Research councils will be formed — one each in every government medical college — to solicit and channel funds for original biomedical research, Principal Secretary, Health, V.K. Subburaj, announced on Saturday.

These councils will be formed immediately, Mr. Subburaj said at the meeting of the Association of Physicians of India, Tamil Nadu chapter, TAPICON 2010, in Chennai.

This move was being taken to give a boost to research in our medical colleges, where students are busy with the curriculum and training and medical professionals are busy with practice.

“Huge amounts of funds are available in the country for scientific research, be it from the Indian Council for Medical Research or the Department of Science and Technology, the UGC or even some State bodies,” he added.

The councils would be tasked with isolating funding sources and attracting funding for research within the college.

All over the world, a large amount of money was being spent on scientific and medical research and much of this was placed within the medical colleges and universities. But a substantial portion of the research funding went into medical issues that were germane to the local area, especially in the West, and this would leave many of the diseases that continue to plague India uncovered, Mr. Subburaj added.

Earlier, he highlighted the double burden that India had to bear — of non-communicable diseases (NCD) and infectious diseases. Both would have to be targeted simultaneously in terms of research, treatment and prevention.

Incoming chairman of the API- TNSC Vijay Viswanathan said he planned to launch a health survey involving over 500 physician-members. Data on NCD and infectious diseases would be collected from across the State which would provide valuable inputs for policy-makers. Also, an awareness campaign on common risk factors behind non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and strokes would be carried out, he added.