Government and Biotechnology

Government and Biotechnology

This article deals with ‘Government and Biotechnology  – UPSC.’ This is part of our series on ‘Science and Technology’ which is important pillar of GS-3 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here



Government and Biotechnology

Department of Biotechnology

1982 Government set up the National Biotechnology Board
1986 Replaced by Department of Biotechnology under Ministry of Science and Technology




Present Status of Biotechnology Sector in India

  • Biotech Sector is one of the sunrise sectors in India
  • India is among the top 12 biotech destinations of the world
  • Indian Biotech Sector holds about 2% share of global biotech industry
  • Indian Biotech Industry is valued at $ 11 Billion
  • India has emerged as a leading destination for clinical trials , contract research and manufacturing activities
  • India has second highest number of USFDA approved plants after USA
  • Largest producer of Hepatitis B Vaccine





  • National Biotech Development Strategy  (2015-20)
        • Aim : Develop India into Manufacturing Hub
        • Main Focus Areas (4) : Food, Health, Clean Energy & Education (FCEH)
        • Target : By 2025 , make it 100 Billion $ industry
        • Convert technology and scientific studies to commercial products using Biotech Hubs , Startups & Incubation centres


  • National Biopharma Mission
        • World Bank assisted INNOVATE IN INDIA (i3) program under this mission aims to create an enabling ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship and indigenous manufacturing
        • R&D in healthcare
        • Holistic development of Biopharma sector concentrating not only on drugs but also on vaccine , molecules etc . Develop new vaccines, bio-therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devices
        • Promotion of bio-pharma manufacturing
        • Attract FDI
        • Deliver 6-10 new products in the next five years


  • North East is major focus in Bio-Pharma sector and there are special programs for North East
        • Phyto-Pharma Plant Mission
        • Brahmaputra Biodiversity and Biology Boat (B4) – Under this program, large boats will be set up in the river which will have a well-equipped laboratory along with cold storage facility to store samples


  • FDI
      • 100% allowed under automatic route for greenfield projects
      • 74% under automatic route for brownfield projects.


Challenges faced by Biotech Sector

  • Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) Bill to create  a regulatory body for Biotech Sector is pending in the parliament since 2008.


  • The number and quality of jobs offered by this sector is presently lesser than the work force supply available.


  • There is lack of early stage funding for biotech industries.


  • India is fast losing to competition created by China and Korea due to regulatory and infrastructure challenges.


  • R&D activities are almost nil. Most of industry is involved in manufacture of outsourced products
  • R&D expenditure
        • India = 0.67% of GDP
        • Japan = 3% of GDP


  • Most of the development has happened in Bio Pharma sector (drugs & vaccines)  only (~60%) while other sub-sectors within Biotechnology have been neglected .


  • IPR protection issues => companies demand TRIPS+ protection & are worry about provisions like Compulsary provisioning

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