Dr Harsh Vardhan exhorts the CSIR- Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR) Scientific community in Lucknow

Dr Harsh Vardhan exhorts the CSIR- Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR) Scientific community in Lucknow to
“Dare to Dream Big and Work Towards Fulfilling that Dream”

Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan, while addressing a distinguished gathering at the CSIR- Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR) Lucknow, appreciated the quality of work done by the institute in the context of environment and human health and in the areas of food safety and water quality. He envisaged that the CSIR – IITR should strive to be a one stop solution for the country against environment and health related problems.


Dr. Harsh Vardhan emphasized on the need to develop robust and cost effective technologies for the masses that are easily deployable so as to improve their quality of life. He said that India is a vast nation with diverse requirements and hence tailor made solutions is the need of the hour. The government is committed to the people for transferring technological benefits through enhanced R&D. He, while exhorting everyone to have a dream, said that the joy and satisfaction that comes from witnessing the fulfillment of a dream is beyond words, and cited his own experience with the Polio eradication programme.

The Minister unveiled a plaque to name the main building of the CSIR–IITR as ‘Vishvigyan Bhawan’ to mark the milestone of the institute celebrating its Golden Jubilee. He named the Auditorium and Seminar Hall of the institute as the Professor Sibte Hassan Zaidi Auditorium and Professor C. R. Krishnamurthy Seminar Hall respectively, in the honour of the first two directors of the institute. He also dedicated an Advanced Imaging Facility of the institute to the nation for being used in the area of nanomaterial toxicology and released the institute’s magazine ‘Vishvigyan Sandesh’.

Dr Harsh Vardhan took keen interest in visiting the different exhibits showcasing the institute’s R&D activities in an exhibition. He reviewed some of the technologies developed by the institute viz., CD Strip and Argemone detection Kit for the detection of adulterants in Mustard oil, portable water analysis kit, Bact-O-Kill for online disinfection of water etc. He also took keen interest in the environmental monitoring approaches and safety aspects of plastic products carried out by the institute.

Director, CSIR-IITR, Professor Alok Dhawan, made a detailed presentation to the Minister regarding the ongoing projects and the road map indicating CSIR – IITR’s role in public, private, strategic and social goods. He informed that the activities of the institute are aligned to the National Missions like Swachh Bharat, Swasth Bharat, Skill India, Namami Gange and Make in India. 


Dr. Harsh Vardhan launches the Twinning Network Programme on Chemical Ecology of North Eastern Region (NER) at the Nagaland Science & Technology Council (NASTEC)

The Union minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, while expressing happiness over his maiden visit to Nagaland, launched the Twinning Network Programme on Chemical Ecology of North Eastern Region (NER) at the Nagaland Science & Technology Council (NASTEC), Kohima. This programme is the first of its kind in the country and is expected to bring about huge impact for the North-East researchers. It is a Twinning Network Programme that would link institutes from the North-East with Bangalore-based scientists. The programme is envisaged for human capacity building for the North-East region, especially in Chemical ecology. It is expected to produce at least 15 PhDs from the North-East region at the end of the 5 year programme.


Talking of our great scientists like Dr. Sir C.V. Raman and Dr. Jagdish Chandra Bose, Dr. Harsh Vardhan challenged the young researchers and scientist to work towards the benefits of the society rather than only for personal achievements. He stated that the Twinning Network Programme, like this one on Chemical ecology, should be promoted and replicated even in other areas of study so as to strengthen the knowledge resource sharing. He also added that the scientific community should work more in co-ordination for better knowledge resource linkages within a subject area through utilization of the latest communication technologies at hand.

Dr. Vardhan also highlighted that the Prime Minister of India, Shri. Narendra Modi, has an exceptional concern to uplift the North-East Region, not only at par with the rest of the country but even higher. In his speech, he highlighted the potential of natural resources in Nagaland for research and development viz., rich biodiversity, Indigenous Traditional Knowledge systems and its scope for invention collaborating with modern Scientific research and development. The Union minister emphasized upon the up-scaling of the Nagaland state Science & Technology Council besides focusing upon other Science & Technology related problems of the state. 


The Union Minister also inaugurated the Water Quality & Monitoring
Laboratory at the Science & Technology Complex, Kohima

Other dignitaries present at the event were Nikhashe Sema, Secretary, Department of S&T, Government of Nagaland, S. Hukavi Zhimomi, Parliamentary Secretary, Science & Technology and Jail, Govt. of Nagaland and Dr Zavei Hiese, Member secretary, NASTEC.


Dr. Harsh Vardhan launches ‘CSIR-NBRI Herbarium Online’ on the CSIR-NBRI website during a visit to the CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow

Union Minister for Science & Technology & Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, launched the "CSIR-NBRI Herbarium Online" on the CSIR-NBRI website (www.nbri.res.in), thus making One Hundred Thousand Herbarium collections accessible worldwide. He also released a flyer "CSIR-NBRI HERBARIUM ONLINE" on the occasion.


The Minister took keen interest in reviewing the detailed features of the new website like Mechanism to enter specimen label data, taxonomic upgradation data, descriptors, GPS Data & Specimen Images & Video Images and Link to Genomics Data and GIS Maps. He applauded the efforts put in by Bioinformatics group and advised that there should also be a provision for the availability of the data on uses, information useful to general public (especially students, teachers, researchers, environmentalists etc.) like distribution, landscaping, geographical occurrences so that it becomes a unique knowledge resource of the country for every citizen.

It was also informed that digitization of One Lakh specimens of higher plants has been completed thus making it a unique database of India in terms of Data Profile. This database has a future potential of linking the other 95 Herbaria of India.

Addressing a gathering of Senior Scientists, Entrepreneurs, Industrialists, Officials and Farmers at NBRI, Lucknow, the Minister said that Scientists should think out of box and work towards development on innovation driven researchHe stressed upon the idea that CSIR sister labs should work together in synergy in networking mode by sharing of ideas, coordinated planning and carrying forward the initiatives of the Government of IndiaEncouraging each Scientist to have a dream and transforming lives of common masses of India by developing plant based products, he emphasized on the need for optimal utilization of resources provided to the CSIR labs in terms of manpower and Research & Development infrastructure.

Director, CSIR-NBRI, Dr. C.S. Nautiyal, gave a brief presentation on the R&D activities, Public Interactions, and Novel products developed by the InstituteHe also presented a brief account of National Facilities of the Institute viz., National Herbarium and about three lakh holdings in the same; Botanical Garden and its theme gardens; and the recently created Bonsai House, Jurassic Gallery along with some plant varieties newly developed by the InstituteApart from the national facilities, Director's presentation also included three short term deliverables (Anacardic Acid, Thebaine Rich Opium Poppy Lines and Low Grain Arsenic Rice Variety) and Mission Mode Projects planned by CSIR-NBRI for the next few years to come. Director also informed the Minister about an international Project awarded by GEF / UNIDO to CSIR-NBRIThis project involves development of Neem based pesticides to eliminate the use of D.D.T. from India

Dr. Harsh Vardhan specifically directed CSIR-NBRI to take up on an urgent basis the work of scaling up of Herbi Chew’ on a priority basis as a potentially useful product to replace the cancer causing tobacco-based GUTKA currently available in the marketHe was very happy to learn about the progress in the development of Muktashree’, a low Arsenic uptake variety of Rice, developed by CSIR-NBRI and Department of Agriculture, West Bengal and envisaged earliest release of this variety for the benefit of citizens living in Arsenic affected areas.
The Minister appreciated the effort of scaling up of CSIR-NBRI and CSIR-CIMAP (Central Institute for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow) joint product BGR-34, the country's first anti-diabetic ayurvedic drug designed for Type-2 diabetes mellitus. He noted that there is an overwhelming response to this drug among Diabetes Type-II patients throughout India.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, during the visit, was also appraised about the important contribution of the CSIR-NBRI in promoting Floriculture technology by a progressive farmer from Barabanki, who said that CSIR-NBRI technology has helped to increase his income by several folds.

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