• 5 September 2011
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Indian biotech education market garners INR 1,150 crore

According to the seventh BioSpectrum Top 20 BT Schools Survey, over one lakh students are studying in more than 500 institutions

The Biotech Education Market in India has witnessed a growth of 9.45 percent in 2010-11 to touch 1,150 crore as against last year's market size of 1,050.72 crore with over one lakh students studying in more than 500 institutes. The education market mainly comprises fees collected from students.

According to BioSpectrum estimates, about 50 engineering colleges and 320 private institutions are offering undergraduate, postgraduate, MPhil and PhD courses and 130 public institutions are offering postgraduate and PhD courses. The private institutions are collecting an average fee of 3.5 lakh per course per student - including government quota and management seats - excluding one time donation or capitation amount. Few institutions are charging higher fees, in some cases over three times the average. At a public institution, a student pursuing a masters degree pays an average of 52,720 for the two-year course as against last year's average fees of 49,200.

Drop in demand likely
Over 17 percent growth of the biotechnology industry in the last three years generated a lot of interest among educational institutions and students setting off a trend among educational institutions to offer undergraduate, postgraduate, engineering courses and PhD degree courses in biotechnology and its specialized areas. In 2010-11, many public and private institutions have increased their fees for biotech courses by 5,000 per course and 50,000-1,00,000 per course, respectively. This helped the market to witness a growth of over nine percent this year but the increase in biotech schools has now created an excess capacity in the market. The market may see a drop in the coming years with students realizing that the market demand for biotech students is not as big as they think and that they need to pursue higher studies to get placements in the industry.
According to the seventh BioSpectrum Top 20 BT Schools Survey, students studying biotechnology at private institutions pay six-and-a-half times more than those at public institutions. In all, 58 institutes (21 public and 37 private) offering BTech, MSc, MTech, MPhil and PhD courses in biotechnology from 17 states participated in the 2011 survey. They enrolled 5,068 students for biotech courses in 2010-11 and have 1,153 full-time faculty members. Premier universities such as Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) charge a meager fee of 1,391 for a course of two years. Cochin University of Science and Technology and Banaras Hindu University (BHU) are charging 6,190 and 8,858, respectively, for entire courses. Some other public universities such as University of Hyderabad, University of Jammu, Tezpur University and National Dairy Research Institute are offering two-year postgraduate courses for 28,002, 22,630, 23,788 and 20,350, respectively.

In the private sector, Shree Manibhai Virani & Smt Navalben Virani Science College is charging 25,000 per annum this year as against last year's 21,000 per annum. Maharani Lakshmi Ammanni College For Women, Bangalore, is offering biotechnology courses at 36,000 per annum against its fees of 28,000 per annum the previous year. Gokaraju Rangaraju Institute of Engineering and Technology and Loyala College, Chennai, are charging 35,000 per annum and 39,000 per annum, respectively. Other institutions in the sector are offering courses in the range between 70,000 and 1,50,000 per annum.

Institutions not part of survey
Some prominent universities and public institutions such as M S Baroda University (Vadodara), University of Pune (Pune), Anna University (Chennai), Madurai Kamaraj University (Madurai), University of Kashmir (Srinagar) and Himachal Pradesh University (Shimla) did not participate in this year's survey due to the ongoing admission processes and other activities. Similarly, some private institutions such as Acharya Institute of Technology, Acharya's Bangalore B-School and Sitadevi Ratanchand Nahar Adarsh College, all from Bangalore, Dolphin Institute of Biomedical and Natural Sciences, Dehradun, too did not participate in this year's survey for the same reasons.
The biotechnology departments at these institutions have published 973 papers in national journals (701 by private and 272 by public institutions) and 2,625 in international journals (1,214 by private and 1,411 by public institutions) between 2007 and 2011. They received 47 patents in India and 29 patents from international agencies during the same period.

These institutions also received projects totaling to 264.85 crore during 2007-11. As much as 24 crore of this is from the industry, while the rest is from government agencies. The Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT) has projects worth 88.28 crore, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K), has 25.59 crore-projects, Rajiv Gandhi Center for Biotechnology has 23.05 crore-projects, SASTRA University has 28.86 crore-projects, JNU has 15.7 crore-projects and Manipal Life Sciences Center received projects worth 10.35 crore.

All these institutions also increased their spending on books, journals, infrastructure and lab consumables during 2009-11 to 142 crore from 84.72 crore spent during 2007-09. Some of the institutes that spent over 10 crore under these heads during the last two years include Rajiv Gandhi Center for Biotechnology, the Institute of Chemical Technology, Jaypee University of Information Technology, Solan, and SASTRA during 2009-11.

In 2010, 3,693 students from these institutions cleared examinations and 1,187 of them opted for higher studies. Of the 1613 students who were placed during campus recruitment, 987 were BTech degree holders, 599 were MSc/MTech and the rest had MPhil and PhD.

The highest cost to company (CTC) offered at RV College of Engineering, Bangalore, was 10.5 lakh per annum, while highest CTC offers received at IIT-K, Vellore Institute of Technology University and SASTRA were 10 lakh, 9.7 lakh and 7.2 lakh per annum, respectively. Highest CTC offers for postgraduate students from Vellore Institute of Technology University, IIT-K, and ICT were 11.8 lakh, 5.25 lakh and 5 lakh per annum, respectively. JNU remained the most sought after university with 2,500 applications received for eight PhD seats. The University of Hyderabad and IIIT-K received 1,165 applications for eight seats and 498 applications for 11 seats, respectively. For postgraduate courses, the University of Hyderabad received 2,250 applications for 41 seats, JNU received over 10,000 applications for 29 seats, Banasthali University, Rajasthan, received 1,412 applications for 140 seats, KIIT University received 1,837 applications for 60 seats, Jamia Millia Islamia received 1,760 applications for 34 seats, Jamia Hamdard received 2,347 for 42 seats and Vellore Institute of Technology University received 3,680 applications for 406 seats for 2010-11 academic year.

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