India has the capacity to become a worldwide leader in research, as was also demonstrated during the Covid epidemic, according to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Sunday.
“Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Mansukh Mandaviya inaugurated the annex building of ICMR-Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) in the presence of Union Minister of Education and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan and Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar, here today. He also laid the foundation stone for the ICMR School of Public Health and BSL III Laboratory. Aparajita Sarangi, Member of Parliament was also present,” the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare informed in a release. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Mandaviya said, “India has the potential to be a global leader in terms of research. This has been proved during the recent Covid-19 pandemic.”
Expressing his appreciation for the ICMR scientists, he stated that “India rolled out its own indigenous Covid-19 vaccine within a month of the introduction of the first Covid-19 vaccine in the world”.
In order to expand the breadth and results of medical research, the Union Health Minister also emphasised the necessity of joint participation and cooperation between government and private research centres. Dharmendra Pradhan, the minister of education for the Union, also thanked the ICMR for its assistance in developing a domestic vaccine and for continuing to work on the genome sequencing of novel Covid variants.
He said that India had seen a paradigm change in healthcare under the direction of PM Modi. The fact that Odisha now has 10 medical colleges, up from just 3 in 2014, was another point he underlined. According to the press statement, the Annexe building was built for top-notch administrative and laboratory uses. The centre has started using next-generation sequencing (NGS) as a technique for doing research on the viruses’ genetic epidemiology.
The next-generation sequencing laboratory is now providing detection of emerging and re-emerging illnesses as well as SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance data to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG). A bioinformatics centre, proteomics study facility, e-library, and medical museum will all be housed in the building.
Participants will get professional, critical, and multidisciplinary education from the ICMR School of Public Health at the ICMR-RMRC, Bhubaneswar, providing them with the knowledge and abilities to investigate and address contemporary public health concerns.
The School of Public Health, Bhubaneswar, has been overseeing the Academic Public Health programme at the centre since 2018. This programme is approved by the Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Odisha, and connected with Utkal University in Odisha (NAAC A+). This is the country’s second ICMR School of Public Health. The fifth batch of admissions for the MPH programme (2022–2024) is currently complete.
The Department of Health Research, MoHFW, funded the establishment of the Regional Level Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL) at the ICMR-Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), Bhubaneswar, as part of the project “Setting up of a nation-wide network of laboratories for managing epidemics and national calamities.”
According to the announcement, a BSL3 level facility will significantly increase the state’s and the region’s capacity to combat new, highly contagious infections and respond to the health concerns posed by such pathogens, particularly emerging and re-emerging viruses. One of the Indian Council of Medical Research’s 26 research institutions, ICMR-RMRC is located in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
The ICMR-RMRC, Bhubaneswar was established in 1981 under the 6th five-year plan period to conduct research activities in both communicable and non-communicable diseases, human resource development programme, and in establishing strong linkages with State Health Department in finding solutions to the regional health problem. It is the apex government body in India for the formulation, coordination, and promotion of biomedical and health research. Over the last three decades, the centre has successfully identified regional health issues and made a substantial contribution to the evaluation and implementation of government health programmes and policies. In order to handle the COVID-19 pandemic effectively from 2020 to 2022, the centre closely cooperated with the state health department.
Through research partnership, the centre has strengthened its presence in 10 different states of the nation over the past five years and broadened its focus to include zoonotic illnesses, OneHealth, health system research, non-communicable diseases, and geriatric health, according to the Ministry. Additionally present at the event were Manohar Agnani, Additional Secretary for Health, Dr. Rajiv Bahl, Director General of the ICMR, and Dr. Sanghamitra Pati, Director, ICMR-RMRC, Bhubaneswar.