They were awarded for their work in communicable and non-communicable diseases, maternal & child health and various other medical and biomedical fields. The JALMA Trust Fund Oration award for 2007 has also been presented this year.
While 9 awardees were from PGI, Chandigarh, 7 from ICMR Institutions, 5 awardees were from AIIMS, 3 each from DRDO and KGMU, Lucknow, 2 each from NIMHANS, Bangalore, CSIR and Sri Chitra Thirunal Institute of Medical Sciences, Trivandrum and the remaining 18 belonged to other Institutions.
The ICMR awards were awarded based on the quality of knowledge generated, as judged by peers in the scientific field.
Speaking at the function, Shri Azad expressed happiness that a good number of the awardees are women scientists. He stated that India has been producing excellent human resource in the health field. Appreciating the work of the scientists, he said that never before so many projects were taken up, and so much research has been carried out in last four years.
India produces human resources in the health field not only for the country's needs, but also for many other countries. Recently, at the SEARO meeting held in Delhi, the initiatives of Health ministry were appreciated by the Director-General of WHO (World Health Organisation), Dr. Margaret Chan, the Minister noted.
Shri Azad said that the human resource we produce is being shared with other countries. More than 81,000 doctors/ specialists/ super specialists in USA and more than 75,000 doctors/ specialists/ super specialists in the UK are of Indian origin, he stated.
The Health Minister also said that the Department of Health Research (DHR) has launched several innovative schemes to expand the research base, both in terms of infra-structure and human resource. He stated that this year, DHR has rolled out three new schemes.
These schemes aim to establish Multi-disciplinary Research Units in medical colleges to strengthen the fight against non-communicable diseases; to establish a network of virology laboratories in all government medical colleges, as well as national institutions; and establishment of Model Rural Health Research Units in which ICMR Institutions, State Medical Colleges and State Health Departments will work together and have seamless transfer of modern yet affordable technology for the benefit of the rural populace.
Shri Azad emphasised the work done by the Government in the field of Cancer and Mental Health. Central Government has approved funds for establishing 20 new stand-alone State Cancer Institutes, 23 new Tertiary Cancer Centres and strengthening of existing 27 Regional Cancer Care Centres, across the country.
With these initiatives, the country will have an additional 70 state of the art tertiary cancer centres in Government sector, when fully established, he added.
On recognising the contribution made by the biomedical scientists in various spheres of research, the ICMR has instituted various awards and prizes.