Hyderabad: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday inaugurated the next generation sequencing (NSG) facility for high genome sequencing and diagnostic sequencing of clinical samples here, said an official statement.
The state of the art machine, acquired at a cost of Rs. 8 crore can sequence 18,000 samples in 8 minutes.
The NSG would help prenatal genetic screening and counseling, thereby generating large scale genomic data critical for diagnosis and therapy.
During the occasion, the minister also laid the foundation stone for a new Skilling, Training and Lecture hall complex at Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB).
The Minister later laid the foundation stone for the ‘scale up facility for agrochemicals ‘proposed to be constructed as part of Agro mission project under CSIR.
The project aims to develop processes that are cost effective and free from pollution related issues .
“The Agro mission is focused in promoting the interests of the farmers to develop sustainable agricultural practices,” a statement from the health ministry said.
Later, addressing the staff and students of CSIR- CCMB, IICT and NGRI, Dr Harsh Vardhan, said that the NSG facility would help in finding drugs for rare genetic diseases, which the drug industry does not manufacture due to high costs involved.
He said there is a need to develop Scientific Social Responsibility and ensure that research is transferred to industry, and help the public at large.
Addressing a press conference later, the minister said the Prime Minister is keen to achieve New India by 2022, and giving importance to the health of the citizens, as seen in the budgetary allocation to the Health Ministry, which has increased by 150%.
The Minister said that the Ayushmann Bharat scheme has so far benefited 10.7 crore people, and 16,000 hospitals have been empanelled under this scheme.
He also said that efforts are still on to convince the states of Telangana, West Bengal, Odisha and Delhi to join the scheme.
“The government is committed to eradicate TB by 2025. Intensified Indradhanush will be implemented to vaccinate all children,” he said.