A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed on Tuesday between the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, and Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) to build research collaborations and promote scientific cooperation.
The agreement was signed at the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) here in the presence of Minister of State (Independent Charge), Science & Technology, Jitendra Singh.
The MOU also envisages promoting scientific cooperation through faculty exchange programmes.
As part of the year-long platinum jubilee celebrations of the medical college, Singh also launched the Association of Physicians of India (API) chapter of AFMC, Pune, and also inaugurated the first annual conference of API-AFMS Continuing Medical Education (CME) on “emerging trends in the practice of medicine”.
Describing AFMC, Pune, as the first Central institute of medical education established much before AIIMS, Delhi, came into being, Singh said the idea of a separate AFMC came from Dr. BC Roy, credited with nurturing the API.
“As a common legacy, the coming together of API and AFMC also has a historical value and marks a befitting tribute to the first-generation physician, Dr. BC Roy,” he said.
Singh said the age of working in silos is over and the Narendra Modi government worked to integrate different organs of the government, including ministries and departments with various associations, institutes of higher and specialized learning and the industry, particularly in the healthcare sector.
“Preventive healthcare and widespread mass screening will help India attain the status of a developed economy. The whole world recognized India’s leadership role during COVID-19, as it achieved the rare feat of delivering over 220 crore vaccinations through a fully digital platform (COWIN), and the process continues.
“Under the leadership of PM Modi, in just two years, India could produce two DNA vaccines and one nasal vaccine,” the minister said in his inaugural address at the conference.
Singh said there has been a transition over the entire disease spectrum as well as the evolution of therapeutic and preventive modalities available to us over the last half a century or so.
“After the 80s, there was globalization or the so-called ‘democratization’ of diseases, so we also started having the lifestyle diseases, coronary diseases, etc. and coupled with that also the change in life expectancy,” he said, pointing out that the life expectancy has gone up close to 70 years of age.
Singh further said the MoU will help in pioneering new research in areas like genomics, which have a bearing on lifestyle Diseases and emerging diseases like malignant cancer.