Governor stresses on self-reliance in pharma, chemical fields

A speaker at the 78th Foundation Day celebrations of CSIR-IICT in Hyderabad on Thursday.  

Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan has exhorted the scientific community to make a dedicated effort for the country to become self-reliant in Advanced Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and Key Starting Materials (KSM) to reduce dependence on other countries under the Atmanirbhar initiative propagated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.

The country has to strive to regain the global leadership role in science and technology with all the stakeholders joining to promote research especially in ‘applicational oriented research’ and increased funding through different sectors. “This would help us stay ahead in the global competitive market through patent applications, trademark filings and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) to make the country a knowledge superpower,” she said.

Participating in the 78th Foundation Day celebrations of CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) virtually, Dr. Soundararajan said there has to be improved linkages for an expanded research based eco-system among the institutions and the academic bodies. Patting the ‘prestigious’ research institute for its crucial role in promoting chemicals and pharmaceuticals, and also in making indigenous COVID vaccine as well as drugs, she wanted the scientists not to become ‘complacent’.

“Reflect on the past progress and re-strategise for the future by promoting all round research development towards becoming a global institute of excellence,” said the Governor. She particularly mentioned about the pioneering waste to wealth project successfully taken up at the Bowenpally vegetable market which found a mention in the Prime Minister’s radio address few months ago.

CSIR Director General Shekhar C. Mande pointed out that the IICT had not lost touch with the society despite being involved in high end research in chemicals and pharmaceuticals. “Generic pharma industry owes a great deal to scientists who made expensive HIV/COVID drugs affordable,” he said. The DG has reminded Cipla Foundation Managing Trustee Rumana Hamied that her grandfather and renowned scientist Khwaja Abdul Hamied has been instrumental in convincing the British rulers to set up this lab and has been associated with it for close to two decades.

Ms. Hamied pointed out one lakh face masks being made by the women voluntary agencies in association with IICT have been distributed free in Telangana and has generated ₹65 lakh to the four groups involved. “We are hoping our masks become fashionable and we are ready to help any SHGs with seed capital and marketing in making them,” he said.

CSIR-IICT Director S. Chandrasekhar said the institute in 200 acres has been playing a prominent part in drugs and vaccine research during the pandemic apart from technology transfer of processes to the chemical and pharma industries. Annually 500 research publications are made and 100 enrol for the PhDs. Senior scientist M. Chandrasekharam also spoke. Later prizes were given to various personnel among whom John Mondal bagged the young scientist prize for the work on scientist catalysis and fine chemicals.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 7:26:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/governor-stresses-on-self-reliance-in-pharma-chemical-fields/article35746826.ece

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