Thiruvananthapuram: Union Minister for Science & Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change and Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan has said that the combination of scientific, medical and technology community trio should be institutionalized all over the country for better results. He said there has to be a mechanism where an engineer goes to a medical college and a technician goes to a scientific lab and a scientist also goes to a clinician’s clinic.
Launching the four major projects of Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday, he said institutions like Sree Chitra working in the healthcare sector should be aligned towards “Make in India for Healthy India”.
There is a crying need in the country for import substitution, particularly in the healthcare sector. He said some of the technologies that call for immediate attention are low-cost diagnostic machines such as MRI, CT, Cardiac catheterization laboratories and digital subtraction Angiography machines.
He pointed out that apart from these, research should be undertaken to develop artificial implants, bionic organs and state-of-the-art rehabilitation technologies. The Minister said there is a great need for research and clinical trials in regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, stem cell engineering and gene therapy. Biochips and biosensors have to be developed for early diagnosis and monitoring of diseases.
Indigenous technology for production of low-cost rapid diagnostic kits is a requirement that cannot wait. Dr Harsh Vardhan said, for managing diabetes, indigenous production of low cost, self-monitoring kits and inexpensive newer types of is required. Increased use of technology in healthcare should necessarily be accompanied by increased manpower to operate and manage devices and equipment and to ensure optimal and safe use of technology.
The Minister called for collaborative teaching programmes with faculty from both medical and engineering institutions for manpower generation and skill development in healthcare technology.
Pointing out that the country had made great strides in the field of Science & Technology in the last three-four years, Dr Harsh Vardhan said funding for scientific research has been tripled in the last 3-4 years. He said India is sixth in the whole world in scientific publications. The International growth rate of scientific publications is 4%. For India, it is 40 %. India is third inaccurate weather forecast and in the ninth position in patents. CSIR ranks ninth in the whole world among institutions with public funding.
In the last four years, India had developed over 5000 technologies and transferred over 800 technologies. Thousands of young people with their Start-Ups, incubation Centres, technology parks have benefitted from this. The Minister said Narendra Modi government stand rock solid behind every youth who wants to start any enterprise or develop any technology for the benefit of the society.
Shri Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Co-operation, Tourism and Devaswom, who presided over the function pointed out that Sree Chitra Institute can play a vital role in the study of dreaded viruses which are afflicting the people of the state. Members of the Parliament Smt. P. K. Sreemathy Teacher, Shri. Joy Abraham, Shri. O. Rajagopal, MLA, President of the Institute and former Cabinet Secretary Shri. K. M. Chandrasekhar, and SCTIMST Founder Director Prof. M. S. Valiathan spoke on the occasion.
Prof. Asha Kishore, Director, SCTIMST welcomed the gathering and Dr P. R. Harikrishna Varma, Head, Biomedical Technology Wing, proposed the vote of thanks. Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan later reviewed the activities of Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology at a meeting with Director and faculty members.