Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science and Technology & Earth Science, has unveiled the National Biotechnology Development Strategy (NBDS), targeting a turnover of $100 billion by 2025 from $7 billion now.
Vardhan said when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister, he used to say that while IT (information technology) stands for ‘India Today,’ biotechnology stands for ‘Bharat Tomorrow’.
The NBDS aims to attract significant amount of investment under the Modi government’s Make in India programme for making the new bio-tech products.
Vardhan said 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, is a good example of what can be achieved by India’s biotechnology industry.
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“The growth prospects of the Indian biotechnology industry are bright, provided it receives the right stimulus and an enabling environment,” he said.
The project will also focus on building a strong infrastructure for research, development and commercialization of the bio-tech products. It will also help India’s human resources progress scientifically and technologically.
The primary objective of the NBDS is to build a skilled workforce and improve research facilities in basic, disciplinary and inter-disciplinary streams of scientific studies. Under the NBDS, India will start making its own supply of vaccines and antibiotics, which will benefit the country’s economy significantly.
The NBDS training includes dual degree programmes that cover both the aspects of core scientific subjects and their economic applicability.
The new project will also focus on attracting global and national alliances and exchange of ideas and knowledge among various international institutes.