Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The ICMR on Wednesday invited government and private medical colleges, private hospitals with experience in conducting randomised control trials, and institutes under it to join its Indian Clinical Trial & Education Network project which will serve as a pan-India network of institutes with proven excellence in clinical research.

The network, thus established, will conduct large-scale, multi-centric clinical trials in a timely and well-regulated manner, said the health research body.

A statement by the ICMR said that INTENT envisages providing evidence-based, cost-effective, scientifically sound, and culturally appropriate solutions to diseases and health issues of national and regional importance.

It will provide a single platform to conduct a range of RCTs, that will enable harmonization of trial methods, pooling of results, and timely completion of the projects, along with an inclusive representation of the diverse Indian communities, the agency added.

Additionally, this network is being projected to be at the forefront of the capacity building of a pool of health researchers across the country. The trainees will acquire requisite skills to plan and conduct RCTs and to analyse and disseminate the results that could inform policy and practice, said the ICMR.

Among others, the areas which will be covered by INTENT are reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child, and adolescent health communicable and noncommunicable diseases, nutrition, mental health, environmental health, health system research, healthcare financing, digital health, occupational health, vulnerable people’s health and oral health.

The clinical trials to be conducted by project partners can be grouped as short, intermediate, and long-term projects.

To begin with, the focus of the network will be on short-term projects, where questions relevant to national health needs can be answered within 1-2 years and the projects will be primarily funded by ICMR.