Hyderabad: Director-General, CSIR, Dr. Shekhar Mande on Thursday lauded efforts of all the three CSIR institutes in Hyderabad for setting up COVID-19 surveillance strategies, affordable diagnostics, drugs and therapeutics development, hospital-assistive device development, and building supply chain and logistics.
While addressing the staff and students of the three CSIR institutes in Hyderabad – National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), and Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT). He said the contribution of these institutes in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, was found commendable and encouraging.
He specifically remembered how CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratory used its expertise in building next-generation flights to build ventilators during the pandemic. They collaborated with the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology to understand how lungs and ventilators function. Together, they built the first non-invasive ventilator in record time and is now widely used.
He also mentioned the praise CSIR-IICT received from policymakers for its contributions in developing an adjuvant for Covaxin, making it a totally indigenously built effective vaccine.
“No one group, one individual can take credit for CSIR’s contributions in fighting COVID-19. The entire credit goes to CSIR as an organization”, said Dr. Mande.
He thanked the institutional leadership to go out of their way to ensure labs functioned every single day during this fight. He also reminded the unique placement of CSIR in terms of its mandate.
In the spectrum of scientific organizations in India that span from being strategic with pre-decided endpoints to others that perform blue-sky research and create quality human resources for the future, CSIR is sandwiched between the two, he added.
Dr. Mande said this makes it possible for CSIR, as an organization, to address fundamental unsolved questions as well as work tangibly towards societal good and create solutions to the pressing challenges of today. This helps in building viable bridges with the otherwise risk-averse industry sector, he added.