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Annual day celebration @ NIRT Madurai Unit

NIRT Annual day celebration was held at Madurai unit within the campus of the unit at Ward 62, Government Rajaji Hospital(GRH), on 29/08/2018 from 11.30 am to 3.30 pm. The staff members participated enthusiastically in the event. On behalf of the Dean of Government Rajaji Hospital /Madurai Medical College, Dr.Shanmuga Sundaram, Medical Superintendent of GRH, presided the event. Accepting our invitation, Dr.Prabhakaran, HOD of Thoracic Medicine, and Dr.Rajaprakash, Deputy Director- Medical service(TB)/ DTO Madurai felicitated and all doctors from Thoracic Medicine and RNTCP cell, GRH participated.

The three NIRT Madurai unit staff members namely M/s. P. Pandeeswari, M/s. M. Rathinam and Mr.C. Nagaraju were honoured for completion of 25 years of meritorious service by awarding the Watches and Certificates given by our NIRT, was presented to them by the Chief Guest.

We started the event with prayer song, welcome address was given by Dr. V. Poorana Gangadevi, Scientist C. Dr.S.Ramesh Kumar, Scientist E, delivered a presentation on 'NIRT Genesis and Achievements'. Dr.K.Chandrasekaran, Principal Technical Officer(Statistics) delivered the vote of Thanks. Mr.Rajasakthivel, Medical Social Worker, compered  the event and the event ended with the National Anthem. Lunch was served and some enthusiastic cultural events by the staff took place.

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72nd  Independence day celebration

The 72nd Independence Day was celebrated on a grand scale at our institute on 15th Aug 2018. It is the institute's practice that the flag be hoisted by a staff who is going to attain his/her superannuation during that year, as a ceremonial reverence.   The ceremony began with the hoisting of the National flag by Dr. N S Gomathi, who will be superannuating in June, 2019.

The Independence Day celebration was well attended by the staff and families.  All attendees were given breakfast and a special meeting was conducted to commemorate the Heroes of Independence.   Dr. Srikanth Tripathy, Director-in-charge, NIRT presided and addressed the gathering. Mr Sreekantan (Senior Administrative Officer, NIRT), Dr N.S Gomathi (special guest), Dr. N. Saravanan (Chairman, sports committee) and Dr Beena Thomas (Scientist 'E') also addressed the gathering.  Mr. S. Rajendran (senior sports committee member) coordinated the meeting. 

As part of Independence Day celebration, it is a regular practice to conduct sports events for all the staff members of NIRT (permanent, project and housekeeping) and their family members. With regard to this, the DIC appointed Sports Committee, coordinated and conducted nearly 200 matches which included cricket, volley ball, throw ball etc., and achieved a tremendous success in conducting the events. Prizes for the successful participants (staff members and their family members) were distributed by the Director-in-charge during the function. After distribution of sweets to all the attendees, the function concluded with vote of thanks by Dr. N. Saravanan followed by the National Anthem. 

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Observance of Sadbhavana Diwas




Workshop on ‘Updates in ICMR Ethical guidelines'

NIRT-Institutional Ethics Committee organised a Workshop on ‘Updates in ICMR Ethical guidelines' on 21st July, 2018 (Saturday) in the Main conference room, Patient care facility building, ICMR-NIRT, Chennai. The workshop was attended by representatives from ICMR-NIRT, YRG care, Chennai and SRMC, Porur. A total of 52 participants attended the workshop.

The Chairperson of NIRT-IEC, Dr.Vijayalakshmi Thanasekaran welcomed the participants and emphasized the importance of getting appraised about the recent ICMR Ethical guidelines. Dr Mohan Natrajan, Head of the Department of Clinical Research welcomed the faculty members. The lectures commenced after the self-introduction of workshop participants. Dr Vasantha Muthuswamy, Former Senior Deputy Director General, ICMR, New Delhi provided insights on the Evolution of ICMR Ethical Guidelines. She highlighted the essentials in the National Ethical guidelines for Biomedical and Health research involving human participants, 2017. Dr Nandini K Kumar, Former Deputy Director General (Sr. Grade), ICMR, New Delhi elaborated on the categorisation of risk involved in research studies and the type of review to be performed by Ethical committee. Dr Paul Kumaran, Scientist E, ICMR-NIRT, Madurai outlined the ethics in public health research. Dr Shuba Kumar, Founder Member & Secretary ‘SAMARTH', Chennai described ethics in the context of socio-behavioural research. Dr Roli Mathur, Scientist E & Head, ICMR Bioethics Unit, ICMR-NCDIR, Bangalore presented the draft ICMR Guidelines for Common Review of Multicentre Research. Ethics in research on biological materials and datasets was highlighted by Dr Nandini K Kumar.

The queries from the participants were clarified by the faculty members. The workshop ended with the felicitation of the faculty by Dr.Vijayalakshmi Thanasekaran, Chairperson of NIRT-IEC.

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‘Irular' is one of the tribal groups of India, also known as the second largest tribal group of Tamilnadu. They mainly reside in the lower slopes of Western Ghats at present which cover the states of Tamilnadu and Kerala in South India.

The Department of Social and Behavioural Research (DBSR), National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT), Chennai has adopted Arunkundram and Kunnapattu villages in Kancheepuram district, Tamilnadu to formulate a model tribal village. The main approach behind this is to adopt a holistic and need based, and focus on the overall development and access to health care among the tribal groups in collaboration with NGOs and other public as well as private organizations. This programme was initiated in the year 2014 and has been in progress till date.

The department has linked with the Madras Atomic Power Station, Kalpakkam in giving vocational training on tailoring to the tribal women in Arunkundram village. Apart from this, we have undertaken need assessments, community awareness programmes on TB and alcohol in Panchathriti in Kunapattu village, providing sanitation facility and renewable energy support (Solar panel) for the tribal community with the help of State Tribal Welfare, TamilNadu.

We have been able to linked a 2 year old child from Panchathirti village who was diagnosed TB and was given treatment and has completed the treatment. Also, one 18 year old boy from Manamai village, who had congenital heart disease, was identified and had undergone Angio process in Madras Medical Mission Hospital, Chennai.

Kancheepuram district was one of the most affected places during the flood that hit some parts of Tamilnadu during the month of November and December 2015 . In aid to this issue, flood relief work was carried out at Panchathirti and Arunkundram villages as these villages were severely affected due to the flood. This relief work was carried out in network with NGOs and other sponsors where nearly 150 families were given support and assistance.

The NIRT team has also been networking with the villagers and the District Collectorate for accessing ration cards and pattas (land agreements). So far, 42 ration cards have been obtained and the process for land agreements underway.

We also approached the CSR wing of the Kalpakkam Nuclear Plan for a provision of toilet facilities in the area. In May 2018, fifty two toilets have been sanctioned and work is underway. We were also asked to provide feedback on how the CSR could be involved in strengthening the health services infrastructure in the PHC near Kalpakkam which the team was able to provide.




International International Yoga Day Celebrations 2018

The International Yoga Day celebrations started with the invocation to almighty by Mr.SriRamachandran. The event was hosted by Mrs. Girijalakshmi. This was followed by meditation for 10 minutes.

After a peaceful start, the Welcome Address was given by Dr. Mohan Natrajan, HOD, Clinic followed by the YOGA demonstration by the Simplified Kundalini Yoga (SKY) group members trained by the Sky instructors, Mr. SriRamachandran and Mrs. Girijalakshmi. This demonstration was attended by around 75 staff members while 10 of them performed various “asanas” led by their instructors.

Prof. A.G. Latha Kumar, the Chief Guest for the programme explained the importance of practising yoga on a daily basis. Her language was so very simple that kept the audience involved throughout her oration. This was followed by the speech from Dr. Srikanth Tripathy, Director-in-charge who stressed on the need to practise yoga and also on the ways of doing it. Dr. Rathinasabapati, Senior Library and Information Officer explained the need and the ways of maintaining a good body and soul by practising yoga.

Mr. Sreekantan, Senior Administrative Officer delivered the vote of thanks and appreciated the staff for their active and zealous participation.


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Second Dr. V. Kumaraswami Endowment Lecture

The Second Dr V Kumaraswami Endowment lecture was held on 18 th June, 2018 at NIRT.

Dr. Srikanth Tripathy, Director-in-Charge, NIRT, welcomed the gathering. Dr S.P. Tripathy, Former Director-General, ICMR and Dr. P.R. Narayanan, Former Director, NIRT were the special invites for the event.

Recorded video messages from Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Dy. Director General, WHO Programs, Geneva and Prof. K.V. Thiruvengadam, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, were telecasted with regard to Dr. V. Kumaraswami oration and book release. Dr. Eric Ottesen, MD, Director NTD-SC, Global Task Force, Atlanta, USA presented the oration on the topic titled “Solving the Lymphatic Filariasis problem by research”. A memento was presented to Dr. Eric Ottesen by Dr Srikanth Prasad Tripathy, Director-in-Charge.

During the session, two books were released.

1. Human Lymphatic Filariasis – Current understanding edited by Dr. Rajasekaran S. released by Dr. Eric Ottesen.

2. A booklet about Dr.V. Kumaraswami titled “The many – splendored personality” was released on behalf of NIRT released by Dr.S.P. Tripathy.

Senior retired staff of NIRT and friends and colleagues of Dr V Kumaraswami together with his brother Mr. Murali Vasanthapuram attended and graced the function.

The program was concluded with a vote of thanks delivered by Dr.K.R. Uma Devi, Head of Department of Immunology, NIRT.


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Hyperlink from today's The Hindu (19.6.19) about the event on 18 th June, 2018


Dr.V Kumaraswami Endowment Lecture - 18th June 2018


International Workshop on Genomics of Tuberculosis and HIV

Genome sequencing is revolutionizing the pathogen diagnosis, genotyping, detection of virulence, and detection of resistance. It has opened the path for advanced translational research in the TB.

An International workshop on 'Genomics of Tuberculosis and HIV” was organized and conducted by the ICMR- National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) from 14th to 16th May 2018. This symposium was jointly organized by the National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis and University of Sydney with Central TB Division, New Delhi.

This workshop brought together experienced scientists, clinicians and public health specialists from the University of Sydney and NIRT with expertise in WGS, bioinformatics, public health and clinical aspects of TB and HIV drug resistance.

Dr. Srikanth Tripathy, Director in charge, NIRT welcomed the gathering during the Inaugural session and Dr. Soumya Swaminathan,   Deputy Director General, WHO provided the keynote address through a video recording and stressed on the importance of developing such new technologies and encouraged the clinicians and researchers to address the lacunae in pediatric TB diagnosis and treatment. This was followed by three sessions spread over three days with three themes namely updates on tuberculosis control, current status, whole genome sequencing preparation and troubleshooting and whole genome sequencing data analysis.

The first-day symposium focused on the updates on tuberculosis control and current status. International and national experts from the field of Mycobacterial whole genome sequencing and drug resistance, participated in the symposium and delivered lectures on their contributions towards Tuberculosis, HIV and emphasized on the need for Whole Genome Sequencing in these fields. The prominent speakers in the order of their presentations were, Dr. Shailendra Sawleshwarkar Senior Lecturer and Education Lead, The University of Sydney, Prof. Vitali Sintchenko Director, Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology (CIDM) Public Health, Sydney West LHD and Pathology West. Dr. Barend Jacobus (Ben) Marais, Professor, The Children's Hospital at Westmead Clinical School, Sydney, Dr. Nishant Kumar, DADG-TB, MoHFW, Dr. K R Uma Devi, Scientist D, NIRT, Chennai, Dr. Mohan Natrajan Scientist F NIRT, Chennai and Dr. Luke Elizabeth Hanna Scientist E NIRT, Chennai. The first day of the meeting was attended by 50 or more participants. In addition, inputs and concerns towards implementation of this technique into the program were discussed with the experts.

On the panel discussion, pros and cons of the utility of this WGS technique were widely discussed and recommendations were made to move forward with whole-genome sequencing and data management for national program and research which will lead to the development of a national database for genotypic and phenotypic drug resistance tuberculosis strains in India. The meeting was concluded with valedictory remarks and vote of thanks proposed by Dr. Luke Elizabeth Hanna Scientist E NIRT, Chennai, who thanked the participants, speakers and her entire organizing team members and staff for making this event remarkable and successful.

This was followed by 2-days hands-on workshop for a focused group of 13 participants. They were provided with lectures on sequencing technology and a demo on the sequencing protocol. Participants had the opportunity for a brief hands-on training on CLC workbench to enable extraction of sequencing reads belonging to a specific pathogen, detect mixed infection of multiple strains of the same species etc. The participants for this 2-day workshop included all the sites which have been installed with MIseq system by Central TB division of India. The resource persons for the hands-on workshop include Dr. Nathan Bachmann and Dr. Ranjeeta Menon from the University of Sydney and Dr. K R Uma Devi NIRT Chennai, Dr. S Siva Kumar Chennai, Dr. S. Tamilzhalagan, Dr. Suresh and Mrs. Suganthi from NIRT, Chennai.

Participants also had the opportunity to interact with the faculty from the University of Sydney and NIRT to increase their knowledge on mycobacterial sequencing. Participation certificates were issued for all the participants who underwent the 2 days hands-on workshop.

The organizers thanked the participants and Central TB Division for sparing their time and taking up the opportunity to learn the latest cutting-edge technology that could serve as a major tool for TB control and prevention.


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Launch of “Manage TB” – an Online Course for Doctors

The Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (ICMR-NIRT) launched an Online Course for Doctors entitled “Manage TB” on 3rd of May 2018 at a function organised at the Institute premises in Chennai. This 8-week course was designed by the scientists of the NIRT in technical collaboration with the National Programme for Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) of the IIT, Chennai. After a brief welcome address by Dr. Srikanth Tripathy, Director-in-Charge of NIRT, Dr. Banu Rekha, Scientist, presented an overview of the online course. She said that the course had been prepared in consultation with experts in the field of TB management and covered the epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control of TB as a public health problem

The course was officially launched by Shri. Madhusudhan Reddy, IAS, Deputy Commissioner (Health) of Greater Chennai Corporation. He said that A course like this was very much needed in view of the End TB strategy and the TB free Chennai initiative that have been rolled out recently. He said he would urge all the doctors in the Corporation of Chennai to enrol in the course and requested the IMA President to help to disseminate the information to the larger body of practicing doctors. He also said that courses aimed at the paramedical staff involved in TB control would be very helpful.

A message from the Director General of the ICMR was read out by Dr. Tripathy. Dr. Sanjay Mehendale, former Additional Director General of the ICMR recalled that it was the Institute of Epidemiology (NIE) of which he was the Director, that had first ventured into online teaching in collaboration with NPTEL with their course on Fundamentals of Health Research. He expressed his happiness at the launch of the course on TB management but urged the scientists to carefully evaluate the course periodically.

Dr. Rupak Singla, Head of Department of TB and Respiratory Diseases, National Institute for TB and Respiratory Diseases, (NITRD), Delhi and Dr. Uma Shankar,Head of Epidemiology &Research Division of the National TB Institute (NTI), Bangalore and Dr.Lakshmi Murali,DTO, Thiruvallur also addressed the gathering and congratulated the NIRT for having coming up with this course. Dr. J A Jayalal, President of IMA, Tamil Nadu expressed his support in dissemination of information about the course to the IMA fraternity and suggested to explore accreditation for the course or in the awarding of CME credit points. Prof Andrew Thangaraj of the NPTEL briefly described the organisation and functioning of the NPTEL and highlighted the huge reach of it courses, mainly in the field of engineering.Mementoes were distributed to the faculty of the course and the meeting concluded with a vote of thanks by Dr. Mohan Natrajan, Head of Department of Clinical Research, NIRT .


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“Paediatric TB Symposium”

A symposium on “Tuberculosis and Children” was jointly organized by ICMR-NIRT, Chennai, India and The University of Sydney, Australia. Dr. Barend Jacobus (Ben) Marais, Professor in Paediatrics and Infectious Diseases, The University of Sydney was the faculty of the symposium. The symposium was held in NIRT as well as telecasted online through the Zoom platform. The various topics covered includes prevention, diagnosis, treatment and drug resistant TB in children. The meeting was attended by paediatricians, pulmonologists and representatives of different institutions in person as well as online.

Invitation 15th May, 2018.


Swachhta Pakhwada (April 1st – April 15th)

As part of the Swachhta Pakhwada for Department of Health Research scheduled from 1st April to 15th April, 2018, the following activities were carried out at ICMR-National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT), Chennai:

Two public parks and one corporation playground which were near the office campus were cleaned by the staff of NIRT who volunteered from different departments on 12.04.2018. Around 20 bags of garbage were collected, segregated into biodegradable and degradable waste and handed over to the Corporation staff for disposal. The staff of various departments of the Institute were involved in voluntary cleaning of the office space including proper rearrangement of files, office supplies, lab supplies, organizing and installing newly purchased instruments, proper storing of old instruments for disposal, etc. A team of doctor, nurses and other staff of the Institute visited a corporation middle school on 13.04.2018 which also had an orphanage attached. The children were educated regarding the importance of personal and environmental hygiene. Toiletries were distributed to these children. Necessary cleaning materials were distributed to the managing staff. The whole campus including the school and orphanage which was situated above the school were cleaned by the staff of NIRT.

A special lecture on “Environmental hygiene and quality of life” was delivered by Dr. B.M. Shrinivasa, Scientist ‘B' of our institute, who is a Public Health specialist on 11.04.2018 stressing the importance of clean environment and the impact on human life. Posters containing various cleanliness messages were displayed in various departments, lunch rooms, restrooms, front office etc. Posters depicting the theme of World Health day 2018 “Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere” were displayed for staff awareness. Many trees inside the campus were destroyed during the last rain-storm which struck the city. New tree saplings and plants were planted in the garden to maintain the official campus as a green and clean environment.


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Awareness Lecture on Anti-Women Sexual Harassment at Workplace

Dr. Sudha Subramanyam, Scientist ‘E' & Chairperson, Anti-Women Harassment Committee of NIRT organised a talk on the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) on Monday, 26 th March, 2018.

The talk was delivered by Shri. P Murugesan (STO, Social Scientist of NIRT) in coordination with Shri. C Saravanan (STO of NIRT). The talk was in Tamil (local language) for the benefit of the contractual and daily wages-based women workers. The audience comprised largely of women with a sizeable number of male colleagues. The talk was divided into three parts-

•  Prevention
•  Prohibition and
•  Redressal.

Each of these were presented in detail with examples from situations arising from daily work routine. There was good attendance and the interactive session was very much useful wherein questions were raised and answered appropriately. The concept of SHE- box (Sexual Harassment Electronic-Box) launched by the Ministry of Women and Child Development was explained to the audience.


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Farewell to Dr.Soumya Swaminathan-DG, ICMR

A felicitation cum farewell event was organised for Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Director General, ICMR on obtaining the post of Deputy Director General, WHO, Geneva. This was attended by the staff of NIRT existing, retired and Scientific Advisory Committee members.

This event was creatively done and stood apart from usual farewell function held in NIRT (ICMR). It started with our Director General been escorted with female staff holding light up Diya on their palm while she entered the gathering seated in the atrium. This entry was accompanied by loud music “waving flag (football anthem)” and an energetic dance from different corners by the staff holding up balloons. After the lighting of the lamp there was a song by the staff with catchy lyrics and own composition.

Celebrate people celebrate (2)

She is our Hero

She is a shining Star

She is the global face

India's Pride

Who is she?

Dr. Soumya Swaminathan

Celebrate people celebrate (2)

She is the warrior

Mentor friend and guide

She's the DG

Now the DDG




Celebrate people celebrate (2)


This was followed by classic renderation of Dr. Soumya Swaminathan favourite song titled “Mahro Pranam Banke Bihari Ji“. Tribute was given by Dr. P. R. Narayanan, Dr. Srikanth P. Tripathy, NIRT Welfare Association and Senior Administrative Officer Mr. Jagdish Rajesh.

A surprise item on the agenda was a song sung by our Director General accompanied by few staff of NIRT. This reflected the hidden talents of singing of our Director General who is internationally recognised for our scientific expertise and leadership quality. Following this was a take home message rendered beautifully by our Director General going down memory lane of how she started her career at NIRT and reminding the staff on the need to keep the NIRT flag flying high through commitment to team works, development of scientific research and the need for a holistic multi-disciplinary approach.

We wish our Director General the very best in the future as she takes up a prominent leadership role as Deputy Director General, World Health Organisation, Geneva.


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World TB Day Programme at NIRT

The World TB Day (March 24) is designed to build awareness on the global epidemic of tuberculosis and on the elimination of TB. It commemorates the date in 1882 when Dr.Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes TB. The World TB Day celebrations 2018 at ICMR-National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) was held on 23 rd March, 2018. The programme was very much in line with the World TB Day theme “Wanted: Leaders for a TB-Free World”. Dr. Srikanth Tripathy, Director-in-charge of ICMR-NIRT welcomed the gathering and stressed on the need to eliminate TB epidemic by 2025, as envisaged by the Hon'ble PM of India.

The cultural programmes emphasised the need for public awareness about the early diagnosis, treatment initiation and continuance and the importance of alcohol and smoking cessation. An interactive session with treated TB patients was also held where the patients shared their experiences. All health care workers were updated on the Latest TB guidelines. A booklet on “Prof. Wallace Fox, a Pioneer in TB research” was released in the gracious presence of Dr. S Radhakrishna, Ex-Director, IRMS, Shri Paul Somasundaram, Dr Santha Devi, Dr M.S. Jawahar, retired senior scientists of our institute. The scientists of NIRT gave an over view of the future projects namely the ‘Manage TB” – A Online TB Course for Physicians, TB-Free Chennai initiative and use of Next Generation Sequencing for TB Research.


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Research Methodology and Biostatistics workshop for
Medical Professionals

ICMR-National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chennai conducted the Research Methodology and Biostatistics workshop for Medical Professionals from 1 st -12 th January 2018, which was funded by the Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Fifteen participants from various Medical Colleges in India including North East participated in this workshop. The participants included mid-level Medical College Faculty and Post Graduate Students. They were trained on various aspects of research methodology including identifying health problems, framing the right research question and objectives, choosing appropriate methodology, data collection, analysis plan and presentation of data. Hands on exercise was given on doing literature search using Pubmed, reference management using Mendeley and data analysis using Epi-Info. The participants developed and presented a concept note an identified research topic.

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A training session & demonstration on Fire Safety will be conducted by Mr. A.K. Kumar, Fire Safety Officer, Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services 7th March, 2018.


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A Seminar to disseminate the ICMR Guidelines National Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical and health research involving Human participants and involving children , National Guidelines for Stem Cell Research 2017 was conducted by National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research ( NCDIR ), Indian Council of Medical Research ( ICMR ).In collaboration with Sri Ramachandra Medical College & Research Institute (DU), National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis. For more....

Dissemination Program - ICMR National Ethical Guidelines 2017


Dr. S. Ramesh Kumar, Scientist E(Medical), received Gold medal for Ist Rank holder in the MPH course(Clinical trials) at SRM University.





A Technical consultation on Latent Tuberculosis Infection in India National Institute for TB Research,
Chennai, 29-30 June, 2017




Raashtriya Ekta Diwas” being celebrated at ICMR-NIRT
Pledge being taken by the employees of ICMR-NIRT





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A glimpse of the 61stAnnual day celebrations in NIRT on 11.08.17

The 61st Annual Day started with the invocation to God by reciting the Tamizh Thai Vazhthu. This was followed by a welcome speech by Dr. Srikanth Tripathy, MD, Director-In-Charge, NIRT. Two of the eminent Chest physicians in the city, who were also the heads of their respective institutions, Dr. A. Mahilmaran, MD (Chest)-(Director, ITM) and Dr. R. Sridhar, MD (Chest)-(Superintendent, GHTM, Tambaram), appreciated the efforts of NIRT in TB research and commended our Institution and its Directors for the achievements of NIRT. They recalled the goal of starting this institution, with a motto to frame guidelines for the National TB Programme, and also elaborated on their never-ending friendship with the institute and its staff that had been built over decades of effective, fruitful and eminent collaboration. The staff, who had completed 25 years of selfless and memorable service, were felicitated by the dignitaries. This included Mr.C.Gopala Krishnan, Mr.D.Thangaraj, Mr.C.Uthara Bahadur, Mrs.R.Saraladevi, Mr.B.Durairaj and Mrs.A.Gunasundari. The Director-in-charge, in his address, gave a vivid description regarding the role of various staff, both past and present, who had contributed immensely to the progress and scientific development of this prestigious institution. Various achievements and awards that have been obtained by the staff during this year, were enlisted by the head of the institute. The Senior Administrative Officer stressed that each one of the staff should strive to make this institution, a pioneer in TB research .This was followed by the Cultural programme that stole the lime light, lightening the hearts of the entire audience who keenly watched the show and enjoyed the programme. At the end of the day, the members of the Annual Day Committee had done their job efficiently and satisfactorily, to make the entire event a grand success. This was followed by the Vote of thanks by Dr.G.Narendran, DNB (Chest),ScE, NIRT and the programme ended with the National Anthem.



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Media Advocacy Program

TheA Media Advocacy Program on Tuberculosis was held on 10th June 2017(Saturday) from 11. AM to 12.00 PM at Madurai Reporters hall, Madurai. The program titled "Partnership for TB Care and Control" was aimed to sensitize and create awareness to the media on tuberculosis, organised for journalists and to request the media to spread the information on TB to public via their media. Director of REACH (NGO) Dr.Nalini Krishnan and other people from NGOs working on TB also attended. Dr.S.Ramesh Kumar, Scientist E (Medical) of ICMR-National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) was invited as resource person on TB, and he delivered some message on TB to media which was expected to be conveyed to public through their media. After basically briefing about NIRT centre, delivered speech on TB, insisting on treatment compliance, TB associated with - HIV, Diabetes and Smoking and also briefing about MDR/XDR TB. MLA of Madurai North, and former Mayor of Madurai - Mr.Rajan Chellappa presided over function and he delivered his address, some social issues like increasing the incentives to TB patients from Rs.1000/- to Rs.2000/- was discussed and he said he will try to take up this issue to the government. The news on the program was published in English and Tamil dailies.







Dissemination Meeting on the study ‘Investigating Pre-treatment Loss to Follow-up (PTLFU) of smear positive Tuberculosis patients in the RNTCP in Chennai and Tiruvallur districts, Tamilnadu' June 23, 2017






Workshop on “Socio Behavioural Interventions – Changing Trends”
Date: June 15th 2017; Venue – National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, ICMR





YOGA Day Celebrations @ NIRT

The rich cultural heritage of Mother India and the spirituality of its soul were revisited by the reverberation of the Yoga day celebrations at NIRT, fulfilling the vision of the senior leadership of our country.

The Yoga day started with the invocation to almighty by Dr.N.S.Gomathi, followed by recital of Adi- sankara’s Guru Ashtakam reiterating the greatness of the Guru by Dr.G.Narendran, the convenor of this programme,.“Speak only when your words are more beautiful than silence” is the rule we followed, starting the session with the meditation.

This was followed by the Welcome address by Director –In-Charge , Dr.Srikanth Tripathy , who stressed the need for regular practice of yoga, not only in the office but also carry home the message of the eternal love, benefitting the society . He added that Yoga has the dual advantage of increasing concentration and reducing stress simultaneously, enhancing the efficiency of the working environment.

This was followed by the YOGA demonstration by the Simplified Kundalini Yoga (SKY) group members trained by the Sky instructors, Mr. SriRamachandran and Mrs. Girijalakshmi . Mrs. Girija Lakshmi was the recipient of the SKY award recently for her contribution to Yoga. This Yoga teaching initiative was started under the leadership of Dr. Soumya Swaminathan who is currently the Director General ICMR and Health Secretary DHR. These yoga classes have been successfully continuing for the last 6 years. This demonstration was attended by around 80 staff with 15 of them performing various “Asanas”, led by Mr. Sri Ramachandran.

Prof. Ganesan, the Chief Guest, who was one of the direct disciples of Shri Vedathri Maharishi himself, provided practical solutions and salvations from day to day problems through the practice of yoga. He said that the life of the human beings has become mechanical and a revolution needs to take place where the individual starts allocating time to understand his health, body and mind rather than spending more time and money when he becomes ill and his homeostasis gets disturbed. He suggested simple life modifications based on ancient practices which could benefit the human body. His speech was interspersed with anecdotes that were filled with humour and humanity.

Mr.T.N.Venkatesan, Yoga therapist cum instructor from the prestigious Krishmacharya Yoga Mandiram, talked about the significant contributions of his eminent institution in the field of Yoga and the use of Yoga for remedial measures. As his interactive session commenced, he impressed the entire audience by demonstrating simple exercises which could be routinely practised by merely sitting in a chair. He explained the importance of synchronising respiratory movements with the body and the soul.

Dr.G.Narendran explained the scientific principles behind some of these exercises performed during the Asanas, integrating science and religion. Quoting that life is a journey between human being and being human, he laid emphasis on the need for spirituality in life. He reckoned the efforts of the great sons of our “Mathru- bhumi” like Swami Vivekananda and Shri Sankaracharya who were active in spreading Yogic practices.

Dr.Mohan Natrajan, HOD Clinic, shared similar views and remarked that a tiny individual contribution finally could make a mass appeal. He confessed that he could perceive the internal peace in his mind and soul, with just 10 minutes of participating in this programme.

Mr.Jagdish Rajesh, Sr.Administrative Officer delivered the vote of thanks and appreciated the staff for the active and zealous participation. He said that in the world of stressful life, yoga helps in overcoming these problems providing us with a balanced mind to solve our problems.

The programme ended with the National Anthem, with all the staff singing in unison, the glory of our motherland,



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NIRT implemented TIE-TB Mobile TB Diagnostic Vans flagged off by the Honorable Chief Minister of
Gujarat Shri Vijay Rupani on 08.06.2017 in Dahod district.

Targeted Intervention to Expand and Strengthen TB Control in Tribal Populations under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme, India (TIE-TB Project) Multi-centric implementation research study.

National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) is implementing this project in four (pre dominantly tribal) districts of Gujarat in support with Revised National TB Control Programme, India. The primary objective of this project is to improve the tribal population's access towards early diagnosis of Tuberculosis and further treatment. This project employs Mobile Tuberculosis Diagnostic Vans (MTDV) as primary intervention tool which are equipped with sputum microscopy and digital X ray facilities. MDTVs will undertake periodical visits to the hard to reach remote villages and difficult terrains to provide onsite diagnosis for TB. On the 8th of June, 2017 the Seven MTDVs have been flagged by the Honorable Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Vijay Rupani in Dahod district.






TB sensitization programmes held in

commemoration of World TB Day 2017





International symposium on 'Genomics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis'


International symposium on 'Genomics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis" had been organized and conducted by the Department of Bacteriology from National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) – ICMR on the 17 th and 18 th Feb 2017. This symposium was part of capacity building for whole  genome  sequencing (WGS) facility at NIRT for sequencing mycobacterial  strains; in collaboration with Centre for disease control (CDC) Atlanta , USA , Cambridge University , UK along with Central TB Division, New Delhi .


Dr. Srikanth Tripathy, Director in charge, NIRT welcomed the gathering during inaugural session and Dr. Soumya Swaminathan,   Secretary, Department of Health Research and Director General of  Indian Council of Medical Research presided over the meeting and delivered the key note address, followed by three sessions spread over one and half days with three themes namely WGS data analysis and Management, WGS in transmission dynamics of Tuberculosis followed by Phenotype and NGS/sequencing based DST. These sessions were chaired by Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Dr Sharon Peacock, University of Cambridge UK , Dr. Patrick Mooran CDC, Atlanta , USA .


International and national experts from the field of Mycobacterial whole genome sequencing and drug resistance, participated in the symposium and delivered lectures on their contributions towards Tuberculosis and emphasized on the need for Whole Geneome Sequencing. The prominent speakers were, Dr Sharon Peacock University of Cambridge UK, Dr Akhilesh Pandey Johns Hopkins University U.S.A, Dr Patricia Campbell and Dr. Patrick Mooran, CDC, Atlanta, USA , , Chennai, Dr Tim Walker, University of Oxford , UK , Dr Sujatha Narayanan Scientist G (Retd) NIRT, Dr Nerges Mistry FMR, Mumbai. Dr. Camilla Rodrigues, Hinduja Hospital , Mumbai. In addition, inputs and concerns towards implementation of this technique into the program were discussed with the experts, Dr C N Paramasivam FIND, India and Dr Mayank Ghedia CTD, New Delhi and Dr. Reshu Agarwal, CDC India.


During the final day discussion, pros and cons of the utility of this WGS technique was widely discussed and recommendations were made to move forward with whole genome sequencing and data management for national program and research which will lead to development of a national database for genotypic and phenotypic drug resistance tuberculosis strains in India . These recommendations were of great importance and right in time, when whole genome sequencing facility, with MiSeq a next generation sequencer, together with pyro sequencing have been established at National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT). The two major ongoing projects namely (1) Protecting and improving public health globally: Building laboratory, surveillance and workforce capacity to detect, respond to, and prevent drug resistant tuberculosis in India and (2) Cambridge-Chennai Centre Partnership on Antimicrobial Resistance in Tuberculosis: Focus on Novel Diagnostics and Therapeutics aims for potential use of whole genome sequencing of mycobacterial strains for early diagnosis, transmission and treatment management of MDR-TB. The meeting was concluded with valedictory remarks and vote of thanks proposed by Dr. Uma Devi, Head, and Department of Bacteriology who thanked the participants, speakers and her entire organizing team members and staff for making this event remarkable and successful.




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World TB Day celebrations on 24th March 2017 at Grant Lyon village near Redhills by joining hands with ITM & IMA, NIRT conducted a mass screening programme for Tuberculosis detection.


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The National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis-ICMR, Chennai in collaboration with Paediatric European Network for Treatment of AIDS-PENTA organized a training programme 'Tr@inforPedHIV/TB-India' on 'Prevention and Management of Tuberculosis and HIV in Children and Young People' at Chennai from 23rd to 25th January 2017.

The National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) is India 's foremost national research institute for TB under Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and a WHO collaborating centre for Research and Training in Tuberculosis. Apart from capacity building the healthcare workers on prevention and management of Tuberculosis infection, our other priorities are developing safer and more effective diagnostic tools and TB treatment regimens in adults and children as well as undertaking basic research in the areas of TB diagnosis and treatment.

Paediatric European Network for Treatment of AIDS-PENTA has designed the Tr@inforPedHIV course for all healthcare professionals caring for children living with HIV and TB, including training doctors, nurses, counsellors and psychologists. This course has been running successfully since 2005 with over 40 courses in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America . PENTA ran the course in India for the first time in Pune in January 2016, there was a great demand for a follow on course.

This Tr@inforPedHIV/TB course was organized for the first time in Tamil Nadu at Chennai and for the second time in India with an objective to capacity build paediatricians and medical officers in the early prevention and management of paediatric tuberculosis and paediatric HIV across medical colleges from Tamilnadu and other states of India . The faculties comprised of eminent medical researchers and academicians from Europe, South Africa as well as India . Most of the participants invited to attend this training course were paediatricians and medical officers from medical colleges across Tamil Nadu and other parts of India, which was an vision of Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Secretary to Govt. of India, Department of Health Research and Director general, ICMR to capacity build every paediatricians and medical officers working in the medical colleges in the prevention and management of paediatric tuberculosis and paediatric HIV.

Inauguration of 'Tr@inforPedHIV/TB-India' training programme was attended by Dr.T.Ravichandran, Director in-charge, Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children, Egmore; Dr. Sridhar, Medical Superintendent, Govt. Hospital of Thoracic Medicine, Tambaram; Dr. Mohan Natarajan, Director in-charge, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chetpet; Prof. Di Gibb, Professor & Consultant Pediatrician, University College London, UK; Dr. Steve Welch, Consultant Paediatrician & PENTA education lead, UK; and Dr. Syed Hissar, Medical Scientist, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chetpet, Chennai. The 3 day programme mainly focussed on Epidemiology and pathogenesis of TB and HIV, newer guidelines (both national and International) on Diagnosis, management and prevention of HIV-TB co-infection. The course also had sessions on some of the burning issues like Long term complications of Antiretroviral therapy(ART) ,adolescent care, treatment during TB and HIV treatment during pregnanacy and pharmacokinetics of ART and ATT drugs.

On 25 th January 2017, the Valedictory function was attended by Prof. Dr. S. Geethalakshmi, Vice-Chancellor, The Tamil Nadu DR.M.G.R. Medical University, Chennai; Dr. Pradeep Menon, Director in-charge, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chetpet; Dr. Steve Welch, Consultant Paediatrician & PENTA education lead, UK; Dr.PK Bhavani, Dr. Angeline Grace and Dr. Syed Hissar, Organizing team & Medical Scientists, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chetpet, Chennai. Prof. Dr. S. Geethalakshmi, Vice-Chancellor, The Tamil Nadu DR.M.G.R. Medical University , Chennai congratulated the NIRT, International and national faculties and delegates on organizing a very successful training programme involving most of the medical colleges under the Tamil Nadu DR.M.G.R. Medical University on a much needed and very important topic of Paediatric Tuberculosis and Pediatric HIV. The Govt. of Tamil Nadu through medical colleges across the state has taken various steps for early diagnosis and management of pediatric tuberculosis and pediatric HIV. This state of art training programme will certainly augment the local efforts in the early prevention and management of pediatric tuberculosis and pediatric HIV. Prof. Dr. S. Geethalakshmi urged the delegates to implement the updated knowledge for the benefit of public at large. 


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