In a letter to his Cabinet colleague, Pradhan said, “It is commendable that Budget 2021 has announced the setting up of four additional National Institutes of Virology to strengthen India's defences against future pandemics.”
“As you are aware, Bhubaneswar has emerged as a prime centre of medical research and education in Eastern India with the presence of world-class institutes such as All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), ICMR_ regional Medical Reaserch Centre and ICAR_ICFMD (international Centre for Foot & Mouth Disease ). Owing to its strategic location and skilled man power, Bhubaneswar is well positioned to be considered as location for one of the four proposed NIVs,” said Pradhan in his letter.
“NIV Bhubaneswar will benefit from proximity to the above-mentioned R&D Centres of Excellence and leverage it for pushing collaborative research efforts. This can cater to the population of Eastern, South eastern and Central India states. This will also be in line with the Purvodaya vision of Prime Minister,” he added.
“Keeping in view of the above facts, I request you to give serious consideration to setting up one of the proposed four National Institutes of Virology at Bhubaneswar in Odisha,” Pradhan concluded.
In February this year, Pradhan had requested the Union Health Minister for the setting up of a Centre of Excellence on Marine Biotechnology at the Bhubaneswar-based Institute of Life Sciences.
Pradhan also complemented Vardhan for effective handling of the COVID-19 pandemic under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi.