The University Grants Commission has released a circular on the Registration of Ethics Committees for Biomedical and Health Research with the Department of Health Research (DHR). All ethics committees involved in biomedical and health research involving human participants are required to register with the organisation authorised by the Central Government under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. This is to be done in accordance with the New Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2019.
According to the UGC notice, applications for registration of ethics committees for biomedical and health research involving human subjects are processed more easily by the National Ethics Committee Registry for Biomedical and Health Research (NECRBHR). Studies/research proposals involving human participants, biological material, and data that have not been evaluated by ethics committees that meet the following conditions should not be considered or accepted for financing by any agencies.
Higher educational institutions and their affiliated colleges/institutions are urged to strictly implement the following requirements in departments such as medical/dental/pharmacy/nursing/state funded/centrally funded organizations for academic or other purposes. Additionally, this will work to raise the standard and uphold ethical practices in national biomedical research.
The ethics committee is in charge of conducting scientific and ethical reviews of research proposals. Although ethics committees are permitted to use documentation from a previous scientific review, they must nevertheless assess the scientific validity of the research methodologies used and consider any ethical ramifications.
Meanwhile, the UGC has invited all higher educational institutions (HEIs) and affiliated colleges to sign up on the Biological Research Regulatory Approval Portal (BioRRAP). This portal was created to provide regulatory details to researchers and to make approvals convenient. The BioRRAP is a digital portal designed to make science and scientific research more accessible. The BioRRAP portal will strengthen inter-departmental collaboration and enhance the effectiveness with which the organisations in charge of various aspects of biological research function.
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