Rapid response vital to deal with new viruses: President

May 8th, 2009 - 10:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha Patil Bangalore, May 8 (IANS) President Pratibha Patil Friday said the country’s healthcare systems needed to respond rapidly to contain new viruses that were mutating and spreading new strains of infections.
Nations and scientists are “faced with the challenge of containing new viruses that are mutating and generating new strains of infections hitherto unheard off. Our national healthcare systems need to respond rapidly to these challenges,” Patil said at the closing ceremony of the centenary celebrations of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) here.

Her call comes in the wake of the H1N1 influenza or swine flu virus spreading across many parts of the world.

Lauding the contribution of the IISc to the country’s progress, she noted that many Indian space scientists were associated with the institute.

“I can only say that it was a proud moment for India when last year Chandrayaan-I was launched,” she added.

Patil said that only a country with strong scientific and research base can find solutions to diverse and complex challenges of climate change to water shortage to new viruses that pose threat to human health.

She said it was imperative for India to invest more energy and resources in innovations to have a competitive edge in diverse fields.

The president called upon the scientific fraternity to come out with environment- friendly technologies and newer sources of energy.

Suggesting that more women undertake research work, she urged for creating a congenial atmosphere for women scientists at the workplace.

The IISc was conceived as a ‘Research Institute’ or ‘University of Research’ by Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata in the twilight years of the 19th century. His dream was realised with the institute coming up on May 27, 1909, five years after his death in 1904.

The institute occupies nearly 400 acres of prime land in Bangalore donated by the then Maharaja of Mysore in March 1907.

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