India’s development is incomplete without development of N.E Region: Vice President

New Delhi, Oct 05: The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today praised the contribution of the Indian scientific community in nation building and said that the future progress of our country rests in the hands of our able scientists. He also urged the researchers and scientists to work shoulder to shoulder along with other important groups to make India a Vishwaguru once again.

Addressing the gathering at a the national Seminar on ‘Bioeconomy from Bioresources of North Eastern Region of India’ organized by the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD) in Imphal today.

The Vice President opined that rational thinking and scientific temper are the cornerstones of a progressive nation. “You are endowed with the requisite education, training, focus and discipline to apply pragmatic scientific knowledge for fast-tracking the country’s all-round development,” he said to the scientists present.

Stressing that India’s development is incomplete without development of the North Eastern Region, the Vice President said that the Central Government has been according priority to the North East by adopting a multi dimensional approach for the all round development of the region.

He urged all states to work along with the Center in the true spirit of Team India for growth and prosperity. Reiterating that peace is prerequisite to progress, he said that there can not be any compromise on the unity and integrity of the nation.

Emphasising the need for transparency and corruption free governance, Shri Naidu said that funds meant for the poor should reach them without any diversion or dilution. Stressing the importance of using mother tongue in administration, he called for providing information on development schemes to villagers in local language.

On this occasion, the Vice President inaugurated the Phyto-pharmaceutical Lab Facility at Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD). Observing that the North-Eastern region is a biodiversity Hotspot with its rich variety of ecosystems, Shri Naidu praised IBSD for managing the bioresources of the region for sustainable development using modern biotechnological tools.

He also expressed his happiness that ISBD, an institution under the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) is promoting the Phyto-pharmaceutical Mission of North- Eastern Region.

The Mission that aims to promote the documentation, scientific validation and evaluation of traditional healthcare practices is an important step and assumes special significance in the context of the vast plant resources and diverse traditional healthcare practices of the North-East.

“I am glad to know that ISBD is also focusing on the promotion of start-ups based on the development of herbal medicinal products such as AYUSH drugs, Phyto-pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, among others. This is indeed the need of the hour,” he said.

Noting that the Phyto-pharmaceutical Mission will focus mainly on therapeutic areas like antiviral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and insect repellents, the Vice President opined that this would help in popularizing traditional healthcare practices and would also aid in the development of effective alternative herbal medicines to combat diseases like Covid-19.

“I am certain that the move to target high quality volatile oil producing plants under this programme will attract more farmers to commercial cultivation of aromatic plants of this region,” he added.

The Vice President exuded confidence that transformational approaches in developing products, processes and technologies with local bioresources will help in development of traditional knowledge-based therapeutic agents leading to the socio-economic development of the region as well as benefits to traditional health care practitioners. He also appreciated IBSD’s initiatives in ensuring quality standards of food and water in the North Eastern Region.

On this occasion, the Vice President also visited the recently established Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) facility at the Institute. Praising IBSD’s role in combating the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic, Shri Naidu called the INSACOG network as an important marker in this direction.

It may be noted that through this network, the entire genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 virus across the nation can be tracked aiding our understanding of how the virus spreads and evolves.

Complimenting IBSD for its sterling efforts to sequence the SARS CoV 2 positive samples, the Vice President said that this sequencing laboratory within Manipur is a big leap in our collective fight against the novel coronavirus. He congratulated Prof. Pulok Kumar Mukherjee, Director of IBSD for his efforts in this regard.

Shri Naidu also appreciated IBSD’s numerous outreach programmes to ensure that the fruits of its research reach the common people of this region.

In his address, the Vice President advised the Manipur government to focus on important areas like health, education, agriculture, communication and connectivity to accelerate development in the region. He also asked the state to encourage and the youth to take up different sports.

The Governor of Manipur, Shri La. Ganesan, Chief Minister of Manipur, Shri N. Biren Singh, Chief Secretary of Manipur, Dr Rajesh Kumar, Director, IBSD, Prof. Pulok Kumar Mukherjee, scientists and staff of IBSD attended the event.

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