KOLKATA: Eminent academicians from across the country have suggested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to recruit unemployed science graduates in the fight against COVID-19 and use biology laboratories to test the samples of persons suspected to be infected with the disease.
A letter to this regard was sent to the prime minister on April 20.
It was signed by more than 600 scientists, professors and research scholars from institutes across the country under the platform 'India March for Science', a release issued on Tuesday by the group's Kolkata organising committee said.
A major chunk of the signatories is either from institutes in West Bengal or people from the state who are at present in different establishments across the country, a member of the organisation said.
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In the letter, they suggested that the unemployed science graduates be recruited and trained in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak and biology laboratories in the institutes be used to increase the testing of samples, the release said.
The scientists also called for increasing the production of ventilators.
"Many relatively inexpensive designs of ventilators, including mechanised Ambubags, may be arranged and Indian pharmaceutical companies and other manufacturers should be requisitioned to mass-produce such ventilators to meet the nation's requirement," the letter said.
Faculty members and students of several institutions also expressed their willingness to offer their services during the ongoing crisis, the release said.
Professors Soumitro Banerjee of IISER-Kolkata, Alladi Sitaram of the Indian Statistical Institute, Debashis Mukherjee of the S N Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences- Kolkata, Parongama Sen of the University of Calcutta, Anupam Basu of the IIT-Kharagpur and Debabrata Bera of the Jadavpur University are some of the signatories, it added.