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Establishment of a network of Laboratories for managing epidemics and Natural Calamities (VRDL)


This is a Central Sector (CS) Scheme approved by the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) Chaired by Secretary (Expenditure) & Finance Secretary in the meeting held on 20th March, 2013. Approval of the CCEA was accorded on 27th June, 2013 at an estimated cost of Rs.646.83 crores for the 12th Plan period. Later approval of Standing Finance Committee (SFC) was accorded on 19.09.2017 at an estimated cost of Rs 488.5 crores for 14th Finance Commission Period (2017-18 to 2019-20). The scheme was further extended by one year till 31stMarch, 2021 in order to tie it up with the 14th Finance Commission Period.

Objective of the Scheme

  • Creating infrastructure for timely identification of viruses and other agents causing morbidity significant at public health level and specifically agents causing epidemics and/ or potential agents for bioterrorism.
  • Developing capacity for identification ofnovel and unknown viruses and other organisms and emerging/ re-emerging viral strains and develop diagnostic kits.
  • Providing training to health professionals.
  • Undertaking research for identification of emerging and newer genetically active/modified agents.
  • Continual improvement in quality systems in public health laboratories for viral diagnosis.

Status of the Scheme

The scheme was envisaged to help coverage of the entire country for timely diagnosis/identification of viruses during outbreaks of epidemics, generation of data about viral diseases for facilitating quick deployment of resources & measures to save the human lives. Initially the target of the scheme during the 12thplan period was to establish three tier networks 160 laboratories (10 Regional Level labs, 30 State Level labs and 120 Medical College Level labs). Thereafter, the target was reduced to 125 Viral Research & Diagnostic Laboratories (10 Regional Laboratories; 25 State Level Laboratories and 90 Medical College Level Laboratories) during the 14th Finance Commission. As on 31st March 2021, a network of 124 VRDLs (10 Regional Level, 25 State Level and 89 Medical College Level) has been established.

> Officials of the VRDL scheme

> Major VRDL Activities during 2019-20

VRDL Scheme Guidelines

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