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IIT-Delhi develops low-cost diagnostic test for Covid-19
- Kit gets approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research
- Expected to bring down cost by around Rs 400 per test
- Union HRD Ministry facilitates the research team for rising to the occasion
New Delhi: Raising to the expectations reposed in the higher educational institutions, the IIT-Delhi researchers have developed a low-cost real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for COVID-19.
Researchers of IIT-Delhi Kusuma School of Biological Sciences (KSBS) have developed a detection assay for COVID-19 which has now been approved by ICMR. He was delighted to know that the assay has been validated at ICMR with a sensitivity and specificity of 100 per cent. This makes IIT-D the first academic institute to have obtained ICMR approval for a real-time PCR-based diagnostic assay. Felicitating the team of researchers on Friday, the Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said the team of scientists from IIT-Delhi involved in the development of COVID19 probe –free Real-time PCR Diagnostic Kit.
He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invited scientists, students and researchers to come forward to combat COVID19. In response to this clarion call, all the premier institutions under HRD Ministry came to the forefront and have done a commendable job. They are contributing their best to combat the situation arising from COVID-19.
He said that the PM is hoping that we should develop our own strengths and should not be dependent on the world.
Keeping in view the capability and high standards of research of our Institutes, particularly IITs, meetings were held with IITs from the very beginning of the onset of a pandemic, to step up their research and innovation initiatives on Covid19.
Appreciating the efforts of the IIT-D, Pokhriyal said that the Ministry of HRD is extremely proud of its all institutions, researchers, academicians, faculty members and students who are working tirelessly in the time of complete lockdown, to bring out solutions to the problems arising out of the outbreak of Covid19.
Further, he highlighted the efforts of IIT-Delhi in developing a testing kit at a very low cost for the people of India. The kit will not only empower health care services but also support the government in the time of crisis.
The minister reiterated that his ministry will provide all possible support to the institutions in their research initiatives. He said that the projects like these are in line with the Make in India initiative of the government.
Pokhriyal also thanked Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan for the efforts of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) validating the technology and research. Director of IIT-Delhi, Ramgopal Rao informed the minister that this is the first probe-free assay for COVID-19 approved by ICMR and it will be useful for specific and affordable high throughput testing. This assay can be easily scaled up as it does not require fluorescent probes.
The team is targeting large scale deployment of the kit at affordable prices with suitable industrial partners as soon as possible. The research team headed by Prof.Vivekanandan Perumal includes doctoral research scholars Prashant Pradhan, Ashutosh Pandey, Praveen Tripathi, Dr.Akhilesh Mishra, Dr.Parul Gupta, Dr Sonam Dhamija, Prof.Manoj B.Menon, Prof.Bishwajit Kundu, Prof. James Gomes of IIT-Delhi.