Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' on Wednesday e-launched Corosure, the world’s most affordable RT-PCR based coronavirus COVID-19 diagnostic kit developed by Indian Institute of Technology-IIT Delhi. The kit has received Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) approval with the highest score and Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) approved with very high sensitivity and specificity.
The base price of the RT-PCR assay is Rs 399. Even after adding the RNA isolation and laboratory charges, the cost per test will be considerably cheaper compared to currently available kits in the market. The Minister further informed that IIT Delhi has given license to 10 companies to manufacture COVID-19 diagnostic kit using the technology developed by its researchers.
Pokhriyal informed that Corosure, the probe-free diagnostic kit has been manufactured by Delhi NCR-based Newtech Medical Devices. The Minister appreciated that a leading educational institution under MHRD and a private company have joined hands during this epidemic in the interest of the nation. He informed that the kit will significantly bring down the cost of COVID-19 RT-PCR testing.
Pokhriyal lauded the work done by the IIT Delhi researchers and congratulated everyone involved in the development and manufacturing of the kit. The Minister appreciated Prof. Vivekanandan Perumal and his research team--Prashant Pradhan (PhD Scholar), Ashutosh Pandey (PhD Scholar), Praveen Tripathi (PhD Scholar), Dr Akhilesh Mishra, Dr Parul Gupta, Dr Sonam Dhamija, Prof Manoj B Menon, Prof Bishwajit Kundu and Prof James Gomes.
Pokhriyal said that Corosure, is a step towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of a self-reliant India, adding that the country requires cheap and reliable testing for the country which can help to control the pandemic. The Corosure Kit has been developed indigenously and is much cheaper than other kits.
The HRD Minister said that the PM has always been encouraging the youth of the country to come forward and ensure a healthier India especially in the times of COVID-19 pandemic with their innovative research.
MoS for HRD Shri Sanjay Dhotre, Higher Education Secretary Amit Khare and senior officials of the Ministry were present during the launch.
While addressing the participants, Dhotre said that amid the coronavirus crisis, when widespread testing is most needed, this very low-cost diagnostic kit is a great feat that the IIT Delhi has achieved in such a short period.
He added that Innovation and entrepreneurship are complementary to each other, and are also most crucial for an Atmanirbhar Bharat. IITs have very robustly nurtured these two. Even in schools across the country, the climate for innovation and new technology is being created very actively.