Combining advanced biotechnology with traditional forms of healing could pave the way for breakthrough treatments and a better understanding of diseases, said Sonia Gandhi, chairperson of the National Advisory Council, in Kerala today.
Speaking at the stone laying ceremony of Bio-Innovation Centre, being set up by the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) at its new 20-acre campus in Akkulam, Thiruvananthapuram, she said IT and biotechnology were the two engines of future growth in Kerala, considering the abundance of highly educated and skilled people in the state.
Her remarks came as the state announced a new digital project in partnership with the RCGB to document diseases, predict outbreaks and monitor healthcare delivery.
Chief minister Oommen Chandy said under the new Rajeevam: Health For All programme, vaccine delivery efficiency, impact of environmental variability, disease outbreak prediction , interface of hospitals and public health institutions would all be done on a real-time basis through a cloud-based database system.
Chandy also noted RGCB was the only biotechnology institute in the country to have three distinct campuses- one for discovery, a second for innovation and a third for translation.
The CM requested the Union government to provide RGCB the status of a 'degree-granting institution' for multi-disciplinary science degrees. RGCB's current facility at Poojappura in the city houses research labs specialising in disease biology, especially cancer and communicable diseases such as TB, dengue and cholera.
The Centre's current activities cover a range of scientific fields including nano biosciences, drug delivery, peptide antibiotics, neurosciences, reproductive biology and plant biotechnology, especially spice genomics.