Centre to invest Rs 324 crore to expand lab testing infrastructure

42 virology research and diagnostic laboratories will be set up by the Central government. This will be set up under a central scheme during the period of 2021-22 to 2025-26. This project will cost Rs324 crore.



  • The scheme falls under the Department of Health Research (DHR) of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
  • The primary aim of this scheme is to help boost the coverage of timely identification and diagnosis of viruses during an epidemic outbreak.
  • This scheme will also look into boosting generation of data about all the viral diseases so that resources can be quickly deployed and measures taken to save human lives.
  • The Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) approved this scheme in the year 2013 with an estimated cost of Rs 646.83 crores.
  • The Standing Finance Committee gave its nod to this scheme in the year 2017 with a projected cost of Rs 488.5 crores for the period 2017-18 to 2019-20.
  • This scheme was further extended by a year till 31 March, 2021.
  • In a recent standing finance committee meeting in March 2021, the scheme was further approved to be continued,”


Target of this scheme

Initially, this scheme’s target was to establish three-tier network of 160 laboratories which were divided into 30 state-level lab, 10 regional level labs  and 120 medical college labs.

Later, the target was reduced to 125 viral research & diagnostic laboratories which were divided into 25 state level laboratories, 10 regional laboratories and 90 medical college level laboratories. A network of 124 VRDLs has been established as on 31st March 2021.




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