ICMR MoU With Council of Agricultural Research

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) signed a MoU with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for cooperation in the area of zoonoses, anti-microbial resistance, nutrition and pesticide residues.

This MoU is an important step and will help to bridge the gap between human health and agriculture/veterinary research and will make India address high priority issues in a coordinated manner.

Some of the significant outcomes of the MoU are as under:

A. Exchange of scientific literature, information and methodology;

B. Utilization of facilities and expertise in programmes of common interest as may be mutually agreed upon.

C. Exchange of pertinent research material

D. Development and implementation of collaborative research projects, the areas and methodology to be as mutually agreed upon in areas of mutual interest like Zoonotic diseases, Anti-Microbial Resistance, Nutrition, Pesticides and any other aspect acceptable to both parties which will be subjected to IPR clause in Article IV.

Such cooperation shall be implemented by the following means:

1. Establishment of mutual relation between the scientific and technical divisions of the organizations of the respective Parties

2. Creation of facilities for exchange of scientific technologies with experts and their proper placement for data sharing and sample sharing for providing control strategies for better public health

Zoonoses have been defined as diseases and infections that are naturally transmitted between vertebrate animals and humans. The effects of zoonoses are accentuated among marginalized groups since the poor tend to have closer interactions with animals and are further removed from accessible health services.

With the second largest human population and one of the world’s greatest densities of livestock, coupled with socio-cultural characteristics particular to Indian populace present a challenge in itself. Co-habitation of farm animals in the same living space increases the opportunities of transmission of diseases in both directions.

Some zoonotic diseases have pandemic potential, such as highly pathogenic avian influenza, Zika, Ebola, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Around 60% of all human diseases and around 75% of emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic however; these are missed, not recognized or understood in developing countries like India.