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Agreement on grassroots knowledge extended

National Innovation Foundation-India (NIF), an autonomous body under the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi today extended its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for validation of practices received from traditional knowledge holders from throughout the country.

Time period

Dr. V.M. Katoch, Director General, ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) and Prof. Anil K. Gupta, Executive Vice Chairperson, NaNIF signed the MoU at ICMR Headquarters at New Delhi. The MoU shall be valid for another five years till 2016.

This collaboration will strengthen the synergy achieved between informal, uncodified and non-classical health related people’s knowledge and the apex institution for medical research in the country.

Focus

It will focus on grassroots traditional knowledge based practices that incorporate either use of new medicinal plants not reported in any Indian codified literature or new use of already mentioned medicinal plants or multi-herb formulations for drug development.

This cooperation will also serve to recognize, respect and reward the knowledge rich, economically poor indigenous people who may have made innovations in traditional knowledge for inclusive development in the decade of innovation.

This is in tune with the ethical guidelines issued by ICMR on Clinical Trials with herbal medicines based on folklore knowledge.

Documentation

While the community practices will be documented and sourced from the rich NIF database developed mainly with the assistance of Honey Bee Network volunteers, the cooperation will be guided by prior informed consent of the knowledge providers.

ICMR will work towards validating the safety and efficacy of the practices that are claimed to have therapeutic value by grassroots healers.

Any benefit generated will largely go to the traditional knowledge holders and partly to other stake holders in the value chain to the extent of their involvement.

This bridge between people's knowledge and institutional science shows the resolve of scientific institutions of the country to become more and more responsive to the needs of the common people.

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