Dr. Nitya Anand, an inventor of oral contraceptive pills in India, passed away at the age of 99 after a prolonged illness at SGPGIMS Lucknow on Saturday. His last rites will be carried out on Monday.
Dr. Nitya Anand, a Padma Shri awardee, was a former director of the Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI). Dr. Anand had been with the CDRI since its beginning in 1951. He worked as its director from 1974 to 1984. The doctor published over 400 research papers, received over 130 patents, and directed 100 PhD students.
Dr. Anand played a main role in the discovery of ‘Centchroman’, also known as ‘Saheli.’ It is the first and only non-steroidal, non-hormonal, once-a-week oral contraceptive pill in the world. Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi launched the contraceptive pill Saheli in 1986. In 2016, ‘Saheli’ was included in the National Family Programme of India. It is a safe drug in the area of contraception and till now it has been the only non-steroidal, non-hormonal contraceptive pill in the world.
Sanjeev Yadav, a senior scientist and spokesperson of CDRI said, 'Dr. Anand's tenure at CDRI was first as a scientist, then from 1963 to 1974 as a head of the medicinal chemistry division, and later as director from 1974 to 1984 had been of outstanding implication in shaping and nurturing budding scientists of the institute.'
Dr. Nitya Anand also worked as an advisor and consultant to numerous scientific bodies and institutions. He also worked with the Government of India for nearly four decades, during which he helped in designing different drug policies.
(Input from various media sources)