Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)
by V.A.Ponmelil (All rights reserved by the author)
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research and one of the oldest medical research bodies in the world.
Established as the Indian Research Fund Association (IRFA) in 1911, this apex body was redesignated as the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in 1949, with considerably expanded scope of functions. It is funded by the Government of India through the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
The research priorities of the council include the control and management of communicable diseases, the fertility control, the maternal and the child health, the control of nutritional disorders, the alternative strategies for health care delivery, the containment within safety limits of environmental and occupational health problems, the research on major non-communicable diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, blindness, diabetes and other metabolic and haematological disorders, the mental health research, and the drug research.
The Union Health Minister presides over the governing body of the Council which is also assisted in scientific and technical matters by a Scientific Advisory Board comprising eminent experts in different biomedical disciplines. The Council promotes biomedical research in the country through intramural as well as extramural research. In addition to research activities, the ICMR encourages human resource development in biomedical research through Research Fellowships, Short-Term Visiting Fellowships, Short-Term Research Studentships, and various training programmes and workshops conducted by ICMR institutes and headquarters. Also, the Council offers 38 awards, of which 11 are meant exclusively for young scientists whose ages are below 40 years.
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