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Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi is the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination, and promotion of biomedical research. It is one of the oldest medical research bodies in the world.

History of ICMR

The first meeting of the Governing Body of the Indian Research Fund Association (IRFA) was held on 15th November 1911 (at the Plague Laboratory, Bombay, under the Chairmanship of Sir Harcourt Butler). Articles of the Association were considered and a Scientific Advisory Board was constituted at the same meeting.

At the second meeting in 1912 of the Governing Body, a historic decision was taken to start a journal for Indian Medical Research.

The Indian Journal of Medical Research was started in 1913-14 (under the authority of the Director-General, Indian Medical Services).

The following initiatives were started during the period 1918 - 1920:

  • The 'Beri-Beri Enquiry' was started at Coonoor (under the guidance of Sir Robert McCarrison)
  • 'Quinine and Malaria Enquiry' was initiated (under Major Sinton at Kasauli)
  • Kala-azar Ancillary Enquiry was started (with Major Knowles and Dr. Napier)
  • Research on Indigenous Drugs was initiated (under Col. R.N. Chopra at the Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine, Calcutta)
  • In 1923, the first All India Conference of Medical Research Workers was convened at the Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Calcutta (this became an annual event subsequently)

In 1925, research on nutritional diseases was started at Coonoor (by Col. McCarrison under 'Deficiency Diseases Enquiry').

In 1926, IRFA received the first munificent public contribution of Rs. 1 lakh from the Maharaja of Parla Kimedi.

In 1927, fructification of the plans of Lt. Col. S.R. Christophers for creation of a Central Malaria Organization as "Malaria Survey of India" (by absorbing the Central Malaria Bureau at Kasauli and the Enquiries on Quinine and Malaria and Indian Culicidae). An Experimental Malaria Station was set up at Karnal as a part of Malaria Survey of India.

In 1929, the 'Deficiency Diseases Enquiry' was converted into a Centre of Nutrition Research (with Col. McCarrison as its first Director).

In 1932, the Governing Body of IRFA completed the task of setting up the Institute of Hygiene and Public Health at Calcutta.

In 1937, a course of training in nutrition was started at the Nutrition Research Laboratories at Coonoor. "The Nutritive Value of Indian Foods and Planning of Satisfactory Diets" was prepared (which has now been reprinted repeatedly).

IRFA was registered as a local body not administered by the Government on 22nd March 1938 under the Government of India Act No. XXI of 1860. In tune with the recommendation of the Conference of Far Eastern Countries on Rural Hygiene held in Java in 1937, the Government of India decided that the Nutrition Advisory Committee of the IRFA should also function as the National Nutrition Committee for India. The "Malaria Survey of India" was re-designated as the "Malaria Institute of India". "The Records of the Malaria Survey of India" was re-designated as the "Journal of the Malaria Institute of India" (which subsequently became the Indian Journal of Malariology in 1947).

In 1941, a Research Fellowship Scheme was started by IRFA.

In 1942, the transmission cycle of the parasite of Kala-azar was elucidated by Swaminath, Smith, Shortt and Anderson.

In 1945, a Clinical Research Advisory Committee was appointed as a first step to enable greater attention being paid to clinical research and the development of research in medical colleges. A Clinical Research Unit (the first research unit of IRFA attached to a medical institution) was established at the Indian Cancer Research Centre, Bombay.

In 1948, Dr. C.G. Pandit was appointed as the first full-time secretary of IRFA in July 1948.

In 1949, IRFA was re-designated as the Indian Council of Medical Research (with Dr. C.G. Pandit as its first Director). The ICMR is funded by the Government of India through the Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

Mandate, Vision and Mission

Mandate

  • Apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research
  • Conduct, coordinate and implement medical research for the benefit of the society
  • Translating medical innovations into products/processes and introducing them into the public health system

Vision

Translating Research into Action for Improving the Health of the Population.

Mission

  • Generate, manage and disseminate new knowledge
  • Increase focus on research on the health problems of the vulnerable, the disadvantaged and marginalized sections of the society
  • Harness and encourage the use of modern biology tools in addressing health concerns of the country
  • Encourage innovations and translation related to diagnostics, treatment, methods/vaccines for prevention
  • Inculcate a culture of research in academia especially medical colleges and other health research institutions by strengthening infrastructure and human resource

About ICMR

The Governing Body of ICMR is presided over by the Union Health Minister. It is assisted in scientific and technical matters by a Scientific Advisory Board comprising eminent experts in different biomedical disciplines. The Board, in its turn, is assisted by a series of Scientific Advisory Groups, Scientific Advisory Committees, Expert Groups, Task Forces, Steering Committees etc. which evaluate and monitor different research activities of the Council.

ICMR has made an outstanding contribution as a knowledge-generating agency and contributed to understanding various diseases of national importance such as malaria, Japanese encephalitis, tuberculosis, AIDS, Kala-azar, filariasis, leprosy and poliomyelitis. Additionally, ICMR has made extensive contributions in the areas of nutrition, reproduction and maternal and child health, occupational and environmental health and research complimenting health systems. ICMR regional medical research institutes/centres have been contributing to tackling regional health problems.

Training and capacity building of young investigators, medical and allied health professionals and providing funding support for research projects to investigators all over the country are other very unique and significant contributions of ICMR.

ICMR continues to provide extramural funding to strengthen research capabilities within the institutes of the council as well as other research institutes, medical colleges and Non-Governmental Organizations for various research projects. It promotes extramural research through different schemes such as Centres for Advanced Research in chosen research areas, task force studies with the goal-oriented approach and clearly defined targets and grants-in-aid to stand-alone research applications received from various parts of the country.

ICMR Schemes for Human Resource Development

Human Resource Development for biomedical research is supported by ICMR through various schemes such as:

  • Research Fellowships (Junior and Senior Fellowships and Research Associateships)
  • Short-Term Visiting Fellowships (which allow scientists to learn advanced research techniques from other well-established research institutes in India)
  • Short-Term Research Studentships (for undergraduate medical students to encourage them to familiarize themselves with research methodologies and techniques)
  • Training Programmes and Workshops conducted by ICMR Institutes and Headquarters
  • Position of Emeritus Scientists for retired medical scientists and teachers to enable them to continue carrying out research on specific biomedical topics
  • Awards prizes to Indian scientists (young as well as established ones) in recognition of their significant contributions in biomedical and health research

ICMR Institutes

Name of Institute Website
ICMR Institutes
ICMR National JALMA Institute for Leprosy & Other Mycobacterial Diseases (NJILOMD), Agra www.jalma-icmr.org.in
ICMR National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH), Ahmedabad www.nioh.org
ICMR National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Belagavi (NITM), Nehru Nagar www.icmrnitm.res.in
ICMR National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research (NCDIR), Bengaluru www.ncdirindia.org
ICMR Bhopal Memorial Hospital & Research Center (BMHRC), Bhopal www.bmhrc.ac.in
ICMR National Institute for Research in Environmental Health (NIREH), Bhopal www.nireh.icmr.org.in
ICMR National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT), Chennai www.nirt.res.in
ICMR National Institute of Epidemiology (NIE), Chennai www.nie.gov.in
ICMR National Institute of Pathology (NIP), New Delhi www.instpath.gov.in
ICMR National Institute of Medical Statistics (NIMS), New Delhi www.icmr-nims.nic.in
ICMR National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR), New Delhi www.nimr.org.in
ICMR National Animal Resource Facility for Biomedical Research (NARFBR), Hyderabad www.narfbr.org
ICMR National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad www.nin.res.in
ICMR National Institute for Research in Tribal Health (NIRTH), Jabalpur www.nirth.res.in
ICMR National Institute for Implementation Research on Non-Communicable Diseases (NIIRNCD), Jodhpur www.dmrcjodhpur.nic.in
ICMR National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED), Kolkata www.niced.org.in
ICMR National Institute of Immunohaematology (NIIH), Mumbai www.niih.org.in
ICMR National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health (NIRRH), Mumbai www.nirrh.res.in
ICMR National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR), Noida www.nicpr.res.in
ICMR Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences (RMRIMS), Patna www.rmrims.org.in
ICMR Vector Control Research Centre (VCRC), Puducherry www.vcrc.res.in
ICMR National AIDS Research Institute (ICMR NARI), Pune www.nari-icmr.res.in
ICMR National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune www.niv.co.in
Regional Medical Research Centres
ICMR Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), Bhubaneswar www.rmrcbbsr.gov.in
ICMR Regional Medical Research Centre, NE Region (RMRC), Dibrugarh www.rmrcne.org.in
ICMR Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), Gorakhpur www.rmrcgkp.icmr.org.in
ICMR Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), Port Blair www.rmrc.res.in
Centres under Institutes
ICMR Regional Occupational Health Centre (Southern) (NIOH), Bengaluru www.nioh.org
ICMR Centre for Research, Management & Control of Heamoglobinopathies (NIIH), Chandrapur www.niih.org.in
ICMR Regional Occupational Health Centre, Eastern (NIOH), Kolkata www.nioh.org
ICMR Centre for Research in Medical Entomology VCRC, Madurai www.vcrc.res.in

Major Activities of ICMR

Network of 26 Institutes

  • Involved in the evaluation of new drugs, insecticides, vaccines, devices, diagnostic kits & other interventions for all diseases of national health priority along with neglected and regional ones
  • Taken health research to every corner of the country No other agency in India has such outreach

Clinical Trial Registry India (CTRI)

  • Registers all the clinical trials conducted in India in order to improve transparency and accountability, ensure conformation to accepted ethical standards and reporting of all relevant results of the trials
  • ICMR also provides ethical guidelines for clinical trials

National Cancer Registry Programme

  • Generate reliable data on the magnitude and pattern of cancer in India
  • Undertake epidemiological studies based on the results of registry data
  • Help in designing, planning, monitoring and evaluation of cancer control activities under the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP)
  • Develop training programmes in cancer registration and epidemiology

Surveillance Networks (IDSP, Rotavirus, Polio, Antimicrobial Resistance etc.)

  • Generate timely and geographically representative data on the clinical, epidemiological, and pathological features of several diseases in the Indian population
  • Only Indian agency conducting surveillance of viral diseases

Nutrition

Identified the priority areas, conducted research in a multicentre mode and found effective, practical, economically viable and sustainable solutions for the plethora of nutrition-related problems affecting people

Nutritive value of Indian Foods and Food Fortification are landmark achievements of ICMR

Support in Outbreak/Epidemics/Pandemics/National Emergencies

  • Surveillance of health impact due To Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004 (NIE, NIRT, NICED, CRME, VCRC, RMRC-PB)
  • Environment and health impact assessment for Bhopal Gas Tragedy, 1984 (NIOH,NIMS, BHRMC,NIP, NICPR)
  • Earthquake in Gujarat, 2001 (NIMR, DMRC)
  • Supercyclone in Odisha, 1999 (NIMR)
  • Epidemic Investigations during SARS/H1N1, and preparedness for ZIKA and Ebola viruses, etc.

Provides Inputs for Policy Implementation

  • DOTS for tuberculosis
  • MDT for leprosy
  • Malaria Drug Policy in North-East
  • ORS implementation in diarrhoea

Provides Guidelines/Regulations

  • National Guidelines for Accreditation, Supervision and Regulation of ART Clinics in India
  • Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research on Human Participants
  • Guidelines for Good Clinical Laboratory Practices
  • Guidelines for Safety Assessment of Foods Derived from Genetically Engineered Plants
  • Intellectual Property Rights Policy
  • Guidelines for Stem Cell Research (2013)
  • Dietary Guidelines for Indians

Isolation/characterization of new pathogens

  • Asia’s first BSL-4 laboratory developed by ICMR
  • Cholera strain O139
  • Kyasanur forest disease (KFD)
  • Leptospirosis
  • Paragonimiasis

Research support to medical colleges all over the country

  • Funds majority of research in medical colleges
  • Short Term Studentship Program - promote interest and aptitude for research among medical undergraduates

Capacity building

Generate and nurture human resources for health research activities through various fellowships:

  • Junior Research Fellowships (JRF)
  • Senior Research Fellowships (SRF)
  • Research Associateships (RA)
  • Short-Term Research Studentships (STS)
  • Training/Workshops

Centre for Advanced Research (CARE)

The scheme CARE was formulated to encourage in-depth research on an identified research problem with the aim of generating new knowledge and having a better understanding of a disease or a health condition. The activities could focus on one or multiple aspects like causation, progression, management, and prevention

A scientist with outstanding achievements and recognition in a given field can approach ICMR with a specific proposal. Alternatively, the ICMR identifies the specific research need and calls for applications from selected individuals/centres in the country which have proven excellence in the area and have the necessary infrastructure to carry out further work.

ICMR Periodicals

Indian Journal of Medical Research

The Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR) [ISSN 0971-5916] is one of the oldest medical Journals not only in India but probably in Asia, as it started in the year 1913. The Journal was started as a quarterly (4 issues/year) in 1913 and made bimonthly (6 issues/year) in 1958. It became monthly (12 issues/year) in the year 1964. The Journal is being indexed and abstracted by all major global current awareness and alerting services.

The IJMR is published monthly, in 2 volumes and 12 issues per year. The IJMR publishes peer reviewed quality biomedical research in the form of original research articles, review articles, short papers and short notes. Research letters are also published in the corresponding section after peer review Special issues and Supplements are published in addition to the regular issues.

Journal of Vector Borne Diseases

National Institute of Malaria Research on behalf of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) publishes the Journal of Vector Borne Diseases. This Journal was earlier published as the Indian Journal of Malariology, a peer reviewed and open access biomedical journal in the field of vector borne diseases. The Journal publishes review articles, original research articles, short research communications, case reports of prime importance, letters to the editor in the field of vector borne diseases and their control. The Journal is published quarterly in the months of March, June, September and December in each calendar year.

Source: Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)


 

 



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