The Indian biotechnology industry registered a double-digit growth to clock a turnover of over Rs.20,000 crore in 2011-12. It currently faces many challenges such as a lack of funding and entrepreneurial skills as well as weak intellectual property laws. The role of the Government is crucial in putting together an ecosystem that provides the right growth opportunities for the Indian biotechnology industry. To this effect plans for setting up a new Indian Institute for Agricultural Bio-technology at a cost of Rs.287 crore, announced in the latest Budget, has gathered many supporters across the country.
“As a life-sciences focused organisation, we are happy to see the biotech sector is finally getting its due from the government, especially since it has been contributing significantly to the country’s economic and social welfare and expanded by nearly 19 per cent in 2011-12. I hope setting up the new institute for agricultural bio-technology is the first in a series of initiatives to be launched by the Indian Government to boost the country’s bio-technology sector which has the potential to become as big as the information technology industry if it is provided with the right enabling environment,” says Nymphia Vishin, Deputy CEO, Imprimis, the healthcare branch of Perfect Relations.
Students too are happy with the increased opportunities for research that the new institute will bring. “There is so much potential in the field right now and it’s a great decision to dedicate more resources to the sector. It means more opportunities for students as well,” says Anukruti Trehan, a student of biology from Delhi University. Even as new plans are set in motion, researchers from the field still feel that more needs to be done for the sector. “Naturally one welcomes any endeavour in the field. But research is not all that needs attention. We also need effective channels which allow research to reach the farmers. More effort is definitely needed for this to happen,” says Charmaine Sharma, director of business development at Technosource Indigenous Biotechnologies.
Inside the world of veggie bio-technology-
A high market value, favourable genes and scope for improvement made the tomato one of the first crops to be altered by biotechnologists.
Taking on the ancient world of herbal drugs, modern bio-technology has discovered ways to enhance the medicinal properties of various herbs.
Sluggish yield and a fast growing global population has made wheat bio-technology one of the most attractive points of research in this field.
Source: India Today