One of the four new National Institutes of Design (NID) will be located in Hyderabad in deference to the wishes of former Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma announced here on Friday.

At a press conference here, he said Dr. Reddy had written to him before his tragic death urging the Centre to set up the institute here. He had subsequently replied to him agreeing to the proposal. The other three would be located in Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Western India.

Mr. Sharma said that he discussed the project proposals with Chief Minister K. Rosaiah on Friday morning and added that all steps would be taken for its early implementation. It would be of great help to the industry and entrepreneurs.

Decries campaign

Earlier inaugurating the three-day Indo-Africa Pharma Business Meet organised by Pharmexcil, he decried the campaign against Indian-generic drugs in some regions and called for countering this effectively as it was important to inform the public. It (the campaign) would not hurt companies, but would hurt the poor if affordable drugs were not available to save their lives.

Recalling the long-standing relations between India and African countries, he said “India is the pharmacy of the poor.”

Referring to the phenomenal growth of the Indian pharma industry, he said that 20 per cent of the world’s generic drugs were made here. When the poor countries faced the challenges of serious diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, it was Indian pharma and generics which came to their aid. Indian pharma brought down the price of anti-retrovirals close to $1,000 when it used to be around $13,000 for a year for a patient.

Advising Pharmexcil to organise a healthcare summit in Africa, he said that another major contribution from the Indian pharma industry would be a vaccine against drug-resistant malaria. He said that a breakthrough was expected soon as research was in an advanced stage.

The Chief Minister readily agreed to the request of Pharmexcil Chairman Venkat Jasti to provide land in the financial district to construct a state-of-the-art convention centre.

Kenyan Minister for Medical Services Peter A Nyongo urged Indian pharma companies to invest in his country and outlined the measures being taken to promote the sector.