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JAMMU: Shri Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India visited CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative, Canal Road, Jammu today and addressed the Scientific and Technical Staff of the institute. The Hon’ble Vice President was received by  Mr. Sajad Gani Lone, Minister of Social Welfare & S&T, J&K, Mr. Imran Raza Insari, Minister for Information Technology and Higher Education, J&K, Dr. Ram Vishwakarma, Director IIIM, Jammu, Deputy Commissioner Jammu and SSP, Jammu. Later the Vice President was taken to different laboratories of the institute where the scientists have put on exhibitions the types of research going on in the institute and also demonstrated their important findings. 

 

The main programme on the occasion was held in the auditorium of the institute which started with the National Anthem followed by the lighting of ceremonial lamps by Vice President, Hon’ble Governor, J&K, Shri N.N. Vohra and other dignitaries on dais. Dr. Ram Vishwakarma welcomed the Vice President and said that it is a special day for the institute when Vice President chose this institute to visit and interacted with the scientific fraternity. Dr. Ram also made a detailed PowerPoint presentation and described the major research domains of the institute.

Dr. Ram said that the IIIM, Jammu erstwhile Regional Research Laboratory Jammu was founded way back in 1941 and through the years achieved the distinction of no. 1 in the biological cluster institutions. He also added that world class research is being carried out here despite the disadvantageous location of the institute. He informed that the institution has branch lab in Srinagar with various field research stations in both Jammu and Srinagar. The institute is setting up two industrial biotech park one in Kathua and other in Kupwara on behalf of  J&K State govt. 

 

Vice President in his speech while appreciating the efforts of CSIR-IIIM, Jammu in the scientific development of the country said, “Science has played a major role in the growth of our great nation and the achievements in the areas of affordable medicine, food security, milk production, space, atomic energy and Information Technology, among others, are a testimony to this fact”   

 

The exhaustive draft of Speech of Hon’ble Vice President is circulated to media: 

 

My dear Scientists, students, staff of Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine and invited eminent citizens of Jammu, I am indeed delighted to be in the Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu a national Institute under Council of Scientific and Industrial research. I am pleased to learn that this is one of the oldest scientific Institutes of our country set up in 1941 which has played a leading role in frontline scientific and economic growth of our country in general and the state of Jammu and Kashmir in particular.  In fact, it is the first translational Institute of drug development from natural resources established in the country as Drug Research Laboratory (DRL) under the aegis of Jammu & Kashmir Government and Col Sir Ram Nath Chopra who was instrumental in conceptualizing DRL having both research and manufacturing unit was its Founder Head. The research in DRL was liberally supported by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Council of scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) through research schemes sanctioned from time to time.Based on the research output of DRL, manufacturing section was further developed and made as an independent commercial unit. Col Chopra headed both research and manufacturing units with perfect cohesion in their activities.

As a research Laboratory, DRL was the first to give concept of captive cultivation, first to isolate active principals from indigenous medicinal plants and worked on pharmacological activity in lab animals and carry out detailed clinical studies on important Indian medicinal plants as Rauwolfiaserpentina (hypertension), Psoraleacorylifolia (skin disorders), Aeglemarmelos, Holarrhenaantidysentrica, Psylliumovata(GI disorders)etc.

As we know that science in India has played a silent but major role in the growth of our great nation as reflected  in our remarkable achievements in self reliance in the areas of affordable medicine, food security, milk production, space, atomic energy, Information Technology etc. which has placed India  amongst the top five leading modern nations in the world.It is pertinent to mention here that the Founder of this Institute Sir Ram Nath Chopra played a major role in formulation of Drugs and Cosmetics Act and Rules of independent India. It was he who created an integrated medicine discipline to bring wisdom and knowledge of Ayurveda and other traditional systems of medicines to the modern medicine thereby given this ancient Indian knowledgebase global recognition.

 

After India attained independence, Pt JawaharLal Nehru, our first Prime Minister, devoted his whole hearted attention to nation building activities including setting up of research institutes as science temples. Thus negotiations were initiated between J&K Government and CSIR for taking over this Laboratory by CSIR and linking it with the chain of laboratories which were being established at that time. As a result of efforts at various levels, the DRL was formally taken over by CSIR in December, 1957 and renamed as Regional Research Laboratory. This change in name was necessary as the objectives of the Laboratory were widened to include research programmes regarding utilization of all natural resources, may these be of plant, animal or mineral origin. The broad areas of research pursued in the laboratory included, Biological Sciences (Agronomy, Botany, Microbiology, Mycology and Plant Pathology, Insecticides & Insect Physiology, Pharmacology and Radiation Biology), Chemical Sciences ( Natural Product Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and mineral chemistry), and Technological sciences (Food, Fur & Wool, Surface Coating and Paper cellulose pulp).

Over a period of time, keeping in view the core strength of Institute in natural products based drug discovery, the mandate of Institute was redefined and its name changed to Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM) in the year 2007.

During the last more than seven decades, the major achievements of RRL with national impact include

1.     Introduction of Mint in India in 1958. Currently this crop is under cultivation in 2 lakh hectares with annual turnover of 4000 crores.

2.     Captive cultivation of Pyrethrum with current potential for cultivation in 1000 Ha, andemployment generation for 6000 people

3.     Introduction of Hops in India and meeting the demand of domestic brewery industry.

4.     Introduction of  Lavender and Rose as high value commercial crops in the state of Jammu & Kashmir in an area of 300 hectares thereby creating employment for more than 9000 people.

5.     Developed and released high yielding varieties of Cymbopogon, Mentha, Ocimum, Withania etc and extended to the farmer’s fields foe wealth generation.

6.     Through scientific validation of traditional ayurvedic medicines, the laboratory has developed drugs namely, Risorine (Anti TB), Sallaki (Rheumatoid  Arthritis), LIVZON &Liv-1 (hepatoprotective), Imminex (Immunomodulator) etc.

7.     Fermentation technologies developed by Institute transferred to number of industries for the production of gluconate salts, biofertilizers and bio control agents. 

I am very pleased to share that recently the Institute along with other CSIR labs have taken up three major national initiatives, which include:

1.     Aroma Mission:The mission aims to develop and disseminate the aroma related S&T developments to reach the farmers, the industry and the society, leading to business opportunities, rural development, life-quality enhancement. The objectives to be covered under this mission are:

a.      Bring more than 5000 ha of additional area under captive cultivation aromatic cash crops particularly targeting rain-fed /degraded land across the country.

b.     Provide technical and infrastructural support for distillation and values-addition to farmers/growers all over the country.

c.      Enabling effective buy-back mechanisms to assure remunerative prices to the farmers/growers.

d.     Value-addition to essential oils and aroma ingredients for their integration in global trade and economy

2.     Phytopharma Mission:This mission aims at developing plant based medicines using Ayurveda concepts and positioning of Ayurveda medicines through multi-target approach and network pharmacology. The objectives to be covered under this mission are:

a.      Captive cultivation of selected medicinal plants for production of Quality Planting Material and Post harvest management package for 21 and  Agrotechnology package for 16 medicinal plants.    

b.     Captive cultivation of selected high value rare, engendered and threatened (RET) medicinal plant species

c.      Technology packages for production of GMP grade medicinal plant extracts for export markets.

d.     Phytopharmaceutical development from important medicinal plants for unmet medical needs.

3.   Sickle cell Anemia Mission: Drug discovery and development of new pre-clinical candidates for Sickle cell Anemia using indigenous plants.

I am pleased to note that Institute is also playing a major role in supporting drug regulatory system of India. The availability of WHO compliant cGMP plant for extraction and formulation of herbal medicines, NABL accredited Quality control & Quality assurance facility, Drug Testing Laboratory, GLP standard animal house, recognition of IIIM as Central Drug Lab for Botanicals &Phytopharmaceutical drugs by DCG(I) and referral lab by FASSI provides the right kind of ecosystem for this.

During the last one year, Institute has started Technology Business Incubator with clear objective to create jobs and entrepreneurship development for the youth of Jammu and Kashmir state and startup companies utilizing the rich bio resources of  J&K. This initiative supported by Department of Science & Technology (Govt. of India) is currently incubating a number of startups within the IIIM campus.           

It is heartening to know that Institute has very robust drug pipeline in the areas of Oncology, Arthritis, Liver protection, Tuberculosis, Alzheimer’s and Peptic ulcers. Number of discoveries is in pre clinical and clinical pipeline. In addition the Institute is also providing the support to major pharma companies in the area of pre clinical development and bio resources.

I am very pleased to learn that this Institute ranks very high among the best research institutes of India and in fact is a unique institute in whole world dedicated to new drug discovery and development from natural products.

The Institute is closely integrated with other major S & T departments and Ministries like AYUSH, DST, DBT, NMPB and J & K science and Technology department thereby helping the J&K state in establishing Industrial Bio tech parks. 

 

Er. Rajneesh Anand, Chief Scientist, CSIR-IIIM, Jammu presented the formal vote of thanks. Later before leaving the campus, Vice President has a walk through the stakeholder exhibition.