Mr ISN Prasad, principal secretary to Government, Department of IT, BT and S&T, Government of Karnataka
Karnataka, which is India's biotech hub, has emerged as the first stop for global and domestic biotech investments in the country. The state has the advantages of having strong research capabilities, resource base, skilled manpower and government support creating an enabling environment for growth.
Bangalore, Asia's fastest growing technopolis and world's fourth largest technology cluster, is an ideal destination for biotechnology firms looking for specialized research facilities, medical and engineering graduates, IT support structure and modern infrastructure. The state has many biotech projects and provides 8,000 jobs in this sector. On February 4-6, 2013, Bangalore will be hosting the 13th edition of Bangalore INDIA Bio - India's biggest and most sought after biotech forum that has evolved over the last 12 years.
BioSpectrum spoke to Mr ISN Prasad, principal secretary to Government, Department of Information Technology, Biotechnology and Science and Technology, Government of Karnataka to get a first-hand account of the status of many programs initiated by the government. Excerpts from the interview.
In the last couple of years, many students are taking up courses related to bioscience. Are there any programs that the state government has in place to promote bioscience education?
Biotechnology is not a labour intensive sector. However, the sector does not find the right talent. The biotech courses offered by the educational institutions and universities are purely academic. The students seeking placement in the biotech sector after completion of the course find themselves unemployable as they lack some of the basic industry skills. The government of Karnataka has therefore introduced the concept of Biotech Finishing Schools (BTFS). The first batch of the BTFS has been successfully completed and the academic course for the second batch have been started in September 2012. The one-year BTFS course consists of six months of education or training in the lab within the academic institution and the other six months on the job training or internship in the industry.