(To Separate words use + sign)
October 9, 2020
Existing opportunities for meritorious girls to nurture their interest in Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) will be expanded and a learning platform scaled to make learning relevant and foster scientific spirit among the country's youth in partnership with IBM.
The Department of Science & Technology (DST) and IBM India announced collaborations to scale up two DST initiatives--Vigyan Jyoti and Engage with Science (Vigyan Prasar), on October 8, 2020.
Vigyan Jyoti is a programme to promote STEM learning among girl students and to inspire them towards STEM careers by creating a level-playing field for meritorious girls from grades 9 to 12 to pursue STEM in their higher education, especially from the top colleges in the areas where girls are hugely underrepresented.
Engage with Science of Vigyan Prasar is another initiative to build interest and create a community of practice with students, teachers, and scientists connecting the high school students to the higher education institutions.
Announcing the collaborations Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary DST, said, "The partnership with IBM will make these programs of DST and Vigyan Prasar reach the students and teachers in interactive ways on a large scale. Scaling up of the interactive learning platform 'Engage with Science' will make learning relevant and foster scientific spirit among the country's youth, it would address the school students directly who need more knowledge outside the classroom and provide insights into an interactive way of learning, thus helping sift the useful from the useless."
"The engage with Science platform will make students interact, participate and get involved with the sampling and active consumption of S&T content, including Cloud, Big Data, etc. through the usage of digital tools," he added.
"Vigyan Jyoti initiative by DST focuses on solving the multidimensional problems associated with meager representation of women in Engineering and Technology streams in higher education by building confidence and excitement towards these streams. In 5 years from now, we want to see the proportion of girl students enrolled in engineering and technology streams increasing to one-third of the total," Professor Ashutosh Sharma pointed out.
The Vigyan Jyoti programme was launched by DST in 2019 to inspire girl students to pursue higher education and career in STEM fields. The program provides a scholarship, visit to nearby scientific institutions, science camps, lecturers from eminent women scientists, and career counseling. The program is currently implemented by Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) in 58 districts, with the participation of about 2900 students. The partnership with IBM India will strengthen the current activities and expanded to include more schools in the future. Women tech experts working at IBM India will interact inspire girl students to plan for a career in STEM under the program. This will strengthen the DST?s initiative to increase the number of women in technology fields.
"It is the need of the hour to promote gender diversity in STEM education and to create new avenues for cultivating diverse talent. The collaboration with DST will expand our STEM program to girl students pursuing 10+2 courses," said Mr. Sandip Patel, MD, IBM I/SA.
DST and IBM India aim to create a robust STEM ecosystem that nurtures critical thinkers, problem-solvers, and next-generation innovators through Inspire Awards-MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspirations and Knowledge)?a program targeting to build one million ideas rooted in science from school students. DST and IBM India will work together to further integrate and develop Science & Technology in the education ecosystem with short term courses, workshops, mentoring, and online science content communication for teachers and students in India.
In the other collaboration launched alongside, IBM will work with Vigyan Prasar?an autonomous body under the DST to help India's science popularization agenda through several strategic initiatives, including 'Engage With Science'. This is an interactive platform that will be built on top of the India Science Over-The-Top (OTT) platform to encourage and inspire high school students to pursue Science & Technology (S&T) for a career. As part of the collaboration, IBM will run the day-to-day activities of the program, including student workshops, seminars, and leverage its expertise to mentor the students. The platform will make students interact, participate and get involved with the sampling and active consumption of S&T content, including Cloud, Big Data, etc. through the usage of gamification tools and AI/ML components.
'Engage With Science' will actively engage with schools, shoot interactive programmes in the school premises, provide windows of recognition, and glorification to select teachers of S&T subjects. The programmes, when aired on India Science channel, shall, in turn, create a fan following and community creation around teachers and schools.
October 9, 2020
NEED OF THE TECHNOLOGY:
The contamination of fluoride and iron in drinking water is increasing day by day. Iron is the most abundant trace element in human body, responsible for accomplishment of vital biological functions such as gastrointestinal processes and the regulation of body temperature. But when iron level in water is beyond 0.3 ppm (as per WHO guideline), it shows several adverse effects including liver disease, irregular heart rhythm and neuronal disorder etc.
Similarly, restricted dose of fluoride ( less than 1.5 ppm, as per WHO guideline) in drinking water is required for proper strengthening of teeth and bones in human body. But intake of excess fluoride can affect human health profusely by causing dental and skeletal fluorosis initially, which leads to a crippling malady in the long run. About 60-70 million people of India have been indicated to be at excess (fluoride) F? threat. According to the report by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, the groundwater in more than ten thousand five hundred rural habitations distributed in various states of India are found to be contaminated with elevated fluoride concentration. Therefore, there is a need of affordable water purification technology for fluoride and iron removal.
CSIR-CMERI for the very first time has come up with a dual solution (excess F- and Fe3+ mitigation from ground water).The present invention reveals about proper design and subsequent development of an integrated, low-cost, commonly available multi-adsorbent based community level (high flow rate) water purification system for effective and simultaneous removal of fluoride and iron (below WHO permissible limit) in an efficient manner from contaminated water.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION:
The present invention relates to an integrated approach towards design and development of a community level water treatment plant with high flow rate (10,000 litre/hr) to remove fluoride and iron from contaminated water bodies and the process thereof.
Schematic adsorbent packing in FRP vessels Three FRP (Fibre Reinforced Plastic) made vessels of specific dimensions has been set up here in series with each other, which are: i) Chamber-I (oxidation chamber), ii) Chamber-II (Iron removing filter) and iii) Chamber-III (Fluoride removing filter). The oxidation chamber contains manganese oxide enriched ores within the permissible limit, which act as an oxidising agent (screens out metal contaminants like Fe2+). The Iron removal filter contains naturally abundant lowcost adsorbent materials such as gravels and treated sand of specific diameter.
Lastly, the Fluoride removal filter also contains several low cost adsorbent materials viz. activated alumina, ferrite impregnated activated alumina (FIA, a patented product from CMERI) and zinc impregnated activated charcoal (patented product from CMERI) in sequential manner to mitigate the residual fluoride from groundwater. A hypochlorite dosing pump with dosing in proper proportions and micron filter are installed in line with the mentioned vessels for disinfection of targeted contaminated water. Hypochlorite is used in permissible range in place of chlorine gas for safety reasons. To meet the high demand of fluoride free cost effective drinking water focus was to achieve 10,000-12,000 litre/hour flow rate of the purified water. The flow is being continuously monitored by installing a flow meter. The developed plant is successfully able to mitigate iron from an initial concentration of ~9 ppm to less than 0.3 ppm (safe limit of Fe as per WHO guideline) and fluoride from initial ~12 ppm to <1.5 ppm (safe limit of F- as per WHO guideline).
The CSIR-CMERI developed Fluoride and Iron removal system is comprised of three staged purification system. The first FRP make vessel (Chamber-I)is for rapid removal of precipitated iron. The next one(Chamber-II) is one of the most crucial chambers for removal of the left over iron from the contaminated water.In final stage fluoride will be removed from contaminated ground water by 'fluoride removal unit' (Chamber-III), where the adsorbents will fulfil the purpose of fluoride mitigation.
UNIQUENESS OF THE PRESENT PLANT:
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.