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ICMR - National AIDS Research Institute
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Designation : Scientist D
Division : Clinical Sciences
Email ID : [email protected], [email protected]
Area Of Interest : Epidemiology , HIV, Maternal and Child health , Adolescent health
Completed and Ongoing Projects

Research projects ongoing


  1. “Performance evaluation of blood-based HIV self-test as a screening test” Funded by the company yet to be inititated
  2. Feasibility of HIV self-test among youth in MIZORAM: a demonstration project” for ICMR-IAVI call for proposal Funded by IAVI
  3. A systematic review on qualitative evidence for barriers and facilitators of HIV self-test uptake in South-east Asia Region.

As Co-investigator


  1. ‘Assessment, feasibility and barriers with implementation of Air borne infection control measures and facilitation of Health Care Workers screening for TB at selected HIV care settings in India’. Funded by NACO. Involved as a co-investigator
  2. Working as a Co-Investigator “The role of micro-RNA in modulating the innate and adaptive immune responses during HIV infections”. Intramural support from ICMR-NARI
  3. Working as a co-investigator for ‘Development of the panel of samples for validation of the COVID-19 antibody detecting serological assays’. Intramural support from ICMR-NARI
  4. Assessment, feasibility and barriers with implementation of Air borne infection control measures and facilitation of Health Care Workers screening for TB at selected HIV care settings in India’
  5. Immune response to precautionary third dose of COVISHIELD/COVAXIN among healthy adult population: an ICMR Cohort study, India
  6. A demonstration project for reduction of tuberculosis in India – a multi-centric study


Research proposals completed

  1. Co-investigator on the Research Proposal titled ‘Epidemiological and laboratory Investigation of HIV outbreak in rural Uttar Pradesh : a case control study.’. It is an ICMR funded short term project
  2. Worked as a Co-Investigator on ‘ A phase IIB Open Label Randomized Controlled Clinical trial to evaluate the Anti-bacterial activity, pharmacokinetics, Safety and Tolerability of Metformin when given along with rifampicin, isoniazid, pyrazinamide and ethambutol in adults with newly diagnosed sputum positive Pulmonary Tuberculosis: an 8-week study (METRIF STUDY)’ Funding Agency- India TB Research Consortium and Open Source Pharma Foundation
  3. Worked as a Co-Principal Investigator for ‘Acceptability of an indigenous oral mucosal transudate based HIV self screening test : a qualitative investigation’ Funded by World Health Organization
  4. Co-Principal Investigator in ‘Developing a Preliminary Technical Guideline for Mapping, Size estimation and HIV risk Behaviour Survey among Key Populations who are in the Virtual Space’ funded by World health organization. Funded by World Health Organization
  5. Co-Principal Investigator for ‘Sustained and Timely HIV/AIDS Response: community engagement in Mizoram’, this study was funded by UNAIDS. Data collection took place 1st week of October to 1st week of December 2020.
  6. Validation of a dry swab RNA-extraction-free method based diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2 compared with the standard VTM based swab collection method: Phase II (modified technique). This study was funded by ICMR Hq. Worked as a Site investigator.
Awards and Honours
  • Awards

    Proposal titled FEASIBILITY OF HIV SELF-TEST AMONG YOUTH IN MIZORAM: A DEMONSTRATION PROJECT selected under the category of the YOUNG INVESTIGATOR AWARD for ICMR-IAVI call for proposal and will be funded by IAVI.

Work Experience

Educational Qualifications: MBBS, DPH , MD (Community Medicine)

Work experience:






Scientist D

(Clinical Sciences)




Till date

Scientist C

(Clinical Sciences)





Associate Professor

Dr D Y Patil Medical College, Pimpri, Pune



Assistant Professor

Dr D Y Patil Medical College, Pimpri, Pune



Assistant Professor

SmtKashibaiNavale Medical College & General Hospital ,Pune




Assistant Professor

T.N.Medical College & BY L Nair Ch Hospital , Mumbai




 Research Scientist I,

On project titled “Preparing sites for conducting effectiveness trials of microbicides in India

ICMR- NIRRH, Parel, Mumbai



List of Grant Recieved
Conference/Training/Workshop Attended

Trainings attended

  1. Induction training for newly joined Scientists which was an initiative by ICMR was held at ICMR- National Institute of Epidemiology , Chennai  from  10-14th July 2017. Got oriented to writing of research proposals.
  2. Attended a training programme on Ethical Research Initiative, Pune. On 23rd August 2017 at NARI Auditorium training was  conducted by Dr. Ravindra Ghooi and Dr. D. N. Bhalerao,
  3. Gave a lecture on “Study designs” in “Clinical and Laboratory Medicine Research” workshop  on 28th August 2017 which was organized by ICMR –NARI and Moving Academy of Medicine and Biomedicine. The participants were medical students, post graduate students and faculty from multidisciplinary areas.
  4. Attended expert consultation on finalizing strategic priorities for evidence generation towards achieving 90:90:90 . on 12th December 2017 where the priorities were discussed and implementation of these priorities .
  5. Workshop attended on Systematic Review & Meta-analysis , ICMR –National Institute of Cholera And Enteric Diseases, Kolkatta 7-9th March 2017 . Techniques and methods and hands on experience on software “Revman”
  6. Coordinator for the workshop on ‘Infectious Disease Epidemiology –Laboratory and Public Health’  ICMR NARI in collaboration with Moving Academy of Medicine and Biomedicine
  7. Attended 2 days workshop ‘Evaluation of Impact of Antiretroviral Therapy under National AIDS Control Programme in India”[The ART Impact Evaluation- India Study (ARTIE-India)]’ 3-4th April 2018 which involved finalization of primary and secondary data collection tools
  8. Coordinator for the workshop on ‘Infectious Disease Epidemiology –Laboratory and Public Health’ ICMR NARI in collaboration with Moving Academy of Medicine and Biomedicine from 16th to 20th April 2018.
  9. As a Resource person for the workshop on ‘Assessment of EID Program in India’ on 15th May 2018 and 8th October 2018 at ICMR-NARI. Capacity building for Research Assistants.
  10. Attended the Workshop on Good Participatory Practices at Chennai from 26th to 27th June 2018. Organized by International AIDS Vaccine Initiative
  11. Gave a lecture on Global trends and epidemiology of HIV ‘ for M.Sc (Virology) students on 16th July 2018.
  12. Panel discussion for (India International Science Festival) IISF students on 24th Sept 2018 as a part of National Science Day
  13. Attended training on ‘Safe work Method: risk assessment, permit to work and Lock out and Tag out’ held at ICMR-NARI on 3rd January 2018 which was conducted by Learners and Winners Training and Consultancy Pvt Ltd.
  14. Attended ‘Ethical Guidance for Biomedical Research’ at ICMR-NARI to be held during 17th-18thJanuary, 2019 in collaboration with National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research (NCDIR), Bengaluru.
  15. Attended Online International Symposium on Novel Ideas in Science and Ethics of Vaccine against COVID-19 pandemicon 30 July 2020.
  16. 'Curtain Raiser Event' (Digital)  for The IISC - Health Research Conclave. ICMR-NARI organised a webinaron 'Communicable Diseases & Innovative Public Health Interventions' on 12th December 2020. Participated in organization and attended the webinar
  17. Completed the training for ICH-Good clinical Practices on 10th March 2021 via NIDA (valid for 3 years)
  18. “Publishing Webinar- Tips from the Editors” on Tuesday, March 30, 2021
  19. three days DSACS sponsored capacity building workshop on “Management of STIs/RTIs” organized by Apex Regional STD Centre, Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi from 7thto 9th April 2021.
  20. Updates on HIV vaccine attended a webinar conducted by ICMR-NARI on 18th April 2021
  21. Attended a Webinar optimizing HIV diagnostics in India to improve case finding and reach the first 90 by global health impact group London school of tropical hygiene international diagnostics center on 19th May2021
  22. Attended a Scientific and Manuscript writing Workshop organized by ICMR-NIRT on 16th and 17th June 2021
  23. Identified as a member of the PATH India HIV Self-testing Project Advisory Group (PISPAG) attended the first meeting 23rd June 2021
  24. Biosafety training completed on 23rd November 2021.
  25. Attended a Regulatory pathway workshop series organized by the Innovation – Technology Transfer Office (i-TTO) at Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT), a regional technology transfer office supported by National Biopharma Mission, BIRAC and Clinical Development Services Agency (CDSA), Translational Health Science & Technology Institute (THSTI), Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science Technology, Government of India on 7th, 14th and 21st December, 2021
  26. Statistical Methods in Clinical Trials organized by ICMR-NIMS on 7th and 8th March 2022.
  27. Attended a 3 day workshop on “Enhancing Capacities: Communication, Advocacy & Modelling for Pandemic Preparedness (CAMPP)” was conducted by ICMR-NARI from 15 June 2022 to 17 June 2022.
  28. Key note address for Mizoram Science Congress 24th Nov 2022 ‘Current situation of HIV in India & Future response’ sponsored by PHE , and DST Govt of Mizoram organized by Mizoram Science, Technology & Innovation Council, State Partner of DST, Mizoram Science Society, Science Teachers’ Association Mizoram , Mizo Academy of Sciences, Mizoram Mathematics Society, Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Network and Geological society of Mizoram
  29. Talk on World AIDS Day Webinar 1st Dec 2022 for Docplexus on HIV Diagnosis & Treatment and the Current Challenges"
  30. Regional consultation on prioritizing diseases for elimination in India as a part of DESH for ICMR-NARI 7th/8th Feb 2023 ICMR-NIN, Hyderabad, 21/22 Feb 2023 -ICMR, Delhi & 9/10 March, 2023 -ICMR-NIV, Pune. These were conducted for all 6 regions
  31. Workshop on mathematical modelling & health analytics at IIT Powai, 24/25 February 2023
  32. Conducted Biosafety training for staff on 23rd March 2023
  33. Completed training courses on Code of Conduct on 27th March 2023
  34. Completed training on POSH on 27th March 2023


Capacity Building

Selected as a mentee for capacity building for disease burden and estimation  and focal area identified as Sexually Transmitted Infection. Funded by ICMR Headquarters

Number of Publications : 20
List of Publications


  1. Kamble T, Dandekar A, Velhal GD. Study of practices related to home deliveries in rural area. Study of practices related to home deliveries in rural area. PRESM Journal of Community Medicine. 2008Dec;10(1-2):16–21.
  2. Rao AP, Chavan MK. The effect of health education on knowledge about anemia and on compliance to oral iron therapy among anemic pregnant women in an urban slum of Mumbai. Bombay Hospital Journal . 2012Jul;54(3):396–400.
  3. Solat S, Velhal GD, Mahajan H, Rao A, Sharma B. Assessment of Awareness about HIV/AIDS and operationalisation of interventions in rural population of Raigad district ,India. International Journal of Scientific Research &Publication. 2012Nov;2(11):1–14.
  4. Velhal GD, Sawant S, Mahajan H, Rao A. Work related perceptions among nursing staff about roles and responsibilities in a tertiary level health care institute. Journal of Nursing and Health Science . 2013;1(4):48–55.
  5. Velhal GD, Sawant S, Rao A, Mahajan H. Awareness among nursing staff about roles and responsibilities in a tertiary level health care institute, india” . International journal of general medicine and pharmacy . 2013May;2(2):75–80.
  6. Rao Amrita, Chavan MK. Does Health education increase the compliance to oral iron therapy among pregnant women? Indian Journal of Forensic & Community Medicine . 2015Jan-Mar;2(1):50–55
  7. Rao A, Velhal GD, Khismatrao DS. Patient’s Comprehension of Prescriptions at Municipal Urban Health Centre, Mumbai . JCDR. 2016Mar;10(3):LC15–LC17.
  8. Rao Amrita, Banerjee A . Janani Suraksha Yojana -Implementation in Maharashtra state of India. Asia Pacific Journal of Medical Humanities and Social Medicine Jul- Dec 2016 3(2);47-49
  9. Ghate M, Zirpe S, Shidhaye P, Gurav S, Rao A, Verma V, Bamrotiya M, Sachdeva KS, Gupta RS, Gangakhedkar R. A Retrospective Study of Characteristics of HIV Infected Individuals OptingOut from Antiretroviral Treatment under National Programme. J Krishna Inst Med Science Univ. 2019 Jul-Sep; 8(3):19-26.
  10. Rao A, Patil S, Aheibam S, Kshirsagar P, Hemade P, Panda S. Acceptability of HIV Oral Self-Test Among Men Having Sex With Men and Transgender Population: A Qualitative Investigation From Pune, India. Infect Dis Res Treatment 2020; 13:1-7
  11. Rao A. HIV self-test during the time of COVID-19, India. Indian J Med Res 2020;152:164-7
  12. Patil S, Rao A, Pathak P, Kurle S, Mane A, Nirmalkar A, et al. (2020) Unsterile injection equipment associated with HIV outbreak and an extremely high prevalence of HCV—A case-control investigation from Unnao, India. PLoS ONE 15(12):e0243534. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0243534
  13. Rao A, Patil S, Kulkarni PP, Devi AS, Borade SS, Ujagare DD, Adhikary R, Panda S. Acceptability of HIV oral self-test among truck drivers and youths: a qualitative investigation from Pune, Maharashtra. BMC Public Health 2021; 21. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-11963-7
  14. Jayaprakasam, M., Aggarwal, S., Mane, A., Saxena, V., Rao, A., Bandopadhyay, B., . . . Panda, S. RNA-extraction-free diagnostic method to detect SARS-CoV-2: An assessment from two States, India. Epidemiology and Infection 2021; 149, E245. doi:10.1017/S0950268821002302
  15. Rao A. HIV self-test a potential tool to reach the unreached IISRF News letter issue 28 February 2022 page1.
  16. Mane A, Kasibhatla SM, Vidhate P, Saxena V, Patil S, Rao A, Nirmalkar A, Kulkarni-Kale U, Panda S. Phylogenetic Analysis of Spread of Hepatitis C Virus Identified during HIV Outbreak Investigation, Unnao, India. Emerg Infect Dis. 2022 Apr;28(4):725-733. doi: 10.3201/eid2804.211845. PMID: 35318918; PMCID: PMC8962895.
  17. Rao A, Patil S, Nirmalkar A, Bagul R, Ghule U, Panchal N, Panda S. HIV oral self-screening test among HIV/STD/TB clinic attendees: A mixed-method pilot investigation examining merit for larger evaluation. Indian J Med Res. 2022 Apr 14. doi: 10.4103/ijmr.ijmr_3131_21. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35417993.
  18. Patil A, Patil S, Rao A, Gadhe S, Kurle S and Panda S (2022) Exploring the Evolutionary History and Phylodynamics of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Outbreak From Unnao, India Using Phylogenetic Approach. Front. Microbiol. 13:848250. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.848250
  19. Indian Council of Medical Research - National AIDS Research Institute (ICMR-NARI). Mapping, Size Estimation and Risk Behaviour Survey Among Key Population Groups in Virtual Space - A Basic Guide. Pune: ICMR-NARI & World Health Organization (WHO); 2022. 40 pages
  20. Rao, Amrita#,1; Mamulwar, Megha#,2; Shahabuddin, Sheikh Mohammed3; Roy, Tarun4; Lalnuntlangi, Nunui4; Panda, Samiran5. HIV epidemic in Mizoram, India: A rapid review to inform future responses. Indian Journal of Medical Research 156(2):p 203-217, August 2022. | DOI: 10.4103/ijmr.ijmr_14


Reports :

  • Epidemiological Perspectives of Common Communicable Diseases in Mumbai –An analysis of Disease Surveillance Data of Epidemiological Cell ,Public Health Department , MCGM in collaboration with UNICEF and T.N. Medical College and B.Y.L Nair Ch hospital .Dr GajananVelhal , DrPrasadWaigankar , DrSudamSuryawanshi, Dr Amrita Rao (Published)


  • Report titled ‘HIV Self-Test Acceptability : A Qualitative Study From Pune, India’  written by Dr Samiran Panda, Dr Amrita Rao and Dr. Sandip Patil


  • Report titled ‘Preliminary Guidelines For Mapping, Size Estimation & Risk Behaviour Survey among Key Populations In Virtual Space’ written by Dr. Samiran Panda, Dr. Amrita Rao, Dr. S.M. Shahabuddin and Ms. Akshada Gopale in consultation with Dr. Shankar Talwar, Mr. Tamseel Hussain, Dr. Tarun Roy and Dr. D.C.S. Reddy (Published)


  • Report titled ‘Sustained and Timely HIV/AIDS Response: community engagement in Mizoram’ written by Dr Samiran Panda, Dr Amrita Rao, Dr Megha Mamulwar.