In the last few months Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious Make in India initiative has boosted the prospects of several sectors. Emphasis is now laid on indigenous technology which has also employment potential. Agro and Herbal products are one of the most sought-after products in the country today.

The CSIR- North East Institute of Science and Technology-NEIST, Jorhat

is engaged in multidisciplinary research and design relevant to the country in general, and North Eastern Region in particular.

Established in 1961 as one of the multifocal laboratories of Council of Scientific & Industrial Research under its Chemical Science Group of laboratories, its major thrust has been to develop indigenous technologies by utilizing the immense natural wealth of India.

Over the years, NEIST has  developed expertise in the areas like natural products chemistry, drugs and drug intermediates, agro-technologies, petrochemicals, crude-oil transportations, paper and paper products, beneficiation chemicals, Bioremediation, ecology and environmental studies, geotechnical investigations, foundation design engineering, soil investigations and building materials.

Since inception, the Institute has generated more than a hundred technologies. About 60% of these innovations have been commercially successful. Besides the North-Eastern Region, other states have hugely benefitted from these innovations.

The expertise has not only contributed towards productivity, it has also ensured better use of local resources, employment generation, up-gradation of artisan skills and improvement in the quality of life. Users of these technologies include industrial concerns, first generation entrepreneurs, farmers, artisans, co-operative societies, voluntary organizations, rural communities and government agencies.

The CSIR- NEIST has now forayed into production with the manufacturing of several herbal medicines. The drugs produced here are cost-effective since these are based on aromatic herbs widely available in the region. In particular, the anti-arthritis drug boasts of a broad spectrum and relieves joint pain caused by osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Many arthritic and osteoarthritis patients have sent positive feedbacks.

Says Director P.G. Rao, “the anti-arthritis ointment can deal with different kinds of arthritis. This was the first time the institute produced something based on a technology researched by it.” NEIST has developed an anti-fungal cream named ‘Fungi Destruct’ as well.

NEIST has also developed low-dust chalk pencil, liquid deodorant, solid deodorant mushroom products and herbal room fresheners- all of which are aimed at the common man.

Besides product innovation and manufacturing NEIST-Jorhat is also involved in technology transfer, marketing agreements and industry linkage. In the recently concluded MSME fair in Bhubaneswar, NEIST-Jorhat had exhibited some of its popular products with great appreciation. Business enquiries apart, huge numbers of visitors were drawn to these products.

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