‘There is temporary dip in enrolments to biotech courses’
Biotechnology education in the State is undergoing course correction and will get its shine back in a couple of years, chairperson, Karnataka Vision Group on Biotechnology, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, said in Bangalore on Tuesday.
There was a temporary dip in enrolments to biotech courses, she conceded. However, much of the curriculum was not aligned with industry needs. The 10 finishing schools sponsored by the State government would have a positive impact.
“They will expand the graduate programmes. We broke the vicious cycle [of oversupply of ill-trained biotech graduates to the industry with finishing schools. In three years, you will see enrolments rising dramatically,” she told an event to announce Bangalore BIO India.
She was clarifying the estimated 40 per cent decrease in admissions to certain related courses such as B.Tech in biotechnology in the State — a frontline bio-cluster in the country.
BIO 2013, organised by the State government and the Vision Group, is slated for February 4 to 6 next year. The organisers expect a 20 per cent growth in the number of exhibitors. The 13th edition of the event will have the theme “Biotechnology for a better tomorrow” and focus on issues for the emerging markets. Ms. Mazumdar-Shaw said that intellectual property-related issues would be one of the key areas as biotechnologists are “prolific in filing patents”.
Ms. Mazumdar-Shaw, who is considered the spirit behind the event and a leading light of the sector, said that India needs to take the lead in the area considering its relevance across a variety of sectors from food to medicine.
The domestic biotechnology industry employed one lakh people and was valued at Rs. 20,000 crore, more than half of this revenue coming in from biopharmaceuticals (Rs. 12,000 crore), besides bio services (Rs. 4,000 crore), bio-agriculture (Rs. 3,000 crore), industrial biology (Rs. 700 crore) and bioinformatics (Rs. 300 crore). Karnataka, with 7,000 scientists, offered a large number of opportunities with its industries and institutions, she added.
Subir Hari Singh, Additional Chief Secretary, promised that the State would support the growth of biotechnology with infrastructure and manpower.
I.S.N. Prasad, Principal Secretary, Department of Information Technology, Biotechnology and Science and Technology, said that Bangalore BIO 2013 format would have the academia and the industry, including IIMB, National Centre for Biological Sciences and i-STEM, as partners in relevant sessions.