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Union Minister of state for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh called for incentivizing the research, public outreach, and Inter and Intra collaboration amongst the frontier DBT institutes for cutting-edge and translation research for the benefit of the country.

Speaking after the two-day comprehensive review of 14 autonomous institutions of the Department of Biotechnology, the minister said that in era of rapid innovations and transformative changes, biotech institutes should focus on its core competency. “They should strive hard to bring research and product development at par with global standards."

Singh added that though National Institute of Immunology (NII) is pioneering in deciphering the molecular basis and host response to infectious diseases like tuberculosis, malaria and viral diseases including Dengue and Covid, its recent breakthrough in evaluating the intranasal Covid-19 vaccine in phase 3 clinical trial for its immunological effectiveness is noted by all.

He said that DBT-National Agri Food Biotechnology Institute (NABI), Mohali identifies priority cereal and fruit crops with focused traits to implement genome editing approaches. “These new initiatives will be co-developed along with industries to streamline its operations and thereby providing impetus to Indian agriculture."

The minister added that Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), Faridabad has a strong mother and child health research program. “Its research on immediate Kangaroo mother care has resulted in a new recommendation by WHO for preterm babies. THSTI is developing therapeutic molecules against tuberculosis, dengue and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It has contributed to covid-19 vaccine and is currently developing a pan beta corona virus vaccine."

Singh said that Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB)’s HPV vaccine efficacy studies of 10 years have resulted in establishing a single dose of HPV vaccine for 9 to 18 years children sufficient to prevent infection. “RGCB is also doing vaccine efficacy studies for the first indigenously developed HPV vaccine and the above has now been adopted by WHO for immunization strategy."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Swati Luthra

Swati Luthra writes on climate change, water, environment and forest issues for Mint. A graduate in Psychology, Swati has been mapping India’s policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at CoP-26 including achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
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