86th NASI Annual Session: Technical Sessions held on 2nd – 4th Dec at UCOST, Dehradun

86th NASI Annual Session: Technical Sessions

Connecting Academia and Industry

The first session was with the theme “Connecting Academia and Industry”, chaired by Dr. V. P Kamboj (Former President NASI) and Co-chair person Dr. Pramod Tondon (CEO Biotech Park Lucknow). The first lecture was delivered by Dr. G. Padmanaban, in the memory of Padma Bhushan, Dr. V. P. Sharma, an entomologist, known for his work in vector biology and bio environmental control of malaria. The tile for the lecture was “Curcumin from Turmeric: A wonderful drug in waiting”, which focused on tremendous potential of Curcumin as anti-malarial drug.

  • Presented Statistical estimations of affliction and mortality by Malaria worldwide.
  • He specified that ART based therapy and Bed Net in spite of most effective in cure of Malaria, started developing resistance after usage for longer time.
  • He brief about the life cycle of Malaria infection and how it affects the human immune system and further leads to multi-organ failure.
  • As Curcumin do not develop resistance so it could be opt as a better alternate.
  • The quest for anti-malaria focused in heme biosynthesis pathway and stressed on Curcumin for combination Therapy.
  • With his research outcomes (Patent No. 7,776,911 B2) shows the synergistic combination of Curcumin and artemisinin as an anti-malaria agent.
  • Also discussed about Blood Brain Barrier Breakdown (BBB) during Cerebral Malaria pathogenesis and Murine berghei Cerebral Malaria Model.
  • His results proved that Curcumin prevents Cerebral Malaria and delays death by 20 days.
  • Cucumin was isolated from turmeric in 1815, however is not an approved drug, for the reason ; can cure almost any disease, acts on every molecular site, its bioavailability is poor and not patentable.
  • He further recommended the use of Curcumin backed by hard core scientific and clinical evidence that may pave the way for its wider use.

Dr. V. P. Kambhoj thanked Profl G. Padmanabhan for his valuable research on Curcumin and invited Dr. Neeraj Tyagi to read the citation for Dr. V. P. Sharma memorial award. Prof. G. Padmanabhan was felicitated the honor by Dr. V. P. Kambhoj, Dr. Pramod Tandon and Dr. Akilesh Tyagi.

The next lecture for the session was by Dr. Anil K. Tripathi (Director, CSIR – Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, PO CIMAP, Lucknow) on the topic, “Empowering Farmers through medicinal and aromatic plants”.  He started with his focus of CIMAP initiatives for empowering farmers.

  • He elaborated the basic model of the institute in development of improved varieties, development of agro technologies, extension and skill developments of farmers and further processing technologies for value addition.
  • He let us know about flagship crop of CIMAP-Mentha which has about ~25000 T of production in 2,50,000 Hect. area, where India is the global leader in production and export of Menthol mint.
  • He also discussed the problems associated with the identification and cultivation of Menthol Mint in different areas of country, however also further suggested few solutions like, high menthol and biomass producing genotype, early maturing variety, quality standard maintenance, insect tolerance, late transplanting ,inter-cropping and early mint technology.
  • He also unfolds major released, high yield variety CIM-Kranti and most effective anti malarial variety of Artemisia annua.
  • CIMAP has also released varieties of  Cymbopogon flexuosus (lemon grass), Vetiveria zizanoides (khus) and Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) with high content of active ingredient.
  • CIMAP is also involved in quality seeds of varieties and promotion of cultivation in rain-fed areas. Also promoting technologies for processing and value-addition related to MSME including improved distillation technologies for aromatic crops.
  • CIMAP has introduced improved process technologies for phyto-pharmaceuticals like silymarine from Silybum marianum, calliterpenone from Callicarpa macrophylla, curcuminoids from Curcuma longa.
  • Promoted commercialization of herbal formulations like mint oil base relaxomap for muscle pain management, citronella oil based mosquito repellent, herbal oil based sanitary napkins.
  • CIMAP also work on policies for involvement and promotion of local entrepreneurs.
  • CIMAP works with special focus on dry and eroded land, flood prone areas, saline areas and hills and valleys.

Industry-Technology Development and Adaptation –

The session was with the theme “Industry-Technology Development and Adaptation”, chaired by Dr. Ashok Mishra-

  • She started with the opportunity and challenges like small farming, crop diversification and technological intervention for hybrid seed production into the Himalayan region.
  • She stressed on Genetically Modified Technology to be scale neutral that can benefit farmers in hilly regions.
  • He stated about the achievements of his company in the field of Animal nutrition and healthcare with main focus on aqua culture.
  • It is based on Reflectance Photometry and determines the color of the individual pads of urine dipstick and compares with the built-in reference scale. Low cost stripes for sample checking are also available with the complete package.

The session concluded with the question hour session in which the suggestions from dignitaries in the field of affordable healthcare were proper market analysis, IPR protection and economic valuation. In the field of animal husbandry, the main suggestions were to further analyze the effects on the human being after consumption of these animals who are subjected for using up these feeds. The session ended with felicitation and memento presentation to all the dignitaries on the dais.

Agricultural Tools and New Technologies –

Session Chaired by Dr. Jitendra Paul khurana (Professor and head, dept. of plant molecular biology, university of Delhi, New Delhi) –

  • He emphasized on primitive land races of wheat occurred in India can be used for varietal improvement.
  • As in India maximum wheat is consumed for only chapattis there are various market products is being manufactured by wheat flour therefore a “gluten-free” wheat flour varieties should be developed for the manufacturing of wheat based products and to promote the entrepreneurship in India.
  • There are various plant breeding techniques which can be used for developing new plant varieties can be pest resistance drought resistance etc.
  • There is need to train breeders in marker technology and also a seed production institution for supply and multiplication of quality seeds.

Session 6: Mentoring, Livelihood Security and Commercialization

The concluding session was chair by Dr. Rajendra Dobhal, Director General, UCOST and co-chaired by Dr. Shashi Bala Singh, Scientist, Director General, DRDO. The first speaker for the session was Dr. Amitabha Bandyopadhyay and topic for his presentation was “Challenges and opportunities in bioincubation: A bird’s eye view”.

  • He presented a brief introduction of his bioincubator at IIT Kanpur, funding options, current incubator companies and facilities provided.
  • He also discussed the entrepreneurship aspects taken forward with the help of these kinds of bioincubator centers.
  • He presented two success stories of enterprises; Curadev and Apcegen Technologies that are came out from similar bioincubator ventures.
  • He emphasis on the managerial aspects of conversion of an idea to a finished product and address the challenges associated with the same.
  • He further added about the opportunities to the startups from various initiatives from Biotech Consortium India Limited (BCIL) and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council(BIRAC) BIRAC.
  • He compared statistical data on the investment in the startup in India verses America, which suggest an urge need for raise in funding options from government.
  • India is recognized as the “Pharmacy of the World” so more investment and better government policies would encourage research in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology sector.
  • With their experience, they suggest that highly skilled and trained individuals with years of industry experience are more likely to succeed with the research and commercialization of new products.
  • He concluded with the urge to have an enabling ecosystem, policies for vertical and horizontal expansion and to overcome the hurdles associated with commercialization.

The second speaker for the session was Dr. Alok Kumar Srivastava on the topic “Nutri-food intervention in combating malnutrition in children- a model study”. The main focus was on nutritional intervention at village level by Center Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore.

  • He discussed the model adopted by the organization to supplement the malnutrition children at villages of Mysore with the help of aaganbadi workers and local governance.
  • He also discussed about the water potable filter distributed to anganbadi centers, as water is one of the crucial element affecting the nutritional values.
  • He talk about some nutri-food which were food supplements so as to incorporate balance diet in the children which was further tested for its outcomes and prove to have very impressive results.
  • They are also connecting the project to promote women empowerment via anganbadi centers and also get connected to handicap students.
  • He concluded to further scale up the project to other states and the project is also a part of Swasth Bharat Abhiyan.

 

The session concluded with the question hour session in which the suggestions from dignitaries to further implicate the project to more states with major focus on Himalayan region. The final remark was to generate more opportunities to the startups can be provided with the incubators especially in biotechnology sector. The session ended with felicitation and memento presentation to all the dignitaries on the dais.

Concluding session

Chairman: Prof. Manju Sharma Co-chair : Dr. Ashok Misra

Prof. Manju Sharma invited all the chair and co-chair to give the final remarks on the presentation made by the speakers of respective sessions, and further give their recommendations with special target to Himalayan region. She also mention to brief about the current issues and challenges that were raised in every sessions and emphasis on the importance of resources and need to explore more out of it so as to generate employment and better livelihood opportunities.

Session 1: Dr. G. Padmanabhan and Dr. Pramod Tandon gave the final remarks for first session as follows:

  • Generation of herbal products on large scale.
  • To develop a strategy to promote entrepreneurship.
  • Lots of employment should generate in the medical and herbal sector so UCOST should develop such entrepreneurship programs.

Session 2: Dr. Jitendra Paul Khurana and Prof. Veena Tandon Tandon gave the final remarks for first session as follows:

  • To tackle the forest fire existing resources could be utilized fully inspite of new setups that would be of high cost.
  • Recommendation on revised policies and reformation in funding mechanism.

Thanked Dr. Ashok Mishra for help in raising funds from private sector.

Session 3: Dr. Ashok Mishra and Prof. B. Ramakrishnan gave the final remarks for first session as follows:

  • Industry is also hungry for new innovations for commercialization.
  • To encourage research and commercialization of semi-automated biomedical equipments to reach out to large population economically.
  • Could collaborate with Industry to generate better research prospects.

There was presentation by Dr. Shreya Malik on BCIL initiatives to promote entrepreneurship and skill development.

Session 5: Dr. Rajendra  Dobhal and Dr. Shashi Bala Singh gave the final remarks for first session as follows:

  • To start incubator in UCOST to facilitate startups.
  • To implement projects on nutritional intervention on larger scale at other states.