While addressing the “International Conference on Emerging Trends in Biosciences and Chemical Technology”, Union Minister of state for Science and Technology mentioned that India’s bio-economy grew 8 times since 2014.
Details of the event:
The conference is being organized by Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, School of Biotechnology in collaboration with CSIR-IIIM Jammu and The Biotech Research Society of India.
The discussion highlighted that biotech Start-ups in India have grown 100 times in the last 8 years from around 52 to over 5300.
A total of 1,128 biotech start-ups were set up in 2021 alone, signalling the rapid growth of the sector in India.
The sector is creating over 25,000 high-skilled jobs.
India’s potential in the field of Biotechnology:
The biotech sector can be broadly divided into five major segments:
Efforts in Past: In 1986, much before any other country in the world, India recognised the enormous potential of biotechnology and established a separate departmentcommitted to this branch of science.
Current Economic Status: Currently, India accounts for approximately 3% of the global biotech industry.
The biotechnology sector in India has grown from $1.1 billion in 2003 to a mammoth $64 billion sector in 2019 and by 2024; it is expected to be a $100 billion industry.
Growing Biotech Start-ups:India’s pioneering achievements in biotechnology is the primary reason why the sector employs the best of minds and contributes to the development of generic and affordable medicare.
Significance for India:
In field of Medicine:
Biotechnology techniques are used in medicine for diagnosis and treating different diseases.
The field of Biotechnology, genetic engineering has introduced techniques like gene therapy, recombinant DNA technology and polymerase chain reaction.
Genetic modification in mosquitoes can solve the problems of epidemic diseases such as dengue and malaria
Artificial insemination is the artificial introduction of semen into the reproductive tract of a female animal.
Stem cell transplantation was first used in the treatment of blood disorders and it was a breakthrough.
By altering genes, studying and cloning various crops in order to provide better quality products of foods ultimately improving our lives.
Hybrid Seeds, Artificial Seeds, Photosynthesis improver, Stress resistant crops and plants, Bio-fertilisers, Bio-pesticides are some of the potential applications.
Reducing the use of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides.
As an improvement on conventional plant-breeding technologies.
In Animal husbandry:
The application of biotechnology in this area, in increasing production efficiency through manipulation and control of physiological systems and improving the health and well-being of animals, assumes great significance.
In Food Processing:
Biotechnology also has applications in the detection of mutagens (substances that cause genetic mutations) in individual food products.
GM crops which have been approved for use in food items in select countries include corn, maize, soya, tomato, potato and papaya.
Latest innovations in biotechnology that fortify major staples with micro nutrients like vitamin A, zinc and iron can be game changers for hunger problem in India.
Biotechnology can be used to tackle environmental issues like deforestation and air pollution.
Biosensors, which combine a biological component (such as an enzyme) with various electronic components to trigger a circuit when a particular type of chemical is detected.
Important Government Initiatives:
Make in India, Skill India, Start-up Indiaprogrammes are aimed to develop India as a world-class biotechnology and bio-manufacturing hub.
Bio manufacturing hub: The government’s aspirational goal of developing the country into a $100-billion bio manufacturing hub by 2024is certainly going to give a fillip to the biotechnology sector as well.
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC),established under the Department of Biotechnology in 2012, continues to play a crucial role in the development of the biotech sector in India. BIRAC brings innovators and funders on to a common table, enabling ideas to become a reality and facilitate technological advances that make human progress possible.