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Biotechnology

Biotechnology is considered to be a quickly emerging and far-reaching technology. It's a branch of science that plays a major role in the development and growth of India. Biotechnology refers to any technological application that uses biological systems and forms in a governable manner, to not only produce new and useful processes or products but also modify the existing ones. It benefits both mankind and other life forms, such as microorganisms. Besides, biotechnology helps maintain an optimum ecological balance by lowering the amount of hydrocarbons and controlling pollution.

 

Biotechnology in India is one of the most rapidly growing knowledge-based sectors. Today, it's being increasingly used to design and develop unique, improved varieties of pharmaceutical products, crops, fertilizers, processed foods, a plethora of chemicals, cosmetics, growth enhancers, health care aids, and environment-related substances. The biotech segment in India has been making fast strides on the world platform. India is currently producing and marketing many therapeutic biotech drugs and vaccines. From 2005–2006, the Indian biotech sector recorded an impressive revenue of approximately US$ 1.07 billion and registered a 36.55% growth.

 

India has diverse biological resources. Biotechnology offers opportunities to convert these resources into employment opportunities and economic wealth. Several factors create an impetus for India to produce excellent capabilities in the domain of biotechnology. These factors include a strong pool of scientists and engineers, a large reservoir of scientific human resources, affordable manufacturing capabilities, numerous medical colleges, educational and training institutes providing diplomas and degrees in biotechnology, a large number of national research laboratories engaging thousands of scientists, fast developing clinical capabilities, and a vibrant drugs and pharmaceutical industry.

 

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) in India is regulated by the Ministry of Science and Technology and is a top authority responsible for the development of the biotech industry. This department is responsible for planning, promoting, and organizing different biotechnological activities and programs in India. It also offers grants to universities, national research laboratories, and research foundations associated with biotechnology-related activities.

 

The key responsibilities of the DBT include:

 

  1. Promoting large-scale use of biotechnology
  2. Acting as a government agent for importing fresh recombinant DNA-based biotechnological processes, technologies, and products
  3. Building infrastructure facilities to aid R&D and production
  4. Initiating technical and scientific efforts associated with biotechnology
  5. Promoting international collaborations to expound the knowledge base of the biotech sector in India
  6. Providing biosafety guidelines for laboratory research, applications, and production
  7. Serving as a nodal agency for collecting and disseminating biotechnology-related information

 

Furthermore, the Indian government has set up the National Bio-Resource Development Board (NBDB) under the department to determine the broad-policy framework for efficient use of biotechnological research and development.

 

The key functions of this board include:

 

  1. Promoting how bioresources add value and strengthening bioinformatics
  2. Formulating predictive groupings of biological resources via well-developed molecular lineages
  3. Providing efficient conservation strategies for bioresources with potential economic and scientific value
  4. Promoting the application of biological software in pathogens' and agricultural pests' management
  5. Training and teaching human resources towards achieving all these objectives

 

The Indian government is also establishing many biotech parks and incubators. Some existing biotech parks/incubation centers are in Uttar Pradesh, Hyderabad, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, and Bengaluru.

 

With so many measures being adopted to promote biotechnology, the Indian biotech sector is set to flourish, and it can revolutionize agriculture, industrial processing, health care, and environmental sustainability.