Indian biotech sector lacks industry-ready students

Despite being in nascent stage, the Indian biotech industry is unable to find the students with matching skill sets. Experts feel that it is necessary for academia to understand the needs and create a workforce that meets industry standards


The human resources constitute one of the most important assets of any nation since they represent potentiality and creativity and determine how efficiently the other resources are utilized. At the same time, aspirations are surely driven by job opportunities and this is kept in mind by every student while joining any course. In case of biotechnology, the experts believe that in today's scenario, the more higher the research you pursue in the field, the more refined and experienced you become. For a good career in biotechnology, it seems that one has to go for higher research (PhD and post-doctoral research). Few bright students from top universities have found out the stagnant nature of the job in the companies and the very limited opportunities for them to do something innovative in the research.

Giving the example of his state, Mr ISN Prasad, secretary, ITBT, government of Karnataka, mentions that it had the kind of ecosystem that was required for students and research to thrive from the very beginning. "The BT finishing schools are just an experiment and we look forward to scaling it up. We constituted a group from academia and industry. 12 colleges were selected randomly and the funding amount was Rs1 crore from government and Rs3 crore from institute. Online application test was conducted for all the students across the country."

As per Mr PS Sundaram, chairman, TCIL Chennai, the private institutes were allowed only after 1977, when the education system was opening up. These institutes are very crucial for the curriculum development and experimentation because of the adundant funding and resources. "Apart from that, I think regular courses have to be upgraded at regular intervals even in private institutes," he added.

Quoting the global talent index that provided insights about the trends in 60 countries across globe, the following six indicators such as quality of education system, proximity to attract talent, talent status every four years, university, and quality labour, Mr Srinivas Maddali, partner, Heidrick & Struggles said, "India is taking slow and steady efforts in rectifying its policies and thats a good thing. Infact, it is against our perception of being better off globally, we were surprisingly ranked at 35 as compared to 38th in the ranking in 2007."

However, there are many in the industry like Mr Vijayaraghavan Pisharody, GM, HR and Shared Services, Stempeutics, who believe that while projections are made for 1 million jobs, the ground situation remains different. "It is high time we sbmit a renewed blueprint for education refroms to human resources ministry," says Mr Pisharody.


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