New Delhi: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Sunday said India has the potential of becoming a global leader in research, as was also proved during the Covid pandemic.
“Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Mansukh Mandaviya inaugurated the annex building of ICMR-Regional Medical Research Center (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 scientistshe 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”.
The Union Health Minister also highlighted the need for joint collaboration and cooperation between government and private research facilities for enhancing the scope and output of medical research.
Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also expressed his gratitude to the ICMR for their contribution towards making an indigenous vaccine and continued efforts towards genome sequencing of new Covid variants.
He stated that under the leadership of PM Modi, India had witnessed a paradigm shift in healthcare. He also highlighted that the number of medical colleges in Odisha has increased to 10 at present from only 3 before 2014.
As per the release, the Annexe building has been constructed for high-end laboratory and administrative purposes. The center has initiated next-generation sequencing (NGS) as a tool for undertaking studies on the genomic epidemiology of pathogens.
The next-generation sequencing facility is currently contributing SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance data to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) and also providing identification of emerging and re-emerging diseases. The building will house sophisticated laboratories like a bioinformatics facility, Proteomics study facility, e-library and medical museum.
The ICMR School of Public Health at ICMR-RMRC, Bhubaneswar will provide participants with professional, critical and interdisciplinary education, equipping them with the skills to explore and respond to current public health challenges.
The Public Health Academic program has been underway at the center since 2018 under the aegis of the School of Public Health, Bhubaneswar. This course is affiliated with Utkal University, Odisha (NAAC A+) and recognized by the Department of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of Odisha. This is the second ICMR School of Public Health in the country. Currently, admission of the fifth batch for the MPH course (2022-24) has been completed.
Regional Level Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL) at ICMR-Regional Medical Research Center (RMRC), Bhubaneswar is a public health virology laboratory set-up funded by the Department of Health Research, MoHFW, under the scheme “Setting up of a nation -wide network of laboratories for managing epidemics and national calamities”.
The BSL3 level facility will be a major addition to capacity building in the state and the region for tackling novel and highly infectious pathogens and responding to health challenges posed by such pathogens, especially emerging and re-emerging viruses, the release said.
ICMR-RMRC is one of the 26 research institutes of the Indian Council of Medical Research, situated in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The apex government body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical and health research, ICMR-RMRC, Bhubaneswar was established in 1981 under the 6th five-year plan period to undertake research activities in both communicable and non-communicable diseases, human resource development program and in establishing strong linkage with State Health Department in finding solutions to the regional health problem.
“The center has worked effectively towards identifying regional health problems and contributed significantly in the evaluation and implementation of government health programs and policies in the past three decades. During the period 2020-22, the center has worked in close collaboration with the state health department in the effective management of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the last 5 years, the center has expanded its horizon to Zoonotic diseases, OneHealth, Health system research, Non-communicable diseases, and geriatric health and made its presence strong in 10 different states of the country through research collaboration,” the ministry stated.
Manohar Agnani, Addl. Secretary, Health Ministry, Dr Rajiv Bahl, DG ICMR and Dr Sanghamitra Pati, Director, ICMR-RMRC, Bhubaneswar were also present on the occasion.