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Cabinet nod to pacts with Nepal, Myanmar

Each party shall fund the components of the research approved under this MoU to be conducted in their country or may apply jointly for third party funding…reports Asian Lite News.

In a testimony to the close collaboration in health sector with its neighbours, India’s Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved agreements signed between Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and its counterparts in Nepal and Myanmar.

The Cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between ICMR and Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC) that was signed on 17 November 2020 and 4 January 2021 respectively, according to a Cabinet press release.

The objectives of this MoU is collaboration on joint research activities of mutual interest such as cross-border health issues, Ayurveda/traditional medicine and medicinal plants, climate change and health, non-communicable diseases, mental Health, population based cancer registry.

It also includes tropical diseases (vector borne diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, malaria, JE etc.), influenza, clinical trial registry, health research ethics, capacity building through exchange of knowledge, skills tools and fellows and collaboration for adoption of tools, guidelines, protocols and best practices related to health research.

Union Health & Family Welfare, Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Minister Harsh Vardhan addresses at the launch of the National Clinical Registry for COVID-19, Vaccine Web Portal, Mobile Stroke Unit and ICMR-NIN Documents, at ICMR headquarters, in New Delhi on Sep 28, 2020. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

Each party shall fund the components of the research approved under this MoU to be conducted in their country or may apply jointly for third party funding.

For the exchange of scientists under approved collaborative projects, the sending Party shall bear the cost of travel of visiting scientists whereas the receiving Party will provide the accommodation and living expenses of the scientist/researcher, the Cabinet statement informed.

Commitment of funds for workshops/meetings and research projects may be decided from time to time as per the funds available at that time, it said.

According to the Cabinet statement, arrangements to implement and execute all these activities shall be agreed to by the Parties prior to commencement of the activity.

In a separate release, the Cabinet on Wednesday informed of its approval of a MoU signed between ICMR and the Department of Medical Research (DMR), Ministry of Health and Sports of Myanmar.

The objective of this MoU signed in February, 2020 in New Delhi is to build on the health research relationship in the topics of mutual research, it noted.

The main objectives of the agreement with Myanmar are elimination of infectious diseases (to be decided mutually), development of network platform of emerging and viral infections, training /capacity building in research methodology management, clinical trials, ethics etc. and Harmonization of regulatory mechanism.

According to the Cabinet release, as per the MoU with DMR of Myanmar, the Parties shall establish a Joint Working Group (JWG) consisting of delegates from each organization.

JWG sessions shall be held alternatively in India and in Myanmar, it added.

The expenses related to travel, including visa entry, accommodation, per diem, health insurance, local transportation of its JWG members, shall be borne by the Sending Party whereas the organizational expenses of the JWG meetings shall be borne by the Host Party, the release said.

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