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Corona In India: Lack of funds for scientific research in India and data based on COVID: Expert

Vaccination against corona is going on in the country on a large scale.

Image Credit source: PTI

According to experts, it is a fact that we do not have data to support our COVID policies. Especially there is no specific evidence about the efficiency of vaccination. In such a situation, it is necessary that the government should focus on making research easier.

Supreme court (Supreme Court) recently got covid vaccination (Corona Vaccination) pronounced a decision regarding The court said that no one can be compelled to vaccinate in India. There is not enough data to prove that people who have not been vaccinated have been infected with covid. (Covid) Spreading those who have been vaccinated. SARS CoV 2 Virus by Virologist and Epidemiologist (Coronavirus) and its many variants (Corona Variants) But the lack of data and studies has been highlighted as a major problem in the Indian context. Dr Gagandeep Kang talks about how the paucity of data and studies has affected all our COVID research policies.

Indian scientists have come up with research papers on COVID, but many of them have not been included in international journals. Perhaps because these research papers were not peer-reviewed and also lacked data analysis. Professor Dr. Avinash Supe, Retired Dean of KEM in Mumbai told NewsNCR that data collection has become a difficult task since the outbreak of the pandemic due to lack of lab infrastructure.

Scientific research mindset and lack of adequate funding in India

Microbiologist and virologist Gagandeep Kang said that India does not have enough funds for science research. He said, “There is a need for a right framework for science funding in the country. We spend a lot on PhDs but there is no way to find out what kind of research is actually going on.”

Kang also urged the government to focus on making research easier. Dr. Supe agreed to this. Supe said, “Our strategy for scientific funding is wrong. A lot of money goes to those institutes where students usually do PhD. Should it be the only criteria? PhDs are important but it is also important to see what happens to those PhDs or whether their scientific education is used or not. If research is being done in the science category, then special attention should be given to it.

This is one of the main reasons why we do not have many research papers on COVID. He said, “In the absence of sufficient data, how can scientists produce research papers that are considered at par with their international research papers? There is no dearth of brains but lack of facilities in our country.

Research report did not reach mainstream media

Supe said that almost all medical colleges in the country contributed to major reports and research based on the virus, but most of them did not reach the mainstream media.

He said, “The media wants to bring a Lancet report on the studies done here on the basis of similar aspects of the virus and related characteristics. Of course the election is theirs but when there is a lack of confidence in something that is generated within the country, it also acts as a deterrent.”

Lack of research, because our first priority was to reduce damage

When the corona virus first entered India in March 2020, the country’s public policy was focused on minimizing the excess damage caused by it. Supe said, “It was a right move. During the first wave, we tried to avoid that virus first and we did well in it. The lack of data and studies created big problems for us during the delta wave in 2021 and it taught us a lesson that research is as important as management. At that time, the policy-makers did not pay attention to the scientists, all their focus was on dealing with COVID. We have all seen how terrible the second wave was. Immediately after the first wave in 2020, if we had enough data on the basis of which we could do research, then perhaps some lives could have been saved.

He agreed with the Supreme Court’s decision. He said that it is a fact that we do not have data to support our COVID policies, especially regarding the efficiency of vaccination. Supe said, “When it comes to data, we have nothing that can be cited. The government has no data to prove that an unvaccinated person spreads more virus than a vaccinated person. So vaccination cannot be made mandatory.”

A report released in 2018 by Elsevier (publisher of scientific articles and journals) stated that India is among the top 10 countries that periodically conduct scientific research (US, China, UK, Germany, Japan in this list). , France, Italy, Canada and Australia) yet we have the lowest number of citations per publication.

In addition to research studies, we also have the problem of data collation.

Dr. Jayaprakash Muliyil, an epidemiologist and chairperson of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the National Institute of Epidemiology, said that even when we have data that can be quoted, it is not made public. “Since the start of the pandemic, the government has not been as open about data as before.”

What have agencies like the Indian Council of Medical Research and the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium done in the last two years specifically to tackle COVID, Muliyil said. If she is collecting data on COVID, then where are her findings? Why haven’t these been made public? With whom has he shared it? This data is very important for virologists and immunologists so that they can find better ways to avoid the virus but sadly the data was not shared with them.

Data collection is wrong

He also pointed out that our “data collection is messed up.” At the same time, there is no will to bring forth whatever conclusions came out in the research. That’s why we look to countries like Israel and Europe that have done studies on related subjects.”

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Muliyil explained, “Just as people in other countries have access to data, we need access to the studies conducted by our researchers in India. Unfortunately, there is a lack of data in our country because we know how to make economic policies, we also know how to make political policies, but when it comes to scientific policies, we have science based policies. There is no history to make.”

Source: www.tv9hindi.com

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Shehnaz Ali
Shehnaz Ali
Shehnaz is a Corporate Communications Expert by profession and writer by Passion. She has experience of many years in the same. Her educational background in Mass communication has given her a broad base from which to approach many topics. She enjoys writing about Public relations, Corporate communications, travel, entrepreneurship, insurance, and finance among others.
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