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New Delhi – Science & Technology; Earth Sciences Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan lamented, several basic problems in India still remains, even after 70 years of independence. Addressing Prof. Ramalingaswami Fellows Conclave in New Delhi on Saturday (Feb. 17), he said, it is pathetic the country could not overcome some of the basic problems like malnutrition and anaemia.
“There are some basic problems in this country even after 70 years. So much nutritional foods have been developed in the labs still we have the problem of malnutrition and anaemia. When I visit all these nutrition labs – Hyderabad, Mysore, etc; I see so much research taking place there, but still the country continues to suffer from many of the problems,” said Dr Harsh Vardhan.
The Minister said, a large number of scientists have returned to India, accepting fellowships for research in various fields of science and technology. He said 290 scientists have come back under the Prof. Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellowship and taken up research assignments in India and there are quite a few success stories.
“This is a very prestigious programme to have been named after him in recognition of his great contributions to science, where we are inviting young people from foreign universities to come to India and serve the country, literally converting the brain drain into brain gain. It is a befitting tribute to the memory of Prof.
Ramalingaswami. I was told, 290 scientists have come back and joined various scientific organisations/universities in the last few years under this fellowship. It is a significant number and they have already produced 883 papers, developed 53 technologies, 33 patents and two start-ups.”
The fellowship was conceptualized with the aim of attracting highly skilled Indian researchers working overseas in various cutting edge disciplines of biotechnology – agriculture, health sciences, bio-engineering, energy, environment, bioinformatics and other related areas, by providing them an attractive avenue to pursue their R&D interests in Indian institutions.
So far, the fellows have joined various institutions like CSIR, IITs/NITs, ICMR, IISc, IISER/NISER and Universities as well as private sector. They have published 883 research papers, developed 53 technologies, 33 patents and established two start-ups.
There are several success stories from their research projects, which include non-invasive method for cancer detection, pesticide detection in food by mass spectrometry, prognosis of diabetes, anti-glioma drug, technology for breast cancer prognosis etc.
The Minister said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment for science is resulting in positive outcome, as Mr Modi wants India in the driver’s seat of next scientific revolution.
Dr Meenakshi Munshi, Adviser in the Department of Biotechnology said, the yearly intake of scientists has been increased from initial number of 10 fellows to 50 and very recently has been increased up-to 75 from the current financial year, while their fellowship amount has also been enhanced. During the five-year fellowship period, Rs. 10 lakh each is given during the first and second year; Rs. 7.5 lakh in the third and fourth year and Rs. 5 lakh in the fifth and final year. The incumbents would also get institutional overhead expenses of Rs. 50,000 annually. She said about 75 per cent of the researchers have been absorbed in various scientific institutions/universities. Dr Munshi said, the fellowship is not a placement, but a buffering time of five years for the researchers to find a regular placement.
Dr. Ramesh V. Sonti, Director of National Institute of Plant Genome Research and Dr. S.S. Kohli, Adviser in the Department of Science & Technology also spoke on the occasion.
On the successful completion of ten years of Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellowship, the department is hosting conclave meeting to celebrate the achievements and revisit the journey of the programme over the years. The 8th Conclave organized by National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR) New Delhi during 15th – 17th February, 2018 on behalf of Department of Biotechnology (DBT) at The Ashok Hotel, Diplomatic Avenue, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi and NIPGR, New Delhi.
On 15th February Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary DBT & DST inaugurated the programme in the Banquette Hall of Ashoka Hotel. Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary DBT & DST gave inaugural address. In his inaugural address he expressed his happiness in the success of fellowship programmes like Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellowship and Ramanujan Fellowships. He also added that “in the past tools of other streams of science were used to solve biological problem. In today’s world tools of biology should be used to solve problem of many other streams of science.”
In his keynote address former secretary Dr MK Bhan, added that “Ramalingaswami fellowship has been successful in creating leader of science and innovation. He also emphasized the importance of providing environment for creating true science leaders in the country.
Dr Ramesh Sonti, Director, National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR) in his welcome address said that “Ramalingaswami Fellowship is a great success just because of support and effort of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).”
Dr. Meenakshi Munshi, Adviser DBT, gave an overview of the Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellowship. She informed that contribution of Prof Ramalingaswami are:
She said that the programme was initiated in 2006-2007 with an objective of bringing back Indian scientists working abroad to pursue their research interests of national relevance.
The Conclave meeting monitors the progress of the fellows, provide a platform to interact, discuss and exchange innovative ideas. The program also cover key note lectures and mentor lectures by eminent scientists of India. The mentor talks focus on how, despite all odds scientists are able to establish themselves and create a niche for themselves. Besides, scientists like Dr. Deepak Gaur, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi; Dr. Chetana Sachidanandan, Institute of Genomics & Integrative Biology (IGIB), New Delhi; and Dr. Arnab Mukhopadhyay, National Institute of Immunology (NII), New Delhi share their experiences as a Ramalingaswami Fellow. The directors and Vice-Chancellors from universities across India have also been invited to discuss on improving the ecosystem provided to fellows to do good science at University / host Institution level.
The overall idea of the conclave is to provide a fertile environment to the fellows, who have returned to India on terms of resources and funding. The fellows also would be made aware of the current scientific scenario of the country and the pressing issues that need to be immediately addressed so that the enthusiastic scientists can work together for the progress of the country.
The Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellowship was conceived in the year 2006-07 with the idea of encouraging scientists (Indian Nationals) working outside the country and would like to return to the home country to pursue their research interests in Modern Biology, Biotechnology, Life Sciences and other related areas. The principal aim of the scheme is to improve the country’s human resource capacity in life sciences, modern biology and biotechnology research – both in terms of development, translation and diffusion by means of attracting young scientists settled abroad.
A decade since its inception, the Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellowship programme has come a long way. During the last ten years, 1492 applications were received and out of these 396 were offered fellowship and 280 have already taken up positions in Indian Laboratories. So far, 188 fellows have already been able to seek permanent faculty positions in various host institutes in India. The fellowship over the years has picked up the momentum and resulted in creating a brand value in itself. Fellows have performed extremely well and they have been able to publish their research work in peer reviewed National and International scientific journals. Over the past decade, the program has been able to transform the scientific scenario of the country through innovative technologies and outstanding research with special emphasis on issues of national relevance.
The work done by fellows is regularly monitored by organizing three days conclave to listen to their research, mentor them & try to help them in understanding the scientific ecosystem in the country. On the successful completion of ten years, the department is now hosting conclave meeting to celebrate the achievements and revisit the journey of the programme over the years. The 8th Conclave is being organized by National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR) New Delhi during 15th – 17th February, 2018 on behalf of Department of Biotechnology (DBT) at The Ashok Hotel, Diplomatic Avenue, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi and NIPGR, New Delhi. The meeting would be presided by the Hon’ble Union Minister for Science & Technology & Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan and Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DBT. The Conclave meeting would monitor the progress of the fellows, provide a platform to interact, discuss and exchange innovative ideas. The program also would also cover key note lectures and mentor lectures by eminent scientists of India. The mentor talks focus on how, despite all odds scientists are able to establish themselves and create a niche for themselves. Guidance will be provided on how to set up a lab and grant writing to the newly joined fellows. Besides, the alumni shall also be encouraged to share their experiences as a Ramalingaswami Fellow. The directors and Vice-Chancellors from universities across India have also been invited to discuss on improving the ecosystem provided to fellows to do good science at University / host Institution level.
The overall idea is to provide a fertile environment to the fellows, who have returned to India on terms of resources and funding. The fellows also would be made aware of the current scientific scenario of the country and the pressing issues that need to be immediately addressed so that the enthusiastic scientists can work together for the progress of the country.
NOMINATION FOR “BIOTECHN PRODUICT, PROCESS DEVELOPMENT AND COMMERCIALISATION AWARD 2018”.
The following amendment is carried out to the advertisement published in this regard in prominent news papers in January, 2018.
Para 2 – Nature of the Award
For : The details of the Award, eligibility criteria, and proforma for nomination are available at www.dbtindia.gov.in
Read as : The details of the Award, eligibility criteria, and proforma for nomination are available www.dbtindia.nic.in
2. Further, last date for receipt of nominations is extended from 16.02.2018 to 25.02.2018. Rest of the contents of the advertisement shall remain same.
It is hereby notified that the earlier website address i.e http://www.dbtindia.gov.in of the Department of Biotechnology is now replaced with the following website: http://www.dbtindia.nic.in
Therefore, wherever, the old website address is indicated, the same be read as http://www.dbtindia.nic.in
New Delhi, 06.02.2018
Rashtrapati Bhavan yesterday (February 5, 2018) hosted a one-day Nobel Laureates Seminar, organised by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India in association with the Nobel Foundation. This was a part of the Nobel Prize Series, a regular and landmark engagement between the Indian scientific and policy community and the Nobel Foundation.
Addressing the inaugural session of the Seminar, the President said that in the 70 years since India became independent, belief in science has shaped our society and developmental process. From agriculture to harnessing the energy of the atom, from vaccine innovation to advances in space technology, science has helped us build our nation.
The President said that keeping pace with this investment in science; we have also invested in people through our institutions of higher education. We have recently created several central universities; Indian Institutes of Technology; All India Institutes of Medical Sciences; and Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research.
These investments will create a huge pool of scientists, clinician researchers and technologists for a changing India. For these investments to bear fruit, these institutions and also our schools must be as good as the best in the world. This is a challenge but together we can accomplish it. Together we can make innovation not just a passion for our scientific elite, but the lifeline of our schooling system.
The President said that because the world is constantly changing and ideas flow from every side, our scientists must be connected to the latest advances in research and technology. Science is nothing if not a global enterprise. It is this that is our focus today. How do we build world class institutions and universities and how do these connect to our society – both within our national boundaries and beyond?
The Nobel Laureates who addressed the Seminar were Christiane Nusslein-Volhard, Sir Richard John Roberts, Serge Haroche and Dr Tomas Robert Lindahl.
Christiane Nusslein-Volhard is a German biologist renowned for her embryonic development of fruit flies. Her contribution earned her the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Richard John Roberts is an English biochemist and molecular biologist who was felicitated with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the mechanism of gene-splicing.
Serge Haroche is a French physicist who was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize for Physics for devising methods to study the quantum mechanical behaviour of individual photons.
Tomas Robert Lindahl is a Swedish-born British scientist specialising in cancer research. In 2015, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
The President also addressed the concluding session of the Seminar.
Speaking on the occasion, the Honourable President of India said that without a strong, dynamic and creative education and schooling system, we cannot create a research and innovation culture. It is important to cultivate curiosity in our classrooms, and free science from the tyranny of jargon.
The President said that good researchers emerge in a system that values good teachers and good faculty. The linkage between research institutes and universities – and research and industry – is extremely important. These cannot exist in independent silos. It is also critical to link science to society. One of the reasons for the wide-spread support for our space programme, for instance, has been the ability of India’s space scientists to offer solutions to the lives of ordinary Indians – whether in mapping weather patterns that assist our farmers, or telemedicine that enhances access to healthcare.
Rationale: Vitamin D deficiency [VDD] is prevalent globally and the data for last two decades suggests that it may be widespread in India as well. VDD is essential for bone health, and has a role in calcium homeostasis. Recent evidence suggests potential non- skeletal effects, which has led to increased interest in public health significance of VDD in the Indian context notwithstanding abundant sunshine. Worldwide naturally occurring dietary sources of VD are limited and most individuals obtain their VD from cutaneous sun exposure. In view of the recent reports of escalating burden of biochemical VDD and its known skeletal and potential extra-skeletal effects, the Department of Biotechnology proposes to support research on its public health significance and potential interventions to address this malady. R & D Proposals are invited in the following thrust areas:
Eligibility: Applications may be submitted by public and private universities, colleges, Institutes, non-profit organizations (recognized by DSIR as a Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (SIRO). It is expected that some of the projects will be collaborative efforts between Basic scientists, Clinicians, Biochemists etc.
How to apply and Assessment criteria: Applicants should submit soft copy of concept note in the format attached through email: firstname.lastname@example.org , Dr. A.Vamsi Krishna, Scientist-D, Department of Biotechnology, Block- 2, Room No.726, 7th floor, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi – 110003.
The deadline for submission of concept note is 22nd March, 2018.
Concept Note will be considered by a screening panel comprising external experts and officials from the DBT. Overall, the assessment will be based on the scientific merit, originality/novelty of the proposal, abilities and skills to execute the proposed project. Concept Notes selected by the screening panel will be asked to submit full proposal in DBT format online through e-Promis (www.dbtepromis.nic.in)
For any queries, contact:
Dr. A.Vamsi Krishna,
On the occasion of Nobel Prize Series India 2018 The Honourable President of India is pleased to invite all distinguished Nobel Laureates to Rashtrapati Bhavan (RB) on 5th February 2018.
The Department of Biotechnology and Nobel Foundation have signed a five year agreement, which has initiated annual lectures by Nobel Laureates. An exhibition on separate theme will be organized each year. The aim is to excite talented students to take up careers in science and come up with new ideas that would benefit the world.
The broad theme for the Nobel Prize Series, India 2018 is “Education and the value of teachers” and as such most discussions will revolve around Better Education: Anvil for shaping future science, technology and innovation.
This programme is perhaps the first of its kind, on this scale, anywhere in the world.To us in India, given the present emphasis on innovation, it is important to also discuss the need for reformatting our education system to encourage original thought, creativity and knowledge. The Nobel Prize Series 2018 will be, we hope, a great starting point.
The President of India is the Chancellor of central universities and is a great advocate for the reformation of higher education system, to meet the challenges for 21st century learning and innovation skills and his interest and overview of this programme will provide the necessary impetus for initiation of a change in higher education in India.
The Nobel Laureates gracing the occasion are Christiane Nusslein-Volhard, Sir Richard John Roberts, Serge Haroche, and Dr Tomas Robert Lindahl.
The German biologist, Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard is renowned for her embryonic development of fruit flies. Her contribution earned her the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. She completed her degrees in biology, physics, and chemistry from Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-University in 1964, a diploma in biochemistry (1968) and a doctorate in biology and genetics (1973) from Eberhard-Karl University of Tubingen.
Richard John Roberts is an English biochemist and molecular biologist who was felicitated with Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the mechanism of gene-splicing.
Roberts’ fantasy with chemistry started as early as in high school. He was so interested by the subject that he chose to make it his career. Following his graduate studies and doctoral thesis, Roberts made his way to Harvard and eventually the Cold Harbor Laboratory. It was at the laboratory that Roberts first found success in restriction enzymes. By 1972, he discovered or characterized almost three quarter of the world’s first restriction enzymes. Later in 1977, Roberts demonstrated how RNA can be divided up into introns and exons, after which the exons can be joined together. The discovery was crucial as until then the scientific world believed that genes comprised of unbroken sketches of DNA. The discovery had important implication for the study of genetic diseases. Furthermore, it allowed different parts of the gene to be brought together in new combinations.
Serge Haroche, (born September 11, 1944, Casablanca, Morocco), French physicist who was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize for Physics for devising methods to study the quantum mechanical behaviour of individual photons.
Haroche received degrees in physics in 1967 from the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and a doctoral degree in 1971 from Université Paris VI (now Université Pierre et Marie Curie), where his adviser was French physicist Claude Cohen-Tannoudji. In 1972 and 1973 he was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University in California, where he worked in the laboratory of American physicist Arthur Schawlow. Until 1984 he was an assistant professor at the École Polytechnique in Paris (and from 1976, Palaiseau). From 1982 to 2001, he was a professor at the École Normale Supérieure, Paris. He was also a professor at Université Pierre et Marie Curie from 1975 to 2001 and a part-time professor at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, from 1984 to 1993. In 2001 he became a professor at the Collège de France in Paris, where he was chair of quantum physics.
Tomas Robert Lindahl FRS, FMedSci (born 28 January 1938) is a Swedish-born British scientist specialising in cancer research. In 2015, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
After obtaining his research doctorate, Lindahl did postdoctoral research at Princeton University and Rockefeller University. He was professor of medical chemistry at the University of Gothenburg 1978–1982. After moving to the United Kingdom he joined the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK) as a researcher in 1981. From 1986 to 2005 he was the first Director of Cancer Research UK’s Clare Hall Laboratories in Hertfordshire, since 2015 part of the Francis Crick Institute. He continued to research there until 2009. He has contributed to many papers on DNA repair and the genetics of cancer.