• Delhi
  • 10 June 2013
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  • By Professor Virender Chauhan,director, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi

New initiatives on anvil for inclusive growth

In a guest column by Professor Virender Chauhan,director, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, talks about the various government schemes that are in place to encourage research in life sciences,and how The Idea of bringing


In the last 10 years or so there have been several new initiations, at the policy level, by the Department of Biotechnology that have changed the land-scape of biosciences in general, and biotechnology in particular. In all areas including man-power development, basic research, industry-academia partnership, recognizing and nurturing exceptional talent through high level funding, there have been remarkable special efforts. Of those, however some standout more.

For example, the DBT alliance with one of the most reputable funding agency like the Wellcome Trust to support highly talented individuals has been an outstanding achievement. In this scheme, the scientific talent is being recognized at four different levels; first at the beginner of a scientific career (fresh PhD); second, at the intermediate level (after post-doctoral experiences); third at the senior level and finally highly unusual scheme which recognized leadership ability of scientists along with outstanding scientific achievements and encouraged them to locate or relocate so as to provide scientific leadership in different locations.

The results of this scheme are ready to see though the full impact of it will be seen in the coming 5-10 years.

The other notable change at the policy level deals with the idea of bringing academia and industry closer to each other, and also engages young entrepreneurs to set up new businesses in the broad area of biotechnology including agricultural sciences through the two schemes of Small Business Innovation Research Initiative (SBIRI) and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) of the DBT.

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) launched SBIRI scheme in 2005-06 for supporting small and medium size enterprises with a grant or loan to help early phase of product development.

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