New Delhi, July 3 (IANS) Amid the rising cases of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country, professionals, teachers, researchers and students from various fields of studies such as computer science, chemistry, pharmacy, medicine and biotechnology will extend assistance in the process of research and preparation of a vaccine.
The dreaded virus has claimed over 17,800 lives in India so far, and there are currently 2,26,947 active cases in the country.
“Conducting a research on a drug is a very complex and expensive process. Computational drug design process can be used to complete it in a short period of time, and at a low cost,” Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said on Thursday.
“Most importantly, this initiative is for researchers from all over the world as we are also keen to include the international talent in our efforts to find a drug to combat Covid-19,” the Minister said.
For this action plan, the HRD Minister, and Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan jointly launched the Drug Discovery Hackathon on Thursday.
It also includes the All India Council for Technical Education and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.
The hackathon would be completed in three tracks.
The first track would use computational models for drug design or identification of compounds from existing databases that have the ability to inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
In the second track, participants would be encouraged to develop new tools and algorithms using data analytics and artificial intelligence, and machine learning to find compounds such as drugs with minimal toxicity and maximum specificity.
In the third track, only new and unique ideas would be seen and understood through the “moonshot approach”.
The initiative is supported by Hackathon CDAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing), MyGov, Schrodinger and Chemaxon.