Jammu:A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on Saturday between All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Jammu and CSIR-IIIM Jammu for close scientific collaboration with Union minister Jitendra Singh expressing confidence in developing the hospital as an artificial intelligence-based medicine hub of north India.
The MoU was signed between AIIMS Jammu director Shakti Gupta and director Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (CSIR-IIIM) Jammu D Srinivasa Reddy in the presence of the Union minister during his visit to AIIMS Jammu for the inspection of the upcoming new blocks and inauguration of recently developed facilities.
It is a congratulatory day because AIIMS Jammu and IIIM-CSR signed an MoU for closer collaboration. Since both the premier institutions are dedicated to medical research and education, the MoU was signed to bring them closer for the betterment of the people, the minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office told reporters.
He said he suggested to the AIIMS director that every institution has exclusivity and the collaboration with CSR-IIIM will help his institute to achieve this goal.
Today, artificial intelligence and digital medicine have taken over in a big way. COVID-19 pandemic showed us the importance of tele-consultation and tele-medicine, while artificial intelligence provided an interface between the patient and the doctor.
“I am sure we can develop the AIIMS as an artificial intelligence-based medicine hub of north India which will work as an inspiration for others to follow,” Singh said.
Lauding the contribution of CSR-IIIM Jammu, he said the institute which was set before independence is working on a maiden project to make cannabis based drugs.
The clinical trials of the drug can be started in the AIIMS and Government Medical College and the cooperation between the two institutions can be very productive, he said.
Singh said the purple revolution and the aroma mission, which was born at CSR-IIIM Jammu, has provided a new opportunity in the start-ups, agriculture sector and entrepreneurship and the youth across the country are availing it.
The minister said the Out Patient Department (OPD) services will start immediately in AIIMS, Jammu and the first batch will move and operate from the premises from June 1 and the second batch will continue thereafter.
Singh said a 30 member faculty has already been inducted and the entire six-storey AIIMS building will be ready by early next year.
Earlier, addressing the function, he said it is an irony that CSIR-IIIM Jammu and Government Medical College Jammu existed in the close vicinity of just about four kilometers from each other and even though both the institutions were dedicated to medical research, there was hardly any collaboration between the two in the past.
He said every effort would be made to bring in closer integration of IIIM with GMC and also between IIIM Jammu and AIIMS Jammu, both of which happen to be the central government institutions.
Singh noted that IIIM Jammu is one of the oldest CSIR laboratories in the country and even today it is conducting pioneering research in cannabis medicinal products and host of other drugs, which makes the institute a natural ally of the AIIMS which also has the mandate of research and medical education.
While appreciating the progress made during the brief period since Gupta took over as the director of AIIMS, the minister suggested that in order to develop an exclusive identity for the institution, the focus should be on futuristic areas like digital health and artificial intelligence (AI). AIIMS could be a pioneer in north India in developing AI-based healthcare infrastructure, he added.
Singh said it is because of the personal indulgence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Jammu has, in recent years, developed major centrally-funded academic institutions in close vicinity of each other, thus making it an important educational hub in the region.
He called for greater integration at different levels among the science institutions, then between scientific institutions and non-scientific institutions.
Singh hoped that with the constitutional barriers of the past having been done away with in the case of Jammu and Kashmir, the administration and the management will make all efforts to attract the best of the faculty from different parts of the country.