India plans 20 new science and technology institutes

India plans 20 new science and technology institutes

Monday, 08 November 2004, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: India is committed to setting up 20 new science and technology institutes to help the industry meet its demand for trained manpower, Minister of State for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal said here Saturday.

"The government is committed to building 20 institutes of science and technology in the next few years," he said at the concluding session of a meet on 'Building innovative pharma in India' organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

"The government wants to augment the quality and quantity of India's human capital and that is why it was proposing to add these new institutes," the minister said.

As the first step to improve the quality of manpower, Sibal proposed a tripartite alliance bringing together the industry, academia and the government.

"This alliance was imperative to provide Indian industry with appropriately trained manpower, since our pharma companies are going up the value chain and need to develop new products," he said.

Sibal said the biotechnology policy under formulation would be announced by January.

"This would help foster the biotech industry to grow still further," the minister said assuring that all patent laws in the country would also be made compliant with the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) by January 2005.

Highlighting the need to promote innovation for social growth, he said under its New Millennium Initiative for Technology Leadership, his ministry has undertaken a project to develop a "low-cost cure for psoriasis, which affects up to one percent of all Indians".

Psoriasis is a common immune-mediated chronic skin disease, which costs up to $20,000 a year for the full course treatment using drugs developed in the US.

The Indian project is aims to provide an indigenous treatment for $50.

Source: IANS
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