The National Biotechnology Development Strategy 2015-20 was unveiled on December 30, 2015 by the minister for science and technology and Earth Sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan in the presence of the secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Dr VijayRaghavan and other key stakeholders.
The Strategy aims to establish India as a world-class bio-manufacturing hub. It intends to launch a major mission, backed with significant investments, for the creation of new biotech products, create a strong infrastructure for R&D and commercialization, and empower India's human resources scientifically and technologically.
While addressing the media persons, Dr Harsh Vardhan mentioned, "The DBT is going to soon complete 30 years. It has done commendable work over the years in catalyzing the growth of the biotechnology industry, which has a huge potential to positively impact the lives of Indians in every area, such as research, education, health, technology, and energy. This was sensed a long time ago by the Government. When Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime ministry, he used to say that while IT (information technology) stands for ‘India Today,' BT (biotechnology) stands for ‘Bharat Tomorrow.'"
The minister added further: "I believe this industry has the potential to grow like the IT industry over the next ten years and beyond. The development of the inexpensive rotavirus vaccine, available for less than a dollar in India when internationally it costs 50 dollars, is an example of what can be achieved by the Indian biotechnology industry. Several other vaccines, such as for dengue and malaria, are already under development. The growth prospects of the Indian biotechnology industry are bright provided it receives the right stimulus and an enabling environment."
The secretary, DBT, Dr VijayRaghavan in his talk elaborated on the status of the sector. "Biotechnology has an important part to play in India's growth story and there is enthusiastic support from the Government for this vision. We have drafted a very ambitious strategy with the target to turn biotechnology into a US $100bn industry by 2025. I believe this is not impossible to achieve. Several growth opportunity exists. For example, many low-end products can be successfully manufactured in India. Our challenge is to stimulate the industry players to make them partner internationally in developing these products at the fraction of the cost of what is possible outside India, and the sell them nationally as well as globally. A huge opportunity exists in the manufacture of diagnostic kits too," said Dr Raghavan.