CSIR To Help Speed Up Ladakh Development29 January 2021
Srinagar: The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has signed an agreement with the Ladakh Administration to accelerate the development of the recently formed Union territory by science and technology interventions through local bio-resource utilisation, introduction of cash crops in the region and exploration of natural resources. The focus of the collaboration would be on commercialisation of endemic and other high-value medicinal, aromatic and nutraceutical plants and crops, bio-prospection of endemic microbial and plants diversity. Other areas of interest include geophysical mapping, eco-friendly leather processing as well as micro-biological and bio-technological research. Different CSIR institutes would initiate research and development, extension and societal projects based on their core competencies. In the first phase, six CSIR establishments, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM), Institute of Himalayan Bio-resource Technology, National Botanical Research Institute, National Geophysical Research Institute, Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute and Central Leather Research Institute would provide extensive knowledge and technological support. The Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine would be the nodal institution. An agreement to this extent was signed by Dr D Srinivas Reddy, Director, IIIM, on behalf of the CSIR and Rigzin Samplel, Commissioner Secretary, Agriculture and Horticulture, Ladakh, according to a statement issued today by the Ministry of Science and Technology. Earlier, the CSIR made significant contributions to the region by setting up the Centre of Excellence for High Altitude Natural Sciences and the establishment of experimental and demonstration farms of different medicinal, aromatic and nutraceutical plants and crops of Ladakh. Further, augmenting efforts in the region to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, the CSIR is augmenting the Covid-19 testing facilities at Leh and Kargil by providing equipment and trained technical manpower.