Thiruvananthapuram

‘Focus on medical instrument research’

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The dearth of innovation is forcing the civilian sector in India to rely heavily on the import of costly equipment, National Research Professor, Manipal University, M.S. Valiathan has said.

The failure of research institutions in India to develop affordable medical instruments has left 90 per cent of the country’s population with no access to modern medical care, he said while delivering the keynote address at an international symposium on Photonics Applications and Nanomaterials which began here on Wednesday under the auspices of the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST). Research institutes in India were plagued by the poor ability to make instruments. The only exceptions were the institutions under the Departments of Space, Atomic Energy and Defence which had acquired the capability to make satellites, fast breeder reactors and missiles.

He observed that the U.S. had 9,000 patents for medical instruments in 2004 while Germany had 900 and South Korea 80. India, on the other hand, had just three patents in the sector. India lacked a state-of-the-art electronics industry. Having missed the bus in the electronics sector, the country today had to import most of its requirement of chips.

Highlighting the plight of the higher education sector, Prof. Valiathan said 1,000 universities and more than 10,000 colleges across the country had no access to modern instruments. He stressed the need for a collaborative approach to develop and commercialise affordable equipment for the country’s requirements. In his address, Governor P. Sathasivam said photonics and nanomaterials had the potential to spearhead a revolution in medical care. He said the exchange of ideas between experts in India and other countries could spur progress in this field.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 10:57:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/focus-on-medical-instrument-research/article7816629.ece

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