CSIR-CDRI budget witnesses decreased allocations in 2016-17

The government funding to Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), Lucknow affiliated to Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has been on drastic decline in last few years

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New Delhi: The government data suggests that there has been a considerable decrease in the budget allocated to the Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), Lucknow during last two years. This is despite the fact that numerous research projects related to various bioscience verticals are currently under process at the Institute.

During the financial year 2014-15, the allocated budget for the leading Institute that is affiliated with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) was Rs 179.789 crore. During 2015-16, the amount allocated was Rs 179.130 crore, which is approximately Rs 65 lakhs lesser than previous one. In the year 2016-17, the funds allocated were Rs 160.497 crore, that is Rs 19 crore lesser than the previous years. Even in the first half of the fiscal year 2017-18, the fund allocation has been Rs 66.788 crore.

The decrease in the allocations seems to be in tune with the government’s policy to get the institutes to generate their own funds through various means including private partnerships.

The shift in the policy was also hinted by the Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare), Mr Faggan Singh Kulaste who mentioned in the Parliament that the collaborative research and public private partnerships focused on product outcomes is being promoted.

The Minister stated that the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Research Programme (DPRP), has been supporting R&D projects in modern Indian System of Medicines since 1994-95 as collaborative projects (public private partnership) and facility projects to academic institutions/national laboratories to cater to the needs of Indian Pharma Industries.

During 2004-05, DST extended support to Indian Pharma industry for R&D projects in drug development. From 2008-09 onwards, this program is extending grants-in-aid to Indian pharmaceutical industries for clinical trials for neglected diseases such as Tuberculosis, Malaria, Kala-Azar, Filariasis, etc.

The major objectives of the program are to synergise the strengths of publicly funded R&D institutions and Indian Pharmaceutical Industry. To create an enabling infrastructure, mechanisms, and linkages to facilitate new drug development; To stimulate skill development of human resources in R&D for drugs and pharmaceuticals, and extend the soft loan for pharma industrial R&D projects.

In addition to the above, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has been pursuing R&D activities in the domain of drugs and pharmaceuticals with the emphasis on affordable healthcare. Further, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has been supporting research (in the area of pharma sector) through extramural research as adhoc projects, fellowship projects, Task Force projects and has established Centres of Advanced Research in Pre-clinical & Clinical Pharmacology with a view to setting up national facilities for the development of New Chemical Entities, stated the Minister in the Parliament.

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