndustry Training (Apprenticeship) Programme in areas of Biotechnology andLife Sciences.
Government has taken several steps to promote affordable sustainable innovations in the field of science and technology. DST initiated a new program in 2016 called Promoting andAccelerating Young and Aspiring technology entrepreneurs (PRAYAS) under National Initiativefor Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) with the objective to support conversion ofan innovative idea into a working prototype developed by any innovator. This programmeis aimed to attract large number of young innovators who demonstrate problem-solving zealand abilities and also to enhance the pipeline in terms of quality and number of innovativestartups to the incubators. This will build a vibrant innovation ecosystem, by establishinga network of innovators, academia, mentors and incubators.
For promoting affordable sustainable innovation in the field of science andtechnology, the National Innovation Foundation (NIF), an autonomous institution underDST organizes a biennial National Grassroots Innovation and Outstanding Traditional Knowledge Awards and for it, common people (including youth) share their ideas andinnovations. NIF provides value-addition and incubation support to the innovators so that theirtechnologies can reach the market. NIF has also set up NIF Incubation and EntrepreneurshipCouncil (NIFientreC), a Technology Business Incubator, for setting up and incubatingcommercial ventures based on innovative technologies of common people of the country.
is implementing R&D as well as translational projects in various categories, namely, Focused Basic Research, Niche Creating Projects, Fast Track Translational Projects,Fast Track Commercialization Projects, HARIT Projects and Mission Projects for the purpose.
DBT is supporting affordable Healthcare R&D towards understanding the cause ofhuman diseases at genetic and molecular level that enable the development of innovativetherapies or preventive measures and early detection in areas like infectious diseases,chronic diseases, human genetics and genome analysis, maternal and child health, public health and nutrition, vaccine research, bioengineering and bio design, stem cells andregenerative medicine. DBT is also supporting translational research for applicationdevelopment under Accelerated Translational Grant for Commercialization (ATGC)program. ATGC enables academic researchers to take their laboratory research leads withestablished proof-of-concept to the next phase.
This information was given by Minister of Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.
September 15, 2020
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India is supporting COVID-19 vaccine development by facilitating the establishment of the r-VSV vaccine manufacturing platform for the first time in India under the National Biopharma Mission.
This support to establishing r-VSV vaccine manufacturing platform is being extended to Aurobindo Pharma Limited which is developing a vaccine for SARS COV-2 (COVID-19). This SARS COV-2 vaccine candidate is based on the company's proprietary replication-competent, attenuated, recombinant vesicular stomatitis (VSV, VesiculoVax?) vaccine delivery platform.
Aurobindo is in the process of setting up a state-of-art manufacturing facility for viral vaccines which will be used to produce the COVID-19 vaccine and other viral vaccines.The plant will comply to global standards.
Commenting on the collaboration with Aurobindo, Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary, DBT and Chairperson, BIRAC said, "The partnership with Aurobindo is to serve the country's need for a vaccine to fight this pandemic. The government is focussed on creating an ecosystem that nurtures and encourages new product innovation to address the most relevant issues to our society."
About BIRAC:Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) is a not-for-profit Section 8, Schedule B, Public Sector Enterprise, set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India as an Interface Agency to strengthen and empower the emerging Biotech enterprise to undertake strategic research and innovation, addressing nationally relevant product development needs.
About National Biopharma Mission:The Industry-Academia Collaborative Mission of Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt of India for accelerating discovery research to early development for Biopharmaceuticals approved by the Cabinet for a total cost US$ 250 million and 50% co-funded by the World Bank is being implemented at Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC). This program is dedicated to deliver affordable products to the nation with an aim to improve the health standards of India?s population. Vaccines, medical devices and diagnostics and biotherapeutics are few of its most important domains, besides, strengthening the clinical trial capacity and building technology transfer capabilities in the country.
September 13, 2020
Children with imaginative minds can come up with innovative solutions to problems in and around them.Government efforts are triggering this imagination and broadening the base of the pyramid of innovation that encourages children to come up with solutions for day to day problems based on science and technology. Such ideas are being solicited by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), and meritorious ideas are rewarded with the award money of Rs 10,000 with option of showcasing it to district, state, and national level exhibition along with mentoring support.
Lakhs of children from remotest parts of India are coming up with innovative solutions for problems they encounter - be they be safe kitchen devices, sustainable bio-toilets, or waste management solutions.
The Million Minds Augmenting National Aspirations and Knowledge (MANAK) programme was launched by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) in partnership with the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) in 2017. It emphasises on the power of ideas in young minds to create a pipeline of innovative students who can recognise problems and find solutions to them.
Aiming to harness the power of bright minds spread across 6 lakhs school in the country, DST invites students from government and private schools to send original and innovative ideas having potential to solve common problems.
These ideas go through a tough screening and mentoring process at the school level, district, and state level to be selected for the National level competitions.
Some very bright ideas often come from the remotest of places. Last year an award-winning submission was by Sulochana Kakodiya, a class 8 student from Govt. MS (Girls) Ashram Bichhua in Chhindwara, District in Madhya Pradesh. Realizing that people suffered health-related issues due to unhygienic manual cleaning of toilets, she came up with an idea of developing an automatic toilet cleaning machine. The brushes for cleaning the toilet are fixed inside the toilet itself, and they can automatically clean the toilet by rotating them.
A personal problem triggered the innovative spark in Sayan Akhtar Shaik, a class 9th student of Government Senior Secondary School, Neil Island of South Andaman. His mother suffered a cut in her finger while she was trying to open the plastic cap by pulling the nylon thread, which is attached with the LPG cylinder. To resolve this problem, encountered in most households once and for all, he developed a plastic (safety) cap opener of LPG cylinder.
More than 3.8 lakh students from all States and Union Territories of the country have submitted their ideas in 2019, and the number is increasing every year. Out of these, a few are provided with financial support of Rs 10,000 each for developing prototypes. After a series of DLEPC (District Level Exhibition and Project Competition) and subsequent SLEPC (State Level Exhibition and Project Competition), some of them are selected to exhibit their ideas at a national level competition.
This year online nominations for 2020-21 have resumed from 1st June 2020. Since students are not able to attend schools due to COVID 19, DST has encouraged them to use this time for generation of innovative ideas which can be submitted to the online portal www.inspireawards-dst.gov.in.As India rises rapidly in the global innovation index, government efforts are rapidly promoting a culture of innovation among young people who are daring to experiment with their ideas. The movement that has been sparked is fast spreading to the remote parts of India?s with dreams for a bright future for the country.
September 13, 2020
A group of scientists in India is working on genomic sequences of SARS-CoV-2 around the World, including India, to identify genetic variability and potential molecular targets in virus and human to find the best possible answer to combat the COVID 19 virus.
Breaking down the novel coronavirus challenge into many pieces to get to its root and see it from multiple directions, Dr. IndrajitSaha, Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of National Institute of Technical Teachers' Training and Research, Kolkata and his team have developed a web-based COVID- Predictor to predict the sequence of viruses online on the basis of machine learning and analysed 566 Indian SARS-CoV-2 genomes to find the genetic variability in terms of point mutation and Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP).
The study being sponsored by Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a statutory body under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), has been published in the Journal called Infection, Genetics, and Evolution. They have mainly found that 57 out of 64 SNPs are present in 6 coding regions of Indian SARS-CoV-2 genomes, and all are nonsynonymous in nature.
They have extended this research for more than 10 thousand sequences around the globe, including India and found 20260, 18997, and 3514 unique mutation points globally, including India, excluding India and only for India, respectively.
The scientists are on the track to identify the genetic variability in SARS-CoV-2 genomes around the globe including India, find the number of virus strains using Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP), spot the potential target proteins of the virus and human host based on Protein-Protein Interactions. They also carried out integrating the knowledge of genetic variability, recognise candidates of synthetic vaccine based on conserved genomic regions that is highly immunogenic and antigenic and detect the virus miRNAs that are also involved in regulating human mRNA.
They have computed the mutation similarity in sequences of different countries. The results show that the USA, England, and India are the top three countries having the geometric mean, 3.27%, 3.59%, and 5.39%, respectively, of mutation similarity score with other 72 countries. The scientists have also developed a web application for searching the mutation points in SARS-CoV-2 genomes globally and country wise. Besides, they are now working more towards protein-protein interactions, epitopes discovery, and virus miRNA prediction.