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Saturday, October 24, 2020

CSIR scientists contributed beyond their mandate in Covid-19 fight: Dr Harsh Vardhan

The minister was speaking at the 79th foundation day of CSIR.

By: Express News Service | Pune | September 26, 2020 3:53:22 pm
'CSIR scientists contributed beyond their mandate in the Covid-10 fight', Dr Harsh VardhanMinister for Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan Saturday hailed the contributions of scientists at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) towards the fight against Covid-19. (File Photo)

The scientific community has risen to the occasion and contributed in various forms to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, said Minister for Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan Saturday.

Addressing the 79th foundation day of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the minister hailed the contributions of the scientists at the organisation and said, “Ever since the first case of Covid-19 was reported in the country in January, our scientific community at CSIR has risen to the occasion and contributed in various forms, sometimes outside their mandate, to put up a fight against this pandemic.”

The minister further shared the story of how India – which once imported testing kits, PPEs, ventilators among other medical equipment – became self-sufficient in manufacturing and supplying these items, all during the last few months.

“Today, we perform about 13 lakh tests, manufacture 10 lakh testing kits and close to 5 lakh PPEs in a day. There are over 110 companies manufacturing ventilators in the country. All this has been possible due to scientists and industries working together,” said Dr Harsh Vardhan.

He added, “Even those states, which cried of a shortage in PPEs during the initial months, are now delaying procurement as they have cited lack of space to stock the additional supplies,” the minister said.

Speaking on the occasion about the Covid-19-related technologies that have been developed, CSIR Director General Shekhar Mande said a few international scientific communities have shown interest in CSIR-developed technologies. “Indian industries, too, have shouldered the responsibility in Covid-19-related technology development during the recent months. As a result, it was possible to fast track technology to the market,” noted Mande.

“The Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government of Australia contacted CSIR regarding our Covid-19 technologies. Netherlands too has contacted us with a similar request,” said Mande.

CSIR's Tech award for Pune company

Pune-based Tata Chemical Limited bagged the 2019 Diamond Jubilee Technology Award of CSIR. The Rs 10 lakh cash award was presented for development of Fructo oligosaccharides (FOS) which is a sugar-based prebiotic dietary ingredient. IIT-Bombay was bestowed with CSIR's Technology award for its contribution in developing solar lamps for villages in Maharashtra. Archit Patil, a class VIII student of Kashinath Palod Public School, Jalgaon, was among the school student winners for science innovation. He developed a device that could save expecting mothers suffering from obstetric blood loss.

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