• भारत सरकार
    Government of India
  • स्वास्थ्य और परिवार कल्याण मंत्रालय
    Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

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. The Scheme has been further reviewed by SFC and approval at the total cost of Rs. 324 Crore for its continuation during 15th Finance Commission from 2021-22 to 2025-26.

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 network of Virus Research & Diagnostic Laboratories. As on 31st March 2024, a network of 161 VRDLs (11 Regional Level, 27 State Level and 123 Medical College Level) has been established.


  • 4.1. Regional Labs: It was proposed to set up at least one BSL- 3 Laboratory in each region of the country. Regional Laboratories have state-of-art facilities so that it could achieve the objectives in research, continuous monitoring and surveillance of existing as well as new viral and other strains and handling of viruses etc. with a potential of being used as agents of bioterrorism, capacity building, diagnosis, development of diagnostic kits etc. Total ten sites out of AIIMS like Institutions/and other Central Government Institutes of repute by the Expert Committee based on the available infrastructure like microbiology labs and epidemiological needs of the region were identified, thereby, a total of 10 Regional Laboratories had been established during the past period of scheme, 1 more Regional Laboratories (11th) would be established during the 15th Finance omission Period (2021-22-2025-26). The Regional Lab can be established in Central Government Institutes of repute including Armed Medical College.

  • 4.2. State Level Laboratories: State Level Laboratories are equipped with BSL- 2 facility and expected to carry out serology, RT-PCR, isolation, fluorescence microscopy, tissue culture and sequencing for all enlisted viruses. These laboratories are also expected to be involved in basic as well as applied research on viruses, development of kits and diagnostic reagents and identification of unknown/referred samples from the Sub-state level laboratories.

  • 4.3. Medical College Level Lab: Each medical college lab will cover a cluster of 3-4 districts. In case of any outbreak / epidemic, these medical college level labs will carry out the initial diagnosis/ screening at the most peripheral areas & nearest to the site of outbreak. While the medical college labs will be expected to identify all listed common viruses, the viruses/agents which cannot be identified by these labs will be referred to


Formats are available under VRDL link in Download Section

Concerned Officer dealing with VRDL Scheme (Scientific)

S.No Name Designation Email ID Contact No.
1. Dr. Neetu Vijay Scientist D drneetu[dot]vijay78[at]nic[dot]in 9312456584
2. Dr. Jitendra Narayan Scientist D jitendra[dot]narayan[at]gov[dot]in 9479812381

Concerned Officer dealing with VRDL Scheme (Administration)

S.No Name Designation Email ID Contact No.
1. Satinder Kaur Administrative Officer dhrpmuvdl2[at]gmail[dot]com -