राजभाषा कार्यान्वयन समिति की 50वीं तिमाही बैठक दिनांक 17-06-2020

राजभाषा कार्यान्वयन समिति की

50वीं तिमाही बैठक

दिनांक 17-06-2020 (बुधवार)

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Webinar on “Environmental Perspectives of COVID-19: A Ray of Bloom in Gloom” on June 05, 2020 from 11.00 AM to 1.00 PM

CSIR-NISTADS is  celebrating World Environment Day on June 05, 2020 from 11.00 AM to 1.00 PM by organizing a webinar titled “Environmental Perspectives of COVID-19: A Ray of Bloom in Gloom”

Date: June 05, 2020

Time: 11.00 AM  to 1.00 PM

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COVID-19 translational trends: initiatives, risks, challenges and hope- Dr. Suman Ray

COVID-19 translational trends: initiatives, risks, challenges and hope

Suman Ray


Abstract and findings

Science, market and government being the key actors in medical research and innovation has to face the challenge in several ways. Even if the government invests money for scientific research, it is not certain if the science will be able to deliver, however, taking risks is crucial to open new knowledge of frontiers. Conceptualization of public policy for innovation involves public-private partnership. Diffusion of knowledge into the society depends on the coordinating and regulating the interactions between the different actors as case of the COVID-19 challenge the world is facing today. The race to develop the therapeutics for COVID-19 has begun with lots of hopes and challenges and risks. Emergency efforts are underway to find optimum medical products to fight COVID-19 pandemic. However, drug quality is vulnerable to fear, desperation, and disinformation. The paper highlights the translation trends for COVID-19-the key actors, roles, challenges and risks for diffusion of scientific knowledge into the clinical practice.

Figure 1 and 2 describe the status of the candidate vaccine drugs in preclinical and clinical evaluation (as on 23rd April, WHO). Total 77 vaccine candidates are in preclinical evaluation stage and 6 vaccine candidates in clinical evaluation stage, among which 5 clinical evaluation candidates and 35 preclinical evaluation candidates are using the using the same platform as of non-coronavirus candidates (Figure1). This gives hopes for the faster development of vaccine candidates which generally takes about 8-10 years for a vaccine to develop.

Unlike the case of earlier of pandemic for example, the SARS and Zika epidemics ended before vaccine development was complete, the development of vaccine should continue even if the pandemic ends. A team with a scientific advisory mechanism of the highest quality is very critical. A comprehensive governance framework on the outbreak so as to fight the challenge is needed.

Note: Manuscript under review in “Health Policy” Journal.

Saving Lives and Livelihoods: A Potential Strategy for fighting COVID19 in India - Dr. Kasturi Mandal and Avinash Kshitij

Saving Lives and Livelihoods: A Potential Strategy for fighting COVID19 in India


Kasturi Mandal1 and Avinash Kshitij1

1 CSIR-National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies, Dr. K. S. Krishnan Marg, New Delhi, India. Email: kasturi@nistads.res.in


The world wide spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected India and over 46000 confirmed cases have been declared by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. The first case of COVID 19 was reported on 30th Jan, 2020 in the state of Kerala. To fight COVID 19, the Central Government had invoked the Epidemic Act 1897 and had appealed to all the State Government and Union Territories to follow the provisions of Section 2 of the Epidemic Disease Act 1897. Provisions were created that the powers held by the Home Ministry under the Disaster Management Act was “delegated” to the Health Ministry to prepare India against the outbreak. Government of India had been actively engaged in takings prompt decisions, steps and measures to prevent the spread of the infection. The National Task Force for COVID-19 had created research groups to identify the research priorities and quickly initiate research studies for clinical research, epidemiology and surveillance research, research on Diagnostics and bio-markers, R&D on Vaccines/Drug, and Operations Research. ICMR had played a major role in enhancing the testing capacity for COVID 19 by bringing together medical colleges in all the states of the country, adding national laboratories of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Department of Science & Technology (DST), Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and also including private laboratories after cross checking their eligibility to be part of the testing drive as reflected in the Figure 1.  A total of  11, 91,946 samples have been tested as on 05th May 2020 in India.

A 3-week nationwide lockdown was initially announced by the Honourable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on 24th March, 2020 which was extended by two weeks and thereafter further by now is in the third phase of lockdown. As we are now towards the end of the lockdown period and deliberations on the next step of actions are on at several levels across the country, it seems indispensable to ponder whether India should extend the nationwide lockdown as evidenced in most countries or should devise plans that is more country specific based on the socio-economic conditions of the vast population of the country. As India has a totally different socio-economic set up compared to other countries there is a dire need to strategize India’s battle against COVID 19 infections, from “Saving life & livelihoods” perspective. It would be prudent to strategize the need for reorganizing the economic activities in a phased manner and not to put a complete halt to the trade, distribution and manufacturing as well. As of 10th April, 2020, as in Fig 2 more than half of the total districts in India were still unaffected. Further telescoping might have revealed that the prevalence of COVID 19 even in the affected districts are very much restricted in select small pockets of the districts which are affected but such data is not available. Assuming contagion as the basis of spread, identifying and isolating pockets of potential/current infectors – hence, lockdown could be limited only to such identified pockets, largest pocket could be a district, and opening up of rest of the districts for livelihood related activities that will remain under strict monitoring as on physical distancing etc, by the managers. As opening up livelihood related activities will always have the risk to resurface the infection for which managerial capacity alongwith resource mobilization ought to be strengthened.  So far, the battle for COVID 19 had been undertaken in a Central Government response mode and the aftermaths are highly recommendable. But given the magnitude of the problem while keeping in mind the need to save lives as well as livelihoods, it will be a herculean task and would be difficult if we expect the state alone to make it happen; instead if we think of mobilizing the capacity that exists in the sub-district, district or state level and utilizing the same better results may be achieved. Therefore rather than a highly centralised and directed approach, as an alternative – adoption of a local-based approach harnessing capacities (political, institutional, managerial and administrative) and capabilities to improve manifold managerial & administrative performance could better handle the crisis. As rightly mentioned in the Containment Plan of the MOHFW there is paucity of scientific evidence in community based studies on COVID 19 and the available data on host factors is skewed towards cases requiring hospitalization. The largest cohort study by Chinese Centre for Disease Control reports also mentions that for COVID 19 cases in China about 81% of the cases are mild, 14% require hospitalization and 5% require ventilator and critical care management. The deaths reported are mainly among elderly population particularly those with co-morbidities. As reflected in the Chinese CDC reports the requirement for hospitalization and critical care is comparatively low and similar data is not available publicly in India but the rates are expected to be lesser or similar for India, as the country is blessed with a young population; therefore containment should be home or a set of home based and not in quarantine facilities. Home based quarantine is expected to be far more effective as it will not involve relocation of livelihoods by relocating people. Quarantine centres in fact incurs more cost, both social and economical. Majority of the affected population may be covered in the home based facilities for which robust service delivery mechanisms ought to be planned by the local government. What needs to be addressed next is the facilities to be created at district levels for those who further require hospitalization, ventilators and other forms of critical care management. Here there is a huge scope for the private sector to play a critical role and therefore there is a need to mobilise the private sector capacity, specially the managerial capacity. Such aspects if considered for the post lockdown for COVID 19 planning process could not only saving Lives but saving Livelihoods as well.



Webinar on Traditional Knowledge & Formal Medicine on May 14, 2020 at 10:30AM

Webinar on Traditional Knowledge & Formal Medicine: A Complementary Approach to Combat COVID

Organized by: CSIR-NISCAIR in collaboration with CSIR-NISTADS & Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA)

Date: May 14, 2020

Time: 10:30 AM

Join Webinar: https://tinyurl.com/y7q59vhy

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Is telemedicine useful tool to fight COVID 19 - Dr. Suman Ray

Is telemedicine useful tool to fight COVID-19?

Suman Ray


Abstract and findings:The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to spread across the world. There is currently no medication or vaccine that can be used to treat or prevent the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus spreads so fast that governments across the world asked people to self-quarantine. Healthcare providers are not adequately supplied with resources to deal with the pandemic. Social distancing was said to be the key to curb the spread of COVID-19. So, can patients receive healthcare at home without going to hospitals? This is where telemedicine-defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the delivery of health care services where distance is a critical factor-comes in. The Medical Council of India and the NITI Aayog developed new guidelines released on March 25, 2020 for registered medical practitioners to deliver consultations to patients via telemedicine.The guidelines aim to empower registered doctors to reach out to patients safely using technologies for the exchange of valid information. Telemedicine is still a way to overcome severe shortages of many essential goods and services, from hand sanitisers and N95 masks to ICU beds and ventilators. Telemedicine, thus, holds significance for countries like India that have low doctor-to-patient ratios.

How telemedicine can help against COVID-19


(Article is also available at: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/health/is-telemedicine-useful-tool-to-fight-covid-19--70175, Hospitals should be prepared to use tele-health as a tool in fighting the outbreak)

India’s response to COVID-19: initiatives, strategies and clinical trends - Dr. Suman Ray

India’s response to COVID-19: initiatives, strategies and clinical trends

Suman Ray

 email: suman@nistads.res.in


WHO has defined Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as a pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan, China. It was declared was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30th January 2020 by WHO. There is no FDA-approved products to prevent or treat COVID-19 and the only therapeutic option left is supportive care, on the public health front, interventions like travel restrictions, quarantine, and case/contact isolation are other preventive measures. Lack of cure has put the healthcare system overloaded across the world. Outbreaks and emergencies have been declared by Government of India (GOI) from time to time: (a) Novel coronavirus 2019-24th February, 2020 (b) Nipah vurus, 7th August, 2018 and (c) Zika virus infection-26th May, 2017. “India ramps up efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus” WHO reports.


The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) of India has taken a series of actions designed to accelerate development of drugs, vaccines and diagnostics for use in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to India’s CDSCO, it would be difficult to adhere to all the protocol and regulations while conducting clinical trials of COVID-19 drugs in the country, researchers would be forced to make some modifications. Although scientists and policymakers are actively involved in clinical research on COVID-19 however, only 1.2% of such trials currently take place in the country due to stringent regulations in place for human clinical trials. Both the Serum Institute of India and Cadila Healthcare are involved in developing a COVID-19 vaccine, although it is in the pre-clinical stage and human trials are yet to be conducted.

“India is now in a decisive phase of the response. Surveillance is playing a central role. Our entire field presence, including the National Public Health Surveillance Project, has been fully re-purposed to support the government to overcome this challenge,” says Dr Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative to India (WHO). According to CTRI database, total 13 Clinical trial (Interventional) of COVID-19 are undergoing in India and are currently registered in CTRI database. One trial is in phase 2 stage (Convalescent Plasma therapy) and is expected to be promising. Various hospitals in India are conducting clinical trials for COVID-19. The Serum Institute of India and Cadila Healthcare in India are involved in developing a COVID-19 vaccine, although it is in the pre-clinical stage.

COVID-19 pandemic threatens a global surge in substandard and falsified medical products either directly or indirectly related to COVID-19. Even if the cure is found, there are many barriers before global immunisation is feasible. Though Government of India (GOI) takes various initiatives, strategies and clinical trials to fight COVID-19, however, it needs to focus on COVID-19 epidemic in various dimensions.

Note: Manuscript to be communicated.

Predictive Analytics to Combat with Covid-19 using Genome Sequencing

Predictive Analytics to Combat with Covid-19 using Genome Sequencing

Swati B. Bhonde#1, Madhulika Bhati#2 Jayashree R Prasad #2

Corresponding author: madhulikabhati@nistads.res.in

CSIR-National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies

Abstract: The coronavirus outbreak (nCoV) has created an alarming situation at international level. COVID-19 pandemic is now continuing to develop and researchers across the world are working to combat with COVID-19 & to reduce and prevent its spread. Traditional pathological tests are used but they are time consuming & also number of test kits & centers are limited. Surprising thing is 60% patients may not have any symptoms but still they are SAR-CoV-2 positive & may work as silent carrier causing outbreak of this disease. And a reason to worry is that there is no vaccine & exact drug for this disease. Machine learning techniques can be used to analyze clinical data but again symptoms vary from person-to-person & accuracy of clinical outcomes is questionable. To tackle this problem, this paper proposes a technique to detect presence of SAR-CoV-2 in a person using genome sequencing. This will accurately help to detect presence of virus, to develop targeted therapies & vaccines and also to learn how patient will respond to drugs. This paper summarizes primary survey of existing work & proposes a technique using predictive analytics to detect presence of SAR-CoV-2 using genome sequencing to combat with COVID-19. This system will be able to differentiate SAR-CoV2 from its other subtypes, such as MERS-CoV, HCoV-NL63, HCoV-OC43, HCoV-229E, HCoVHKU1, and SARS-CoV regardless of some missing information and noise in dataset [1]. Proposed methodology can be used by doctors & practitioners as a tool for making ease in decision making.

Full paper can be downloadedhttps://ssrn.com/abstract=3580692

India likely to see rise in number of Covid cases in coming days - Dr. Naresh Kumar

Naresh Kumar

CSIR-National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies

K S krishnan Marg, Pusa Gate, New Delhi-110012, India

Email: nareshkr@nistads.res.in; Tel: +91 11 25843102:  Cell +91 8447589520

So far India was able to control Covid-19 cases but surge in number of infected cases is registered for the last few days. Daily number of infected cases is consistent over 3000 and causalities over 100. One thing is positive that recovery rate is rising but spike in infected cases is a matter of concern. The total number of infected cases are 56409 with active cases 37725, recovered cases 16790 and deaths 1890. Maharashtra (17,974), Gujarat (7,013), Delhi (5,980) and Tamil Nadu (5,409) are the worst affected states with about 65% cases of the total cases.

In coming days number of infected cases are likely to rise in India and trends indicate continues rise during the Month of May. Similar, trends may be projected for USA. However, current estimates show that China is able to control further infected cases, while in the case of Spain and Italy new infected case may be lowest (approach to zero) by the end of May.

Comparative trends for India, China, USA, Italy and Spain are presented in the following Figures.

Projections are indicative and based on current data which may vary with any development-such as sample size of testing, corrective measures etc.

National Technology Day Celebration 2020


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