New Delhi, July 9 (IANS) Newly-appointed Union Minister for Science & Technology, Jitendra Singh, said on Friday that the Covid-19 pandemic has shifted the focus to biotech and genetic interventions, offering an appropriate opportunity to work on strategic research outcomes which are specifically India-centric and can provide answers to a number of questions posed by the contemporary health scenario.
Singh said that the time has come for the biotechnology department to emerge as a service provider for the common citizens and contribute to ‘Ease of Living' and ‘Ease of Health'.
The minister also underscored the need to curtail all kinds of wasteful expenditure.
Addressing biotechnology scientists during his first review meeting of the department after taking charge of the ministry, Singh said, "India has huge resource materials for both research as well as medical service to offer the world exclusive preventive and therapeutic options, particularly considering the fact that Indian phenotype and India genotype are different from the rest of the world."
As a result, both the epidemiology as well as the clinical course of diseases, including the currently prevalent infections caused by the Corona virus or the mutant viruses, could be different and therefore, India's researchers and scientists also owe the responsibility to provide remedies for the Indian patients, he said.
Singh called upon the biotechnologists to identify at least two exclusive projects which could be researched and completed with definite conclusions and results around the 75th Independence anniversary of India in 2022.
The minister also asked the biotechnology department to explore the feasibility of conducting joint projects with premier medical Institutions like AIIMS, and at the same time engage the industry, private players and young startups in these projects.