IMPHAL (Manipur), Feb 25: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh inaugurated here today “International Biotech Conclave”, the first-ever in Northeast, of such high scale and such futuristic as well as global themes.
He said, for the first time since Independence, the North Eastern Region is organising an event involving over 700 International and national delegates, representing over 35 countries from across the world.
The Minister informed that “International Bio-resource Conclave” along with the 22nd Congress of the International Society for Ethno-pharmacology and the 10th Congress of Society for Ethno-pharmacology (ISE SFEC-2023) will be held from February 24-26, 2023 at the City Convention Centre, Imphal, Manipur with the theme “Reimagine Ethnopharmacology: Globalisation of Traditional Medicine”.
Inaugurating the International Conference, Dr Jitendra Singh said, it’s heartening to note that this is happening in Manipur, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had over the last 9 years transformed Northeast from a terror tag to a peaceful development model. He also emphasised that earlier funds allocated to the Northeast did not reach the bottom level, but after Modi became the Prime Minister in May, 2014, funds are reaching to the real beneficiaries at the villages and being utilised for development.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Prime Minister has always given high priority to Northeast and other Hilly and Backward terrains since he assumed charge and added that Modi has visited the Northeast more than 50 times in the last 9 years, while the Union Ministers have also visited the North-Eastern Region more than 400 times.
Dwelling on the subject of the Conference, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Institute of Bio-resources and Sustainable Development (IBSD) is organising the Conference in collaboration with Society for Ethno-pharmacology, India and International Society for Ethno-pharmacology, Switzerland. He praised IBSD for taking this initiative and said that this is happening for the development of bio-resources and traditional healer’s practices of this region for societal benefit and livelihood generation.
The Minister added that this programme encouraged many entrepreneurs to promote unique bio-resources and traditional knowledge of this region and also informed that IBSD has setup Bio Incubators Nurturing Entrepreneurship for Scaling Technologies (BioNEST) incubator at IBSD, Node Meghalaya to develop women entrepreneurship in Meghalaya.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, IBSD is working on therapeutic areas like antiviral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and insect repellents, anti-diabetic, anti-arthritis, bronchial asthma, gastro-protectives and immuno-modulation. He said, the institute has performed metabolomics studies of several medicinal plants with potential therapeutic effects for establishing their mechanism of action with network pharmacology and synergistic study and hoped that this research will lead to different transformational approaches from tradition for developing products, processes and technologies with local bio-resources. This will also help in development of traditional knowledge based therapeutic agents leading to socioeconomic development of the region as well as benefits to traditional health care practitioners, he added.
Dr Rajesh Gokhale, Secretary DBT said that the healthcare in India is at crossroads as several innovative and disruptive technologies are emerging at a very fast pace. He said, life expectancy in India is coming down and that is matter of concern for scientific and medical community.
Shekhar Dutta, former Governor of Chhattisgarh said in his address that India is home to many traditional medicine systems like Ayurveda, Siddha, and Part of Unani and Indian Civilisation was taking very keen interest in identifying and making use of bio-resources for medicinal use. He said, the need of the hour is to develop good collection, storage and finally good manufacturing practices with standardisation of Traditional Pharmacology.
In his address, Prof. Marco Leonti, Secretary, ISE & Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cagliari, Italy said that India is taking huge interest in Ethno-Pharmacology and this is a very good sign that more and more research projects are being undertaken.
Prof. Pulok K. Mukherjee, Director, IBSD underlined that to fulfil the vision of the Prime Minister for Atmanirbahar Bharat., IBSD has established linkages between traditional healers and the scientific communities for benefit sharing and promotion of start-ups with Ethno Entrepreneurships based on development of herbal medicinal based products, fermented foods, edible mushrooms and insects.
Indraneel Das, Vice President, Society for Ethnopharmacology, Kolkata, India presented the Vote of thanks.
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