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Genomics and Biology. Biotechnology and genomics.
Biotechnology in India a historical back ground

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) was set up under the Ministry of Science and Technology in 1986. This gave a new boost to the development of biotechnology in India. The DBT has set up many Centres of Excellence in the country. These centers are responsible for generating skilled manpower, developing research initiatives and opportunities as well as supporting R&D efforts of private industries and providing platform to them to out source their research activities to these centres. This has promoted interactions between the academics and the industry which has resulted in several industry houses and entrepreneur initiatives to take root and grow biotechnology in India.

The Indian Government has evolved biosafety guidelines and has helped to lay down patent rules. It has also participated in technology transfers and international collaborations. The center is also planning to introduce additional venture capital funds in line with its Technology Development Fund (TDF) to promote small and medium biotech enterprises.

The Indian government has laid down a decent regulatory framework to approve GM crops and r-DNA products for human health. A proactive government policy allows stem cell research in the country while having in place sound ethical guidelines. The product patent regime which has come into force since the year 2005 and resulted in giving a message to the world as well as Indian Industry that India supports world regulatory framework and rewards new research and initiatives. The second amendment of the Indian Patents Bill include a 20-year patent term, emergency provisions and commencement of R&D immediately after the filing of patents. The bill is compatible with the provisions of WTO and TRIPS and make Indian laws compatible with what has been agreed within the framework of these multi lateral negotiations.

Several states have taken their own initiatives in terms of defining their own biotech policies to give an impetus to the industry in this sector and to biotechnology in India as a whole. States like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujrat, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh are developing biotech parks. They are encouraging research activities, establishing links between their research institutions and industry. Several concessions are being offered to the industry in terms of single window clearance, speedy customs clearance, exemption from tax, creation of funds to be used for the incubation of new project.

Due to the concerted efforts of the Ministry for Science and Technology, a number of centers of excellence in the field have been established. These places have world-class infrastructure and fully developed research centres. These centers are open for collaboration. Some of these are: Plant Genomics Center, New Delhi, Center for Human Genetics, Bangalore, National Institute of Biologicals, New Delhi, Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, National Facility for Macromolecular Crystallography, BARC, Mumbai, National Facility for High Field NMR, Tata institute of Fundamental research (TIFR), Mumbai, Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, National Brain Research Center, New Delhi, CIMAP, Lucknow.

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