Updated on 29 November 2012
Since its establishment, the CSIR has set up key institutes in India in various domains of biological sciences, including, the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad; Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), Lucknow; Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore; Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Lucknow; Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), New Delhi; Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT), Palampur; Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB), Kolkata; Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR), Lucknow; Institute of Microbial Technology (IMT), Chandigarh; Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM), Jammu; National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow; and National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune.
CSIR conducts research in frontier and multidisciplinary areas of modern biology and translates these concepts into commercially viable technologies. The thrust areas include recombinant DNA technology, proteomics, biomarkers, nano biotechnology, novel agro-technologies and structural biology among others. The organization has played a leading role in developing India's pharma industry by introducing innovative process technologies and new drugs. Over a dozen CSIR institutes are participating under public-private partnerships and in-house projects. The key areas of focus include studying molecular mechanisms and genetic factors of diabetes, nano materials and devices for health, diagnostics and target based molecular medicines, anticancer therapeutics. Through its open source drug discovery (OSDD) program (Link to: ), the council has made its unique attempt to make healthcare affordable and drug discovery for neglected diseases like tuberculosis malaria and leishmaniasis.
In agriculture and food processing sectors, CSIR has developed globally competitive pre and post harvesting technologies for optimal production and devising necessary machinery besides enhancing the science of nutraceuticals. Major areas of research include the health foods, energy saving process and pest resistant crops. CSIR in an ongoing collaborative project with Department of Ayush, is trying to document and digitize the traditional knowledge of ayurveda, unani, siddha and yoga. Known as Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), it is expected to protect indigenous patent rights.
CSIR has also made many other advances in research in India. It has pioneered DNA fingerprinting in the country; set up cybrids facility for the study of neurodegenerative diseases (with special reference to Parkinson's disease); established an advanced facility for safety evaluation of genetically engineered drugs; isolated active compounds from native plants for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia and peptic ulcer; sequenced the genome ‘CIM-Arogya' of Artemisia annua for higher artemisinin yield; used recombinant viruses harbouring an RNAi construct as sensor to screen the function of each open reading frame (ORF) of viral genome; and developed an efficient method to isolate and prepare large quantities of RNAsin (an enzyme inhibitor from discarded human placenta) among other significant developments.
CSIR has formulated its Vision 2022, using which it plans to take Indian science to greater heights. It is striving for global scientific impact; building international network with CSIR campuses in other nations of Africa and Asia; coming up with at least one exceptional publication of global impact every month; catalyzing innovation driven industry; continuing to maintain the largest patent portfolio in India; transferring 10 major cutting edge technologies a year for development and commercialization; nurturing human resource and trans disciplinary leadership 1,200 PhD students and 2,000 post graduates every year; creation of 12 innovation complexes; enabling inclusive economic development; helping one million people benefit per year from CSIR 800 projects and catalyzing inclusive innovation to benefit over 250,000 MSMEs.