The Union health ministry’s high power committee (HPC) headed by Prof P N Tandon, constituted to evaluate the ongoing activities of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), has recommended to the ICMR for the creation of “Harvest Group” to identify leads from extramural research towards making products, processes and other deliverable for the benefit of the Indian public health system.
The committee further recommended for strengthening the BSL-IV lab of the NIV, Pune through adequate staff and infrastructure development to make it fully functional. It also recommended that strategies should be explored to improve the use of mass-media for better projection of ICMR’s scientific activities to enhance public awareness.
The committee in its recent report further notes that the periodicity of publication of Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR) should be increased to fortnightly in view of the highest impact factor of IJMR among all biomedical journals in India. It further recommended that the ICMR institutes should have MOU with medical colleges, universities, research institutes, in the region for promoting collaborative biomedical research and human resource development.
The panel also recommended for strengthening of various programmes towards creation of more short and long term fellowships for young scientists from SAARC and other developing countries with specific focus on South Asian and African countries. It further noted in its report that the mechanisms to identify and avoid duplication of funding of research projects should be strengthened through involving sister agencies like DBT, CSIR, DST, etc through DHR mechanism.
The union health ministry had constituted the high power 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.