Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is India’ supreme body to formulate, coordinate and promote biomedical research. It was formed in 1911 when it was known as Indian Research Fund Association (IRFA). In 1949, IRFA was renamed ICMR.
Why is the body important for UPSC?
India’s first indigenous COVID-19 vaccine named ‘Covaxin’ has been developed and manufactured by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR.
The important facts about Indian Council Medical Research that can be useful for the IAS Exam are provided in this article.
Candidates can also read about similar important institutions of India from the links provided below:
Important Facts about ICMR for UPSC
- The Government of India funds ICMR.
- It comes under the Department of Health Services (DHS), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW).
- The headquarters of ICMR is in New Delhi.
- It is neither a statutory body nor a regulatory body.
- ICMR hosts Clinical Trials Registry – India (CTRI). It was established on 20th July 2007.
- It is a free and online public record system for the registration of clinical trials being conducted in India.
- Till 15th June 2009, the clinical trial registry was a voluntary measure; after which the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has made trial registration at CTRI mandatory.
- Importance – It encourages registration of clinical trials before the enrolment of the first participant.
- It has been publishing the Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR) since 1913.
- ICMR’s National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) was established in 1918 as ‘Beri Beri Enquiry’ at the Pasteur Institute, Coonoor, Tamil Nadu.
- Sir Robert McCarrison was the founder of the ‘Beri Beri’ enquiry unit now known as NIN.
- Union Health Minister of India presides over the governing body of ICMR.
- Prof. Balram Bhargava, secretary of DHS, is the Director-General of ICMR.
- There are 27 institutes/regional medical research centres under ICMR. The table providing the list of ICMR institutes is given below:
|ICMR – Research Institutes/Centres|
|ICMR-National JALMA Institute for Leprosy & Other Mycobacterial Diseases||ICMR-National Institute of Occupational Health, Ahmedabad||ICMR-National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research, Bengaluru|
|ICMR-Bhopal Memorial Hospital & Research Center, Bhopal||ICMR-National Institute for Research in Environmental Health, Bhopal||ICMR-National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai|
|ICMR-National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chennai||ICMR-National Institute for Research in Tribal Health, Jabalpur||ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad|
|ICMR-National Animal Resource Facility for Biomedical Research, Hyderabad||ICMR-National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata||ICMR-National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health, Mumbai|
|ICMR-National Institute of Immunohaematology, Mumbai||ICMR-National Institute of Malaria Research, New Delhi||ICMR-National Institute of Pathology, New Delhi|
|ICMR-National Institute of Medical Statistics, New Delhi||ICMR-National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research, Noida||ICMR-Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna|
|ICMR-Vector Control Research Centre, Puducherry||ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Pune||ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute, Pune|
|ICMR-National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Belagavi||ICMR-Regional Medical Research Centre, Bhubaneswar||ICMR-Regional Medical Research Centre, NE Region, Dibrugarh|
|ICMR-Regional Medical Research Centre, Gorakhpur||ICMR- National Institute for Implementation Research on Non-Communicable Diseases, Jodhpur||ICMR-Regional Medical Research Centre, Port Blair|
Achievements of ICMR
- ICMR started its research on indigenous drugs in 1919.
- In 1937, ICMR published ‘Nutritive Value of Indian Foods and Planning of Satisfactory Diets’ for the first time in the country.
- In 1941, ICMR initiated the first-ever ‘Biomedical Research Fellowship’ aimed at nurturing health research in the country.
- In 1949, ICMR initiated the National Programme for the control of Filariasis.
- In 1955, the first nationwide tuberculosis survey was conducted by ICMR.
- ICMR discovered Kyasanur Forest Disease in the Sagar-Saroba district of Karnataka
- ICMR has been conducting annual rounds of vaccination in the region since 1990.
- ICMR made home-based treatment of Tuberculosis known worldwide. In 1959, it demonstrated the success of TB home-based treatment which is as good as hospital-based treatment.
- ICMR, in 1967 discovered Chandipura Virus (The causal agent for human encephalitis.)
- In 1980, Human Hepatitis E was discovered.
- In 1984, ICMR compiled the first genetic atlas of the Indian tribes.
- In 2013, it launched a vaccine against Japanese encephalitis, “JENVAC.”
- ICMR-National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research became the world’s 7th knowledge hub on smokeless tobacco of WHO-FCTC (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.)
- In 2017, it released India’s first comprehensive state-wise disease burden estimation.
- In 2018, Zika, Nipah and Canine Distemper Virus were successfully contained.
- In 2019, ICMR partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) and 10 nations to launch ‘RESEARCH’.
- RESEARCH stands for Regional Enabler for South East Asia Research Collaboration.
- The aim of the initiative is to combat emerging and reemerging infectious diseases in the region of Southeast Asia.
- Also in 2019, IMCR launched an initiative to fast track the elimination of Malaria, called ‘MERA’.
- It stands for Malaria Elimination Research Alliance.
- In September 2019, The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Bill was passed by the Indian Parliament. ICMR had provided an evidence report against e-cigarettes.
- To promote health research between India and Africa, India-Africa Health Sciences Collaborative Platform (IAHSP)) was launched.
- ICMR and COVID-19:
- RT-PCR and ELISA were developed in 2019.
- Covaxin has been developed.
Frequently Asked Questions on Indian Council of Medical Research
Q 1. What is the function of ICMR?
Q 2. When was ICMR set up?
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