Harsh Vardhan moots functional integration of S&T bodies

N.B. Nair | Indian Science Journal

Manesar, Haryana (ISJ) ? India?s Federal Science & Technology Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan plans to bring in effective integration of scientific institutions under his ministry with overlapping functions.� Dr. Harsh Vardhan said on Monday (June 01), there are several bodies under his ministry carrying out similar research activities, ?without the right hand knowing, what the left hand is doing?.

?I have called a brain-storming session on 12th and 13th of June to find the best possible coordinated effort. The first session involves laboratories under CSIR. These labs need more and more coordination within the institutions, within departments. The plan is to integrate in terms of functions for optimal utilisation of their capabilities,? said Dr. Harsh Vardhan on the sidelines of a function.

The minister lamented, India could not produce a single scientist of international standing after Prof. C.V. Raman. He suggested goal-oriented approach in research, which yields results at the end of a specific period.

?Prof. Raman, Dr. Hargobind Khorana never had those facilities like the modern tools that the present-day scientists have. But with a focussed approach, they could actually get Nobel Prizes for us,? rued Dr. Harsh Vardhan.

Brain Research 0106Earlier, the minister opened the state-of-the-art facility for research in epilepsy and other neurological disorders. The Centre for Research in Epilepsy is a collaborative effort between National Brain Research Centre under the Department of Biotechnology and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). The Magneto Encephalography (MEG) facility at the Centre is an advanced device to map brain disorders.

AIIMS assess the patients, the Centre for Research in Epilepsy investigates them, and finally the surgery is performed at AIIMS. Both the agencies are also involved in joint research in brain-related functions and abnormalities.

India has a burden of about 10 million people with epilepsy, out of which two million are drug resistant requiring surgical intervention. However, only 500 people are able to get surgical treatment.� About 95% of those who suffer from epilepsy are never treated for it and almost half of the affected do not have access to anti-epileptic drugs.�

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