Considering the fact that Kerala as a state faces a higher risk of virus-related incidence compared to other parts of the country, the state has been advised to accord added importance to virology.
The advice has come from Dr Vinod Kumar Paul, Member of NITI Ayog, who stated that Kerala, of ate, is seen to be an entry point for viral diseases. This part of our geography has high risk of diseases like Nipah and Covid.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Department of Biotechnology-Scientific Infrastructure Access for Harnessing Academia University Research Joint Collaboration (DBT-SAHAJ) at Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) in the Kerala capital, he added that taking into account the demographic transition-related health challenges faced by Kerala, the state needs to take efforts in the area of geriatric care and could think about creating diagnostics that are useful in the primary care centres.
Kerala’s virology research can spur other states to follow suit
Pointing out that the initiatives made by the state can be followed by the rest of the country, he called upon researchers to tread the path of excellence, adding that the country has been looking for relentless hard work from youth and the work of the highest quality of excellence.
Department of Biotechnology – SAHAJ is a facility for the Mass Spectrometry-based Proteomics, Metabolomics and Lipidomics platforms. Lauding the initiatives of RGCB in virology research, Dr Paul said the institution has to design additional programmes in this field urgently. The RGCB, Thiruvananthapuram, is an autonomous institute under Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, with the mission on ‘Discoveries for a better tomorrow’ and their sustainable use through biotechnological interventions for the socio-economic growth of the region.
Discoveries for a better tomorrow
Dr Rajesh S Gokhale, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, stressed on the urgent need for achieving further growth in the bio-manufacturing domain in the country by leveraging new technologies. Innovate or be left behind if India fails to recognize the AI and machine learning needs, he said.
Since DBT is a small community, it has to grow by increasing the number of human resources. We have around 340 scientists in DBT across all the labs even as we have the tremendous capability of doing things. We have to increase number of human resources both in forms of students and faculties, Dr Gokhale added.
The primary goal of the Department of Biotechnology – SAHAJ infrastructure is to create national service facility, research resource, and serve as a platform to provide access to resources that could not be provided by any single researcher’s laboratory.