In a notable step forward in India’s fight against COVID-19, Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has transferred the know-how of indigenously developed Saline Gargle RT-PCR technique, used for testing COVID-19 samples.
The Saline Gargle RT-PCR technology is a simple, fast, cost-effective, patient-friendly, and comfortable method of testing COVID-19 samples.
It also provides instant test results and is well suited for rural and tribal areas, given minimal infrastructure requirements.
CSIR-NEERI stated that the innovation developed by the institute has been ‘dedicated to the nation’ to serve the society. The know-how has been transferred to the Union Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME), on a non-exclusive basis. This would enable the innovation to be commercialised and licensed to all capable parties, including private, government and various rural development schemes and departments.
The licensees are expected to set up manufacturing facilities for commercial production in the form of easily usable compact kits. In the light of the prevailing pandemic situation and probable third wave of COVID-19, CSIR-NEERI fast-tracked the know-how transfer process to potential licensees for its wider dissemination across the nation.
The ceremonial transfer of the Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) and Know-How of the Saline Gargle RT-PCR technique was done in the presence of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday, September 11.
Gadkari said, “The Saline Gargle RT-PCR method needs implementation across the nation, especially in resource-poor regions like rural and tribal areas. This would result in faster and more citizen-friendly testing and will strengthen our fight against the pandemic.”
The MSME unit had approached CSIR-NEERI for commercialising the Saline Gargle RT-PCR technology developed by CSIR-NEERI. The principal inventor of Saline Gargle RT-PCR technology is NEERI scientist Dr. Krishna Khairnar and the team of research scholars of Environmental Virology, at CSIR-NEERI, Nagpur.
Scientist and Head, EVC, CSIR-NEERI (Innovator of Saline Gargle RT-PCR), Dr Krishna Khairnar; Director, CSIR-NEERI, Dr Srivari Chandrasekhar; Chairman, Technology Transfer, CSIR-NEERI, Dr Atul Vaidya; MSME Unit Director Rajesh Daga and MSME Unit Director Kamlesh Daga were also present during the transfer of know-how to MSME ministry.