The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has released its Strategic Plan and Vision 2030 which outlines the body's agenda to deal with health challenges in the country.
The agenda is based on key points such as capacity building, data management, leveraging traditional medicine and strengthening program implementation through research, a statement issued by the ICMR said.
It aims at combating non-communicable diseases and improving maternal and child health in India, it said.
The research body in collaboration with the Health Ministry has awarded 86 scientists for finding solutions to important health challenges and for their contribution in bio-medical science research, the statement said.
In an effort to encourage youngsters to join health research and choose it as a preferred career, 'Short Term Studentship Excellence' awards were also presented for the first time this year, it said.
The council today also released the National Guidelines for Stem Cell Research 2017 for all stakeholders including individual and organizations associated with basic and clinical research on stem cells and their derivatives.
The guidelines have been revised to ensure that while giving an impetus to research, it does not compromise on the safety of patients and vulnerable individuals, the statement said.
"The 2017 guidelines, reiterate that any stem cell use in patients, other than that for hematopoietic stem cell reconstitution for approved indications, is investigational at present.
"Accordingly, any stem cell use in patients must only be done within the purview of an approved and monitored clinical trial. In accordance with this stringent definition, every use of stem cells in patients outside an approved clinical trial is unethical and shall be considered as malpractice," the statement said.
Responsible research must focus on harnessing the potential of science to improve our understanding of human health and illness, as well as discover newer ways to prevent and treat them, it said. – PTI