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Ambitious plan for biotech industry unveiled

tech reviews Updated: Nov 15, 2007 03:24 IST
Satyen Mohapatra

An ambitious and innovative National Biotechnology Strategy for the next five years was unveiled here on Wednesday, hoping to hike revenues of India’s biotech industries from $2.3 billion to $7 billion by 2010.

Under this “new vision”, on which the government had been working for the past two years, 30 per cent of the Department of Biotechnology’s budget is to be spent on public-private partnership programmes.

The 11th Plan budget allocation for the Department is projected at around Rs 6,500 crore, more than four times the 10th Plan allocation, Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said. Speaking to the media recently, he said that in view of the challenges of the 21st century, it is important to make a paradigm shift and re-engineer existing structures to make them “world class”.

Under the strategy, a National Biotechnology Regulatory Authority is to be set up as an autonomous and professionally led body representing all stakeholders to provide a single window mechanism for bio-safety clearances of genetically modified products and processes, he said. The Department of Biotechnology has been entrusted with the responsibility of setting up the Authority. Legislation for this will be prepared within next three months, he added.