According to a report, the government of India has decided to upgrade the 97-year-old Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to a separate Department of Health Research under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The ICMR is India’s supreme body for the intensive research work, formulation, coordination and promotion in the area of biomedical research.
The government has taken this decision to re-designate the ICMR as a new separate department to make a closer interaction possible with the health systems and disease control programs and to support the continued utilization of scientific and technological advances on biomedical research.
The official spokesperson of the ministry said that the ICMR, with its present structure, was not able to meet some of the challenges to its fullest potential. Now, ICMR, as a new department will be able to build upon and would effectively utilise the research capacity and capabilities to continue the effective health systems research.
The ICMR has a plan to conduct research into social determinants of health and to develop technologies and products to meet the national health priorities.
The government has indicated that the main motto behind the idea of making ICMR as new department is to put the research work on high priority. Now, the ministry has expressed hope that the department would be able to provide good leadership and support in generation of new knowledge.
There is a need to improve the medical and health research in medical schools and colleges that would help in the operationalization of disease control programs in the country.
The ICMR as a separate department under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare would be able to meet the manpower and infrastructure needs for medical and health research in coming days and would get government’s fullest support to translate the research results into policy.