He also called for a ‘mass movement’ of the vaccination drive.
“As of this morning, about 4.5 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been given in the country. More than 60 million doses have been sent to 76 countries,” Vardhan said during a press conference at the Institute of Microbial Technology.
“Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party (BJP) president JP Nadda have called on Tikadan to launch a ‘mass movement’,” he said.
As a big encouragement to life science entrepreneurs, Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Vardhan inaugurated the IMTech Bio-Innovation Center which is an extension of Atal Incubation Center (AIC) -CCMB, Hyderabad.
The IMTO Bio-Innovation Center aims to be the hub for life sciences, biotechnology startups and MSMEs from across the country in a short period of time.
IMTech Director Sanjeev Khosla briefed the Minister about the various activities of the Institute and especially the work done by the scientists on COVID-19 epidemic in the last one year.
“Science has the potential to solve our long-term problems, they belong to any sector. When I see science happening in all the labs in CSIR and other places, I’m convinced that it has (science) potential.
“That’s why we’re telling our scientists that we need to have a very people-centered approach and that whatever we do in labs, we need to have contact with the public for the future,” Vardhan said.
The minister also urged the scientific community to be prepared for unexpected things like diseases that could spread in the future using their experience with the coronavirus.
“I told the scientific community that they had a lot of experience during the COVID epidemic. They jumped at the chance and helped us in a big way. We need to be prepared for anything unexpected that may unfold in the future,” he said.
Vardhan said the Bio Innovation Center will support MSMEs as well as start-ups.
“The Narendra Modi government, which has come up with a brilliant idea and wants to transform this idea into an entrepreneur, invent or develop something new, stands firmly behind it, which can solve the long-standing unresolved problems of the people and perhaps alleviate their suffering and their lives. That is the idea of the ‘start-up and stand-up’ movement, “he said.
He says a special fund almost last ₹Rs 900 crore was set up to help the industry accelerate research on the COVID-19 vaccine.
Vardhan inaugurated the Center of Excellence for Intelligent Sensors and Systems at the Central Scientific Equipment Institute here, an event organized by CSIR’s laboratory, as well as a vaccination support desk at Dadu Mazra Colony, the BJP’s urban unit.
Here at CSIO, he has exchanged views with young scientists who have received national awards and fellowships over the past two years.
Vardhan said CSIO is committed to developing indigenous technologies as per the demand of the country with minimum reliance on imports to accelerate the achievement of the goal of self-reliant India.
Referring to the Center of Excellence for Intelligent Sensors and Systems, the Union Minister said that such initiatives would be the focal point of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ in many respects.
Vardhan praised the institute’s efforts to emphasize activities related to artificial intelligence-based sensitive applications, especially defense applications.
The institute has state-of-the-art testing facilities with powerful computing systems for providing artificial intelligence for acoustics, earthquakes, infrared imaging methods and other sensors and networks.
He said CSIR-CSIO has already made a start in complex, multi-branched areas of earthquake monitoring systems that have helped in real-time disaster management of metrorail systems and avionic display systems in need of Indian defense.
Later in the evening, Vardhan inaugurated the ‘Advanced High-Resolution Microscopy Facility’ on the campus of the National Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology (NABI) in Punjab.
He said that laboratories should not be limited and a new, active and innovative approach is needed to bring it to the public.