Department of Biotechnology Current Affairs - 2019

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India joins Global AMR R&D hub as a new member

India has joined Global Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Research and Development (R&D) hub as a new member. The announcement in this regard was made by Department of Biotechnology, Union Ministry of Science & Technology in New Delhi on 12 September 2019.

Key Highlights

India will be a member of the hub’s board of members of from 2019 itself.

By partnering with the hub, India looks forward to work with all partners and to boost their existing capabilities, resources and also to collectively focus on new research to address drug-resistant infections.

The issue of AMR requires global action with active participation from all world regions and One Health sectors. AMR refers to a microbe’s ability to resist the effects of drugs and medication that once could successfully treat the microbe.

Global Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Development Hub

The Global AMR R&D hub was launched in May 2018 on the sidelines of 71st session of World Health Assembly (WHA), following a call from G20 leaders in 2017.

Members: With inclusion of India, the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Development hub now has 16 countries (including India), European Commission, 2 philanthropic foundations as members. It also has 4 international organisations as observers.

It is a global partnership that works to address challenges and improve coordination and collaboration in global AMR research and development

It supports global priority setting and evidence-based decision-making on allocation of resources for AMR R&D. This is done by identifying gaps, overlaps as well as potential for cross-sectoral collaboration and leveraging.

Global AMR R&D Secretariat: It is established in Berlin, Germany. Its secretariat supports the hub’s operations and is currently financed through grants from German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and Federal Ministry of Health (BMG).

Department of Biotechnology inks MoU with IAE on Enhancing Innovation for Clean Energy Transition

Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under Union Ministry of Science and Technology has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with International Energy Agency (IEA) for enhancing innovation for Clean Energy Transition.  The MoU seeks to deepen co-operation in support of clean energy innovations to accelerate research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of clean energy technologies in India. It will also help support generation of data for policymaking and improve knowledge of good policy practices for innovation in India and around the world.

Key Facts

The MoU will ensure cooperation for sharing of energy policies on RD&D and sharing of best practices on data collection and analysis. It also has provision for activities such as training and capacity building and accelerating energy innovation by identifying sources of finance. The MoU will be coordinated for Union Ministry of Sceince & Technology by Mission Innovation India Unit set up by DBT and for IEA it will be coordinated by its International Partnership and Initiatives Unit (IPI). It will be initially valid for three years.

International Energy Agency (IEA)

IEA is an inter-governmental organization established in 1974 as per framework of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It was established in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis after the OPEC cartel had shocked the world with a steep increase in oil prices. Presently it has 30 member countries including India. It is headquartered in Paris, France.

Its prime focus is on the “3Es” of effectual energy policy: energy security, economic development and environmental protection. It also seeks to promote alternate energy sources (including renewable energy), rational energy policies and multinational energy technology co-operation. It acts as energy policy advisor to 29 member countries and also non-member countries like China and Russia.