Bhubaneswar: Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan requested his Cabinet colleague and Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan to set up a Centre of Excellence on Marine Biotechnology at Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar.
Speaking at the 32 foundation day of ILS-Bhubaneswar on Thursday, Pradhan said the Centre of Excellence tag will help unlock the true potential of a marine-led sustainable economic growth in Odisha.
Dr Vardhan hailed the scientific achievements of ILS-Bhubaneswar in diagnostics and research during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The institute has sequenced around 500 viral genomes and established 17 virus cultures that will enable in furthering the research and development efforts of COVID-19 in the coming days. DBT-ILS has excelled in basic research in biotechnology in the area of cancer biology, infectious diseases and plant sciences. ILS scientists have contributed improving livelihoods of the tribal population, using science and technology applications effectively” said the minister. Hon’ble minister also appreciated DBT-ILS for testing over 1,50,000 samples from across Odisha.
Pradhan said the dedication and efforts of ILS officials will continue to meet the expectations and benefit the society at large.
Stating that Odisha’s coastline has been in focus for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a blue economy, Pradhan appreciated ILS’s work in the aspirational district of Nabrangpur in Odisha.
The Union Minister also expressed happiness with ILS expanding its activities to other parts of eastern and north-eastern India. “Modi is very clear that unless the eastern part of India comes on equal footing compared to other parts of the country, the country’s prosperity cannot be achieved”, he added.
He also complimented ILS for playing a crucial role in the fight against the pandemic.