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Indian Initiative

India is endowed with a rich marine biota all along its 8000 km coastline. The Indian Ocean is the repository of a diverse and rich source of flora and fauna that have not been explored systematically for their commercial use. The systematic research work on the exploration of marine drugs from the Indian Ocean has begun with the collaboration with US navy. In 1983 the Office of Naval Research (ONR), which is one of the funding agencies of US Defense, has initiated a collaborative program with India to explore the Indian Ocean for drugs. The participating institutes from India were the CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), Lucknow, National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa and The Bose Institute, Calcutta and Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersy, and University of California from US side in the year 1983. As a part of this program several marine organisms were collected from the Indian coastal areas and screened for their bioactivity until its termination in 1991. The Department of Ocean Development (Ministry of Earth Sciences), New Delhi has taken up the responsibility from 1991 till now to support this program by expanding the number of participating organizations