The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has successfully validated ‘COVIRAP,’ the diagnostic machine evolved by the IIT Kharagpur researchers, for its efficacy in COVID-19 detection. Various commercial units have already approached the Institute for technology licensing to enable a rapid reach of this innovation to the common people across the State. After rigorous testing with the patient samples by an authorized ICMR laboratory, adhering to their strict guidelines, ICMR has now provided green signal to certification for this COVID-19 Diagnostic Test. This test has been designed to be fairly easy to conduct and it is quite affordable as well which may produce results in a custom-developed mobile phone application within an hour. Addressing a Virtual Press Conference today to announce this major development in the nation’s fight against COVID-19, the Union Minister of Education Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said, “I am glad the researchers from IIT Kharagpur have achieved the goal of Atmanirbhar Bharat through this medical technology innovation. This would go on impacting the lives of many in rural India as the device is portable and can be operated on a very low energy supply. Minimally trained rural youth can operate this device.” The minister added that the innovation has made “high-quality and accurate COVID testing affordable for the common people with a testing cost of around ₹ 500/- which can further be reduced through government intervention.” He said, “As informed by IIT Kharagpur, this machine can be developed at a cost of less than ₹ 10,000/- with minimal infrastructural requirement making the technology affordable to common people. The testing process in this new machine is completed within an hour.” Dr Pokhriyal congratulated Prof. V.K. Tewari, Director, IIT Kharagpur and the research team led by Prof. Suman Chakraborty and Dr. Arindam Mondal for this path-breaking innovation taking molecular diagnostics from high-end labs to the field.
The project received financial support from the Institute in late April 2020 as Prof. Tewari decided to establish a dedicated fund to support COVID-19 related research and product development as per an initiative by the Union Ministry of Education following the vision of Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, the Minister.
Speaking about this test, Prof. V. K. Tewari, Director, IIT Kharagpur, said, “This is indeed one of the greatest contributions in the history of medical science, particularly in the area of virology, and is well set to replace PCR-based tests to a large extent.”
It is to be mentioned that the subsequent financial support to this project was provided by the IIT Foundation, USA, to meet the various expenses in the clinical testing phase. Partial financial support has also been provided from the Common Research and Technology Development Hub on Affordable Healthcare, established by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Government of India, at IIT Kharagpur.
Dr. Shanta Dutta, Director, ICMR-NICED while appreciating the efforts of the fellow researchers stated, “While overseeing the testing and validation, I was very impressed with the portable low-cost machine unit that can truly be a game-changer for COVID-19 diagnostics at peripheral laboratories with the support of unskilled human resources as operators. This now needs a rapid commercial scale-up to cater to the needs of the underserved population. ICMR-NICED will be pleased to facilitate support for further improvisations in the method towards even superior performance.”
Elaborating on the validation process of ‘COVIRAP’ Diagnostic Test, Dr. Mamta Chawla Sarkar, an internationally acclaimed Virologist who oversaw the patient trials on behalf of ICMR-National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) said, “A detailed scrutiny of the testing results has clearly shown that this assay holds the capability of detecting extremely low levels of viral loads that any other method based on similar principles of testing, even those from the most celebrated research groups across the world, could not come up with so far. In practice, this means that very early stages of infection can be detected, thereby isolating the patient and arresting the uncontrolled spread of infection in the community via asymptomatic patients.”
This new testing method implements a highly reliable and accurate molecular diagnostic procedure that can be conducted in an ultra-low-cost portable device unit developed by the research team of IIT Kharagpur. The test results are rendered via a custom-made mobile application for dissemination without requiring manual interpretation.
This novel diagnostic platform, developed by the team of researchers is led by Prof. Suman Chakraborty, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Kharagpur, and Dr. Arindam Mondal, Assistant Professor, School of Bio-Science, IIT Kharagpur. This diagnostic device has been subjected to rigorous testing protocols as per the ICMR guidelines, at ICMR-NICED, an Institute authorized by ICMR. The tests conducted there have revealed that the results from this new assay are of standards comparable to the celebrated RT-PCR tests, with a remarkably high level of specificity and sensitivity, the two common parameters used as indicators of efficacy of any diagnostic test.
ICMR-NICED has further certified the test to be extremely user-friendly. Notably, the number of tests per one-hour batch in a single machine unit can be further increased for much higher limits, for the purpose of testing on a mass scale.
Elaborating on the test, Prof. Suman Chakraborty, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering Department, IIT Kharagpur, said, “The patented machine unit has not only been proven to be robust during the patient sample testing but has also demonstrated to be extremely flexible and generic. This means that other than COVID-19 testing, many other tests, falling under the category of ‘isothermal nucleic acid-based tests’ (INAT), can be performed in the same machine. In other words, Influenza, Malaria, Dengue, Japanese encephalitis, Tuberculosis and many other infectious, as well as vector-borne diseases, can be tested using the same machine. This will virtually minimize the need for thermal cyclers or real-time PCR machines, without sacrificing the expected high standards of a molecular diagnostic test.” He added “Today, it is COVID-19; yesterday, it was Leprosy and Tuberculosis; tomorrow, it will be something else. This technology is all set to create a revolution in the rapid and low-cost detection of all these, by bringing high-end molecular diagnostics from the lab to the field. The impact of this, therefore, is long-lasting, empowered by the capability of detecting unforeseen pandemics in the coming years that may potentially endanger human lives time and again.”
According to Dr. Arindam Mondal, Assistant Professor, School of Biosciences, IIT Kharagpur, “During the testing phase of patient samples, all kits, exclusively developed at IIT Kharagpur, were transported in an uncontrolled environment for hours to the testing unit, which shows high levels of stability of the reagents that are being used for the testing.”
Speaking regarding the commercialization of ‘COVIRAP,’ Prof. Tewari, said, “While the Institute can produce the testing kit up to a certain scale, patent licensing will facilitate commercialization opportunities for medical technology companies. Any corporate or start-up may approach the Institute for technology licensing and commercial scale of production. The Institute is open to tie-ups, with due measures of protecting the interest of public health amidst the pandemic situation.”
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2. Unacademy Announces Go-For-Gold Initiative for School Students Unacademy Announces Go-For-Gold Initiative for School Students
Mumbai, November 24, 2020: Unacademy, India’s leading learning platform, has announced the Go-For-Gold Initiative for Indian school students participating in the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) 2021. The IOI is one of the most prestigious UNESCO-recognized Olympiads in programming and informatics for school students.
The Go-For-Gold Initiative was st
4. Government is Implementing a Number of Schemes / Programmes to Increase Literacy Rates and Education Level of STs Ministry of Tribal Affairs has been implementing a separate Central Sector Scheme ‘Eklavya Model Residential Schools’ (EMRSs) from 2019-20. The objective of EMRS is to provide quality upper primary, secondary and senior secondary level education to Scheduled Tribe (ST) students to enable them to access the best opportunities in education and to bring them at par with the general population. 285 EMRSs are currently functional across the country.
As per Census 2011, literacy rate of S
5. Package to Check Unemployment Rate Shri Santosh Gangwar, Minister of State (I/C) for Labour & Employment has said that the global spread of the corona virus (COVID-19) followed by lockdowns has affected global economies including India. Covid-19 has resulted in large number of migrant workers going back to their native places and loss of jobs has also been observed in India during this period. Replying to questions in written reply in Lok Sabha today he said that Government has taken initiatives for creating jobs at local
6. National Research Centre on Camels For setting up of a branch in Gujarat of National Research Centre on Camel (NRCC), Bikaner, an appropriate size of land and other resources on nominal cost/lease basis is desired from the Government of Gujarat.
Steps to protect Kharai camels:-
1. Kharai camel has been characterized, registered and gazette notified as breed by DARE/ICAR.
2. NRCC has signed an MoU with Kamdhenu University, Gujarat for further breed conservation and development by (i) Training of farmers for sc
7. AICTE approves inclusion of Geospatial as a subject in GATE and NET exam Students competing for the popular National Eligibility Test (NET) for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and lectureship in Indian universities and colleges, including IITs and NITs and Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) for JRF in CSIR laboratories, can now opt for Geospatial as a subject.
The All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has approved for the inclusion of Geospatial subject in GATE and NET examination on the recommendation of the N
10. Steps taken by the Government to ensure quality education for vulnerable groups Government is committed to ensure equal access to online/digital education, even when done remotely. Quality Online courses are provided through SWAYAM which is an indigenously developed MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) platform. Since everyone does not have access to internet, under one of the flagship Initiatives,SWAYAM-Prabha, Ministry of Education is providing 34 educational TV channels covering educational contents for Schools and Higher Educational Institutions. Curriculum-based
11. Initiatives taken by government to ensure quality education in Rural Areas The Government of India has launched SamagraShiksha - an Integrated Scheme for school education, w.e.f. 2018-19, which is an overarching programme for the school education sector extending from pre-school to class XII and aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels of school education. It envisages the ‘school’ as a continuum from pre-school, primary, upper primary, secondary to senior secondary levels and susbsumes the three erstwhile centrally sponsored sche
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Most of the research area in various schemes are decided by panel of expert academicians and researchers, and all researchers at various institutes carry out research in their own area of interests. Though the Government wants research to benefit the nation as a whole by promoting research in local problems as well as emergin
14. Study on Cultivation of GM Crops Bt cotton is the only genetically modified (GM) crop that has been approved for commercial cultivation in 2002 by the Government of India. Long term studies were conducted by ICAR on the impact of Bt cotton which did not show any adverse effect on soil, microflora and animal health. However, the Parliam
15. National Webinar on Internationalisation of Higher Education under Shiksha Parv A National Webinar on ‘Internationalisation of Higher Education’ was conducted today by Department of Higher Education and University Grants Commission. Government of India has recently launched National Education Policy-2020 making way for large scale, transformational reforms in both school and higher education sectors. Ministry of Education is organising series of Webinars as part of ‘Shikshak Parv’ starting from 8th S
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18. Monuments Monuments
Near the gardens of Taj Mahal stands the important 16th-century Mughal monument known as the Red Fort of Agra. This powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses within its 2.5-km-long enclosure walls, the imperial city of the Mughal rulers. The forbidding exteriors of this fort hide an inner paradise. There are a number of exquisite buildings like Moti Masjid - a
19. Achievements of Indian Science Congress Annual Indian Science Congress has been held every year ever since 1914. This year, 107th Indian Science Congress was held at University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK Campus, Bangalore, Karnataka from 3-7th January, 2020 with the Focal Theme - Science & Technology : Rural Development
Through this process, the Indian Science Congress Association has been contributing to the development of Science in general and National Science Policy, in particular. The Children Science Congress, Women Sci
20. NEP to create a new system that is aligned with the aspirational goals of 21st century education : Education Minister Ministry of Education has announced the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) on 29.07.2020 after obtaining approval of Cabinet which is available at Ministry of Educations website at https://www.mhrd.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/NEP_Final_English_0.pdf. NEP 2020 is the first education policy of the 21st century and aims to address the many growing developmental imperatives of our country. This Policy proposes the revision and revamping of all aspects of the education structure, including i
22. SBI Clerk Mains Result declared for waitlist at sbi.co.in he State Bank of India (SBI) has declared the results of the Clerk Mains 2019-20 examination on the official website of the bank. Candidates who appeared in the SB Mains 2019 examiation are advised to visit the official website of the Bank - sbi.co.in - to check their result.
The SBI released the provisional waiting list of Clerk Mains Result 2019-20 on its website against non-joining and resignation.
The SBI Clerk Mains Exam was held on August 10, 2019, and September 20,
23. Highlights of New Education Policy-2020 Ministry of Education has announced the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) on 29.07.2020 which has been made available at Ministry of Education’s website at https://www.mhrd.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/NEP_Final_English_0.pdf.The special features of NEP 2020 includes:-
Ensuring Universal Access at All Levels of schooling from pre-primary school to Grade
24. Steps taken by Ministry of Education to ensure Quality Education to Students across the country In order to target Universalisation of Secondary Education, the Department of School Education & Literacy has launched the Integrated Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Samagra Shiksha from 2018-19, which subsumes the erstwhile Centrally Sponsored Schemes of SarvaShikshaAbhiyan, RashtriyaMadhyamikShikshaAbhiyan and Teacher Education. The scheme provides support inter-alia to the States and UTs for upgradation and strengthening of schools, including secondary schools in un-covered areas, and various other
25. Partnership with International Agencies To ensure that skilling fulfils the aspiration of the people at local level including Panchayat level, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship is laying emphasis on empowering the District. It is envisaged that the District Skill Committee under the District Collector would not only facilitate development of district skill development plans but also oversee the implementations for better delivery. District Skill Committees would work closely with the Ministry to drive ski
26 Faculty Professor Vacancy Recruitment in AIIMS Rishikesh#Faculty & Teaching31 Days Remaining for Apply Faculty Professor Vacancy Recruitment in AIIMS Rishikesh
Online applications on prescribed format are invited by Director, AIIMS, Rishikesh from suitable candidate for filling up 24 Group-A Faculty Sarkari Naukri vacancy posts Professor in various subjects/disciplines on direct recruitment basis in All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Rishikesh (Uttarakhand) (Advertisement No. 2020/105-128).
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