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Dr Harsh Vardhan urges Indian scientists to create solutions for common man

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Says it is time now for Indian scientists to translate research in labs into affordable solutions as part of ‘Make in India’

The Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan said that it is time now for Indian scientists to translate research in labs into solutions for the common man as a part of ‘Make in India’. He was speaking at the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB) in New Delhi after dedicating a small animal facility and a controlled exposure to smoke facility.

According to a PIB release, after visiting clinical genomics, ayurgenomics, Con-focal Lab, Zebra Fish, FACS, BSL-3 and animal house facilities, Vardhan said that research into ayurgenomics would get full government support as it holds out exciting possibilities in mankind’s search for low-cost solutions to the global disease burden. The inter-disciplinary efforts towards translational and innovative research through Ayurgenomics in the CSIR Unit – TRISUTRA, he felt can catalyse future leadership in molecular medicine. The minister pointed out that Yoga is integrated into the mind space of the global citizen, thanks to the prime minister’s breakthrough with having June 21 declared as International Yoga Day.”

He urged scientists and technologists working on genomics and integrative biology to focus on common diseases afflicting Indians and to translate their work into more effective cures.

Speaking to scientists and staff of the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB), Vardhan said that diagnostic technologies, high science therapeutics and specialised services developed by CSIR-IGIB could contribute towards quality and affordable healthcare to our people while generating valuable intellectual property that could be monetised globally.

In December 2009, CSIR-IGIB created ripples by announcing success with genome sequencing of an Indian citizen (whose identity is confidential). That had put India in the elite band of nations with this capability. The breakthrough was interpreted as a signpost in the search for low-cost health solutions.

Elaborating on the potential of genomics he mentioned that scientists have discovered the unique Indian genetic risks for asthma, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and other conditions. New initiatives in skin biology while attracting industrial collaborations is simultaneously delivering societal values by understanding neglected diseases such as vitiligo.

Vardhan also appreciated the efforts to address India-specific information on diseases through the programmes like ‘Guardian’ which uses the power of genomics for systematic characterisation of rare genetic disorders in India.

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