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CSIR Programme

CSIR Programme on Bioactives

The programmes covered under this sector include a broad-spectrum of diverse areas.  The priorities relating to diseases/health risks cover a mission programme on Asthma and programmes principally concerned with reproductive health (antifertility agents), tropical infections (antimalarials, antitubercular, antimicrobial agents), ageing-related disorders (antiosteoporotic, antidementia, anti-stress, antidiabetic, antidyslipidemic agents), environmental and industrial health hazards, cataract, tumors and cancers.  The other programmes relate to: antifilarials, hepatoprotectives, antiulcer, anti-inflamatory, antihypertensives, anti-arthritic, biocompatible materials etc.

CSIR has also geared itself in recent advances in biology such as genome sequencing of man and opened up unlimited opportunities in medicine.

CSIR and Herbal Medicines

SIR-NEIST has developed a technology to manufacture mosquito repellent candles. The ingredients used for repelling mosquitoes are from herbal sources.

CSIR-NEIST has developed an herbal agarbatti having mosquito repellent properties from indigenous plant materials. This is an economic, eco-friendly and cheaper technology for managing mosquito population in household condition. The pleasant smells generated by the stick also elicit a sense of well being for the users.

CSIR-NEIST has developed an herbal solution for treatment of such injuries with quick recovery. The herbal product has broad spectrum activity and takes care of the animal skin from fungi, bacteria and even parasitic insects.

CSIR-NEIST has developed a herbal polish for leather, which will work in two ways i.e. polishing the leather product as well as prevent growth of the mold on leather.

Acne on face skin of the people is one of the important problems in some ages. The face skin is soft and in many cases severe acne may leave permanent scar or mark on the face skin. The Herbal Anti-Acne Face Cream is very effective to eradicate acne as well as mark or scar from the face cream.

CSIR and healthcare

CSIR has geared itself to face the challenges in the Healthcare, Drugs and Pharmaceuticals sector by taking several measures such as prioritization of research programmes, creation of state-of the- art facilities, induction of new talent and most importantly, establishing linkages within CSIR and with other national agencies/industry.

The projects networking CSIR laboratories, other R&D institutions, and industry to capitalize on their combined strength include those on: new drugs based on our traditional knowledge, biodiversity, marine resources, search for new molecular targets for selected pathogens, in-silico biology, predictive medicine, new animal models and animal substitute technologies, etc.

Recent advances in biology such as genome sequencing have opened up unlimited opportunities in medicine. After deciphering sequence of genes (structural genomics), it is now possible to elucidate their function (functional genomics).  Ultimately it is believed that through proteomics, new disease markers and drug targets can be identified that will help design products to prevent, diagnose and treat disease. Technologies of combinatorial synthesis and high-throughput screening (HTS) offer the potential to speed up the pace of drug research and reduce the time and cost of investment in drug discovery. All these tools and techniques and research disciplines are now being applied in current R&D programmes of many CSIR laboratories in order to become internationally competitive. That CSIR has made valuable contributions to the industry and the society in this vital sector are amply reflected by the development of several novel drugs, which have been successfully commercialized by the industry, and are currently marketed (Saheli, E-mal, Elubaquin, Promind, Asmon, etc.), and dozens of process technologies leading to commercial production of high-value drugs/drug intermediates (l-ephedrine, dextropropoxyphene hydrochloride, artemether, cetrizine, amlodipine, naltrexone, ciprofloxacin, streptokinase, etc.) and their import substitution.

CSIR and second battle of Haldighati

The second battle of Haldighati, is what the media dubbed a pioneering case in a “rule-based” war in the context of what India felt was a wrongly granted US patent on the use of turmeric for wound healing. The rule is that the applicant has a right to patent innovations only after demonstrating the novelty, non-obviousness and usefulness of an article.

The use of turmeric for wound healing is not novel because it is a part of India’s prior knowledge as recorded in ancient Sanskrit and Pali texts and formal papers in journals such as The Indian Journal of Medical Research, etc. CSIR followed the recognized legal procedures and proved to the US Patent Office that such use of turmeric in wound healing was clearly the consequence of prior knowledge. The US Patent Office scrapped the patent. India won that particular battle.

Traditional Knowledge Digital Library

                Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) is a pioneer initiative of India to prevent misappropriation of country’s traditional medicinal knowledge at International Patent Offices on which healthcare needs of more than 70% population and livelihood of millions of people in India is dependent.In 2005, the TKDL expert group estimated that about 2000 wrong patents concerning Indian systems of medicine were being granted every year at international level, mainly due to the fact that India’s traditional medicinal knowledge which exists in local languages such as Sanskrit, Hindi, Arabic, Urdu, Tamil etc. is neither accessible nor comprehensible for patent examiners at the international patent offices.
                  Traditional Knowledge Digital Library has overcome the language and format barrier by scientifically converting and structuring the available contents (till date 0.29 million medicinal formulations) of the ancient texts on Indian Systems of Medicines i.e. Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Yoga, into five international languages, namely, English, Japanese, French, German and Spanish, with the help of information technology tools and an innovative classification system – Traditional Knowledge Resource Classification (TKRC).
                At present, as per the approval of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, access of TKDL is available to nine International Patent Offices (European Patent Office, United State Patent & Trademark Office, Japan Patent Office, United Kingdom Patent Office, Canadian Intellectual Property Office, German Patent Office, Intellectual Property Australia, Indian Patent Office and Chile Patent Office), under TKDL Access (Non-disclosure) Agreement. Negotiations are under way to conclude the Access Agreement with Intellectual Property Office of Russia and Malaysia. As per the terms and conditions of the Access agreement, examiners of patent office can utilize TKDL for search and examination purposes only and can not reveal the contents of TKDL to any third party unless it is necessary for the purpose of citation. TKDL Access Agreement is unique in nature and has in-built safeguards on Non-disclosure to protect India’s interest against any possible misuse.


The NAL Saras is the first Indian multi-purpose civilian aircraft in the light transport aircraft category as designed by the National Aerospace Laboratories.

The feasibility study (November 1989) showed that there was a significant demand for a 9–14 seat multi-role LTA in the country and estimated a market potential of about 250–350 aircraft in the next 10 years. NAL submitted the feasibility study report to the Research Council in November 1990 and started its search for an industrial partner.

The project began in 1991 as a collaboration with Russia but financial trouble led the Russians to drop out early in the project. The project almost came to a halt when it was hit by US-imposed sanctions in 1998, after India’s nuclear tests in Pokhran. The Saras project was sanctioned on 24 September 1999 with initial schedule of its maiden flight by March 2001.

The original design target parameters included a maximum take-off weight of 6,100 kg and a maximum payload of 1,232 kg, a high cruise speed of over 600 km/h, an endurance of six hours, a maximum flight altitude of 12 km (cruise altitude 10.5 km), short take-off and landing distances of about 600 m, a maximum rate of climb of 12 m/s, a low cabin noise of 78 dB, a range of 600 km with 19 passengers, 1,200 km with 14 passengers and 2,000 km with eight passengers, a high specific range of 2.5 km/kg and a low cost of operation of Rs. 5/km. The first Saras (PT1) completed its maiden flight at the HAL airport in Bangalore on 29 May 2004.

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