Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Dr. Jitendra Singh & Dr Girish Sahni visits IIIM Jammu.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Vice President, CSIR and the Hon’ble Union Cabinet Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences and Dr Jitendra Singh Hon’ble Minister of State for DoNER (Independent Charge), PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, DoAE and Department of Space, visited CSIR-IIIM, Jammu today.

The key highlight of their visit was the inauguration of the newly built, state-of-the-art WHO cGMP Plant for extraction, formulation, packaging of medicinal plant based phytopharmaceutical drugs under internationally accepted GMP guidelines. This is first such national cGMP facility established in the public sector in India. The facility has been in making for last 5 years, completed in 2016 and issued a manufacturing license by Drug & Food Control Organization, Jammu & Kashmir.

Other present on the occasion were Dr Girish Sahni Director General CSIR & Secretary DSIR (Govt. of India), Dr. Ram Vishwakarma, Director IIIM, Prof.S. S. Handa (former Director IIIM), Dr G. N. Qazi (former Director IIIM), Dr Ashok Vaid (Oncologist-Medanta), key public representatives and other members of the civil society of Jammu. 

Before inauguration of this facility, Dr Ram Vishwakarma, Director informed the Hon’ble ministers that the cGMP facility would provide a high level world-class infrastructurefor the manufacture of botanical/phytopharmaceutical in a way to ensure their safety, efficacy and quality for global market. He further informed the guests thatestablishment of this facility at CSIR-IIIM will also help all CSIR Institutes engaged in drug discovery & development in converting their natural product leads to preclinical and clinical development for marketing approvals.

It will also provide opportunity to new entrepreneurs/SMEs engaged in manufacture of standardized extracts and botanical drug formulations, natural products etc. to evaluate their research leads and eventually graduate as entrepreneurs so that more number of industries could be setup and large number of employment can be generated.
The Hon’ble Minister was also informed that this cGMP facility will also be used as the Technology Business Incubator (TBI), for which Department of Science and Technology of Govt. of India has already approved a project. Dr Vishwakarma further informed that the experience, expertise and infrastructure like state-of-the-art QC/QA division coupled with GLP standard Animal House available with IIIM are suitable to extend incubation ecosystem to entrepreneurs/SMEs by providing wide range of services available in the Institute as an overall holistic research and development support, mentorship and hand holding in all spheres of phytopharmaceutical product development cycle. The facilities will also be used in conductingAcSIR certified training programs for students, entrepreneurs, etc.
By setting up of this facility in IIIM, the institute has made dream of Sir Ram Nath Chopra (Founder of IIIM) come true as he was the one who recognized the by value of the rich biodiversity of the state of Jammu & Kashmir and thought of drug discovery from the natural resources and actually worked for it for almost two decades after the inception of Drug Research Laboratory (DRL) in 1941, which was eventually taken over by CSIR in 1957 with him as its first Director.  Therefore this occasion will also be used for paying rich tributes to Sir Ram Nath Chopra, the great visionary and Founder Director of the CSIR-IIIM by unveiling his statue in the central lawn of the Institute. During his visit Dr Harsh Vardhan, VP CSIR accompanied by Dr. Jitendra Singh, Dr Girish Sahni, DG CSIR and Director IIIM also visited different scientific divisions of the  Institute to get first had information on the R&D activities of IIIM. During his visit he interacted with scientists, technical staff and students of the institute. 

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Vice President, CSIR and Dr Jitendra SinghHon’ble Minister of State for DoNER (Independent Charge), also addressed the staff and students of IIIM in the Auditorium. Dr Harsh Vardhan was appreciative of the R&D and societal work being pursued at IIIM especially in the area of drug discovery extension of medicinal and aromatic crops. He exhorted the Scientists to build great passion of Scientific experimentation and should keep eye on Noble Prize. Dr Girish Sahni DG CSIR also spoke on this occasion.

The proceedings of the programme were conducted by Ms. Madhavi Sharma and Dr. Suresh Chandra, Chief Scientist presented vote of thanks.

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