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Council of Scientific and Industrial Research - Wikipedia




CSIR-National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS)

 in collaboration with Vijnana Bharti (VIBHA)

Collective Intelligence Policy Session


Traditional knowledge systems for risk preparedness and disaster mitigation in future pandemics

 August 28, 2020 at 4:30PM-6:30 PM


Introduction &  Welcome Address

4.30 PM - 4.35 PM

Prof. Ranjana Aggarwal


Introduction of Dr. Shekhar C. Mande

4.35 PM – 4.40 PM

Dr. Sujit Bhattacharya

Chief Scientist, CSIR-NISTADS

Inaugural address

4.40 PM- 4.50 PM

Dr. Shekhar C. Mande

Director General, CSIR and

Secretary, DSIR, Govt. of India

Introduction of panelists

4.50 PM – 5.00 PM

Dr. Suman Ray

Senior  Scientist, CSIR-NISTADS





Panelists Opening Remarks

5.00 PM - 5.40 PM

5-7 Minutes Each Panelist


Dr. Manoj Nesari

Advisor, Ministry of AYUSH

Prof. Bhushan Patwardhan

Vice-chairman, UGC

Prof. Ramakrishna V. Hosur

Professor, TIFR, Mumbai

Prof. Rama Jayasundar

Head, Department of NMR, AIIMS, New Delhi

Shri Jayant Sahasrabudhe             

National Organizing Secretary, VIBHA


Collective intelligence policy interactive discussion

5:40 PM – 5:50 PM

Moderated by

Prof. Rupesh Chaturvedi

Professor, SBT, JNU




5:50 PM - 6:10 PM

Dr. Anil Koul

Former Director, CSIR-IMTECH

Vice-President, Johnson & Johnson

Concluding Remarks (including Q & A session)

6:10 PM - 6:25 PM

Prof. Rupesh Chaturvedi

Professor, SBT, JNU

Vote of Thanks


Dr. Madhulika Bhati

Principal Scientist, CSIR-NISTADS






Council of Scientific and Industrial Research - Wikipedia




Traditional knowledge systems for risk preparedness and disaster mitigation in future pandemics




For the past few months whole humanity is facing an existential crisis due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. Although there have been few sporadic events in the last few decades also in the form of SARS, MERS, Swine flu, Bird flu and Ebola but the magnitude of Corona virus crisis has surpassed every other pandemic in terms of it’s reach, number of infected people  and number of deaths. Timely implementation of thelockdown measures and public responding positively to the call of government about social distancing circumvented the problem of severe health crisis and prevented frombreakdown of the health infrastructure in India. Additionally, relatively lower morbidity and higher recovery rate (approx. 70%) among the infected population have contradicted many epidemiological models and surprised many health experts across globe. There are various reasons being attributed to this, but fundamentally it is more or less have to do with our lifestyle being in sync with the natural cycles that may manifest in better immune system e.g. our traditional practices of aligning our food habits with the season. However, due to globalization and blindly following western science, our traditional knowledge systems (TKS) are eroding rapidly. As it is often said, prevention is better than cure, COVID crisis has provided an opportunity to revisit our roots, science and research from the swadeshi perspective.


For a sustainable and resilient society in future requires proper documentation and integration of TKS with modern medicine practices and up-scaling. Equally important is to shred the elements of mental inertia and scale-up our ancient scientific knowledge to match and lead the world of science.This requires diffusion of boundaries, cross talks between different disciplines with shared goal and integrate science with the society i.e. safe and sustainable future. After understanding the benefits of yoga and meditation practices, whole world is looking towards India as Viswa-guru to save humanity. Our Swadeshi perspective is not exclusionary but inclusive in nature and as a home to nearly 1/3rd human population and one of the ancient civilization, it is our civilizational responsibility to come forward in these trying times of COVID. Understanding the severity of the pandemic, CSIR-NISTADS, a policy Think Tank, & VIJNANA BHARTI, a torchbearer of swadeshi science movement right from the inception would like to organize a brainstorming session based on two themes of traditional health practices.


  1. Methodology for Integration of traditional knowledge system in sync with modern medicine practices.
  1.  Dissemination and sensitization of the youth about the traditional knowledge system
  1. Methodology for Integration:


Most of the R&D programs and trials of traditional medicine are undertaken and efficacy evaluated using the protocol used for modern medicine system/allopathy. However, the fact is, both have completely different ways of looking. Modern medicine takes into account age, gender, few underlying morbidities for control trials while our traditional systems takes a holistic view where subjects are classified on the basis of Prakrati. Therefore, the current methodology for validation of the traditional systems may not lead to the proper evaluation of the efficacy and causes confusion among the clinicians and public in general.  In order to counter it and to make our TKS gets universal acceptability we need to develop new methodologies that take into account the fundamental nature of traditional system and is also in sync with the modern medicine practices. For properevaluation, and developing a comprehensive understanding of the TKS, proper methodological designs and protocols needs consideration. 


(2) Citizen science:


It is necessary to focus upon the youths of India as they are more exposed to the western lifestyles, for proper dissemination of TKS related to the health care and medicinal practices. This requires sensitizing and making our youths aware of our traditional practices which we have inherited from our past many generations. This requires showcasing of evidence-based solutions that may help our present generation to make informed choices. It can be done through creation of a network of citizen scientists well aware of our rich treasure of knowledge system.


Broadly focusing above mentioned ideas it was decided to schedule a brainstorming session focusing in-depth discussion of the topics related to the methodological constrains and citizen science focusing the traditional knowledge systems for both, risk preparedness and disaster mitigation in future pandemics.


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