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Harish Hande: India makes development and sustainable energy go hand in hand

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Image source: indiaconferenceatharvard.com

Kolkata: The Ramon Magsaysay recipient and social entrepreneur Harish Hande on Saturday emphasized on the need to conduct on-field researches instead of publishing them on papers. Hande believes that India’s ability to prove development and sustainable energy solutions can go hand in hand.

“We need to come up with a research culture where research is linked to the field. Today research is linked to paper. Professors are into publishing more papers. How many of your innovations have actually happened on the field? We should be benchmarked on that,” Hande said in an interaction with media persons here.

Recognised for his efforts to put solar power technology in the hands of the poor, Hande, an IIT-Kharagpur alumnus, lamented the gap in tapping into the regional rural banking sector.

“What India has which many developing countries do not have is the fantastic infrastructure of financial institutions in the rural area. Somewhere it will be efficient, somewhere not,” he said on the sidelines of the Innovation 2016 conference here organised by business chamber CII.

Hande highlighted the need to “piggyback” on the RRBs and ITIs (Industrial Training Institutes) to trigger an energy revolution.

About energy, finance and market linkage, the founder of Solar Electric Light Company (SELCO) India stressed on the need for the country to adopt an aggressive stance in international negotiations.

“It is the only country which can create innovations where it can prove development and sustainable energy can go hand in hand without sacrificing each other. India should (rather than being defensive saying the West has been polluting) be aggressive and say we are innovative, we can show how poverty can be removed in a sustainable way,” Hande added. (IANS)

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IIT Kharagpur, Tata Medical Center Creates Architecture Image to Aid Cancer Research

Medical imagery can then be combined with AI to enable the reach of treatment to more people as well as provide targeted therapy based on individual symptoms

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Digital image archive set up to aid cancer research. Pixabay

Aiming to harness Artificial Intelligence (AI) and deep learning methods for medical queries in the field of image banking, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur and Tata Medical Center (TMC) have created an architecture image bio-bank to aid cancer research in the country, an official said on Saturday.

The bio-bank, named the Comprehensive Digital Archive of Cancer Imaging (CHAVI), will address the emerging field of imaging-related research. On the success of the pilot project, it can be scaled up to a larger set of medical images. Medical imagery can then be combined with AI to enable the reach of treatment to more people as well as provide targeted therapy based on individual symptoms.

IIT Kharagpur, through the National Digital Library Initiative (NDLI) of the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD), has joined hands in initiating a pilot project on developing an image data bank for cancer patients, and the present focus is on radio oncology. As a pilot, radiation oncology-related images are being banked within the NDLICHAVI RO project.

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Medical imagery can then be combined with AI to enable the reach of treatment to more people as well as provide targeted therapy based on individual symptoms. Pixabay

“The overarching aim is to build up a national bank of annotated images with a flexible query interface and link it with a pipeline of radiomic (extracting a large amount of features from radiographic medical images) services for furthering radiomic research in large image datasets,” the official said in a statement.

Also, TMC has created a large repository of medical data and images of cancer patients including outcomes of treatment in many cases. It faced various challenges while building this system. The first and foremost was preserving the anonymity of patients as well as maintaining adequate referential integrity, a necessity for carrying out useful research.

A workshop titled “Structuring a Collaborative National Image Banking Program” supported by MHRD through the NDLI project was organised here on Friday at TMC to enhance the CHAVI project. Several expert doctors from India, the US, the UK and specialists in the area of Computer Science from India participated in the panel discussions and presentations.

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Several expert doctors from India, the US, the UK and specialists in the area of Computer Science from India participated in the panel discussions and presentations. Pixabay

“We need more affordable solutions in India for cancer treatment, the majority of our patients are middle class and lower middle class and cannot afford genomic analysis. Image banking combined with predictive/prescriptive AI can enable us to identify signatures as a much more cost-effective alternative,” Sanjoy Chatterjee, TMC, Kolkata said.

ALSO READ: UNICEF Reports Unprecedented Number of Children in Congo Infected by Ebola Epidemic

Talking about the unique project, Partha Pratim Chakrabarti from NDLI said: “The CHAVI project is the first of its kind. The objective of the National Digital Library of India is to make accessible material for doing research that normally could not have been done in India. With the CHAVI project, as a beginning, we have chosen cancer imaging database along with Tata Medical Centre because of their tremendous expertise”.

“Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases in our country. If we are able to create a very well defined, annotated database, it will help researchers as well as doctors to be able to do early, more accurate diagnosis and provide better treatment for our people which is a lot more cost-effective,” he added. (IANS)

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Scientists Facilitate The Regulatory Process For Herbal Drugs

A 2017 report by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) predicts that the biosimilars market in India, that is currently worth about Rs 15,000 crore, is expected to cross the staggering Rs 2,50,000 crore-mark by 2030.

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Documentation and characterisation of Indian herbal drugs and phytopharmaceuticals will lead to a significant usage and their export. Pixabay

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s constituent laboratory, the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CSIR-CCMB), Hyderabad, and the Indian Pharmacopeia Commission (IPC), Ghaziabad, have joined hands to facilitate the regulatory process for biosimilars and herbal drugs, as per a statement here on Sunday.

The scope of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between CSIR-CCMB and the IPC is the development of biopharmaceutical reference standards and impurities therein, development of monographs for important Monoclonal Antibodies and identification of herbal drugs based on DNA Barcode analysis, a CCMB statement said.

Use of biologics – biological products that function as drugs against diseases – also known as biosimilars, are expanding their presence rapidly in the healthcare sector, including in India.

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Scientific validation and characterization of herbal drugs will not only help authentication of such drugs but also will bring credibility for this industry, the CCMB added. Pixabay

A 2017 report by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) predicts that the biosimilars market in India, that is currently worth about Rs 15,000 crore, is expected to cross the staggering Rs 2,50,000 crore-mark by 2030.

Emergence of biopharmaceutical drugs as a preferred choice for therapy over conventional pharma drugs, requires concerted efforts by various sectors within the country towards production, characterisation and validation of indigenously developed products, the CCMB said.

The agreement was signed by CSIR-CCMB Director Rakesh Mishra and IPC’s Secretary-cum-Scientific Director G.N. Singh.

This collaboration, which has come into force with immediate effect, is very important in the current scenario owing to the increase in use of therapeutic proteins and herbal drugs for various diseases, the statement said.

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Use of biologics – biological products that function as drugs against diseases – also known as biosimilars, are expanding their presence rapidly in the healthcare sector, including in India. Pixabay

Documentation and characterisation of Indian herbal drugs and phytopharmaceuticals will lead to a significant usage and their export.

Also Read: When You Engage in ‘Hedonic Consumption’? Read Here To Find Out

This collaborative project will be executed at par with pharmacopeia standards of other countries, it said.

Scientific validation and characterization of herbal drugs will not only help authentication of such drugs but also will bring credibility for this industry, the CCMB added. (IANS)

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NITI Aayog And CII Come Together To Contribute Towards SDG’s

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that given India's population, the only way to grow and develop sustainably was to use technology to leapfrog.

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NITI Aayog, CII partnered on sustainable development goals. Flickr

The NITI Aayog on Wednesday entered into a three-year partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to develop vision and action agenda for the industry to contribute towards sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Minister of State for Power and New & Renewable Energy Raj Kumar Singh said that business and government must partner for sustainable development of India.

He said that energy, water and a green industry mattered the most to achieve SDGs and expressed confidence that India will achieve its clean energy goals even earlier than 2022.

During the event, CII launched a report "Indian Solutions for the World to Achieve SDGs"
During the event, CII launched a report “Indian Solutions for the World to Achieve SDGs”.

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that given India’s population, the only way to grow and develop sustainably was to use technology to leapfrog.

He said it was crucial to use renewable energy, push for innovation and research and development to find local solutions for seven million-strong population around the world.

Also Read: NITI Aayog to Partner with Leading Technology Company

During the event, CII launched a report “Indian Solutions for the World to Achieve SDGs”, which deep-dives into each of the sustainable development goals, targets and business implications, a statement said. (IANS)