The high power committee (HPC), headed by Prof. P N Tandon, has recommended to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to discontinue several ongoing activities and programmes of ICMR in 12th Plan.
The committee in its report recommended the discontinuation of exploratory and piecemeal research related to herbal products being undertaken at various centres except where a promising lead has been found. It also noted that RMRC, Belgaum is specialized in this area and can be consulted by others for any lead in plant based research of their interest.
Likewise, the committee has also recommended that research on toxicology, metabolic (diabetes) and chronic diseases may be discontinued at NIOP, New Delhi to avoid unnecessary duplication with other institutes.
The Union health ministry had constituted the committee in December, 2012 to evaluate the ongoing activities of the ICMR with the mandate of whether the ongoing schemes of the XI Plan need to be continued in XII Plan or dissolved forthwith; in case if they are to be continued then the need for improvement; phasing expenditure in XII plan for each component of the scheme; and setting of physical and financial milestones/targets for the XII Plan for each component.
Other activities and programmes of the ICMR which the committee recommended to discontinue included studies on the economic cost of dengue in India; nutrition monitoring survey on NNMB pattern in Jodhpur district of Rajasthan; role of cytokines in chikungunya infection in order to generate information with a view to alter current treatment strategies; studies on chronic arthropathy, a complication in chikungunya infection to assess whether patient management strategies could be altered; electronmicrographic studies related to pathogenesis of leprosy; comparative molecular modeling of various important proteins of different leishmania strains and ligand-protein interaction; identification and characterisation of sperm flagellar proteins relevant to motility, etc.