Education Plus

Empowering the biotech sector

With the Reserve Bank of India declaring biotech as a priority sector, the biotech market has acquired new hope and opportunities. Incidentally, furthering this trend, Bengaluru which is already a biotech hub, now has the support of two initiatives from the State Government: Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology (IBAB) which intends to promote education, research and entrepreneurship in bioinformatics and biotechnology and Karnataka Biotech Finishing Schools (BTFS), which plans to enhance the placement opportunities for fresh graduates.

IBAB offers a two-year M.Sc. degree in Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology which blends Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Programming with Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology. It also offers a Ph.D. programme. Students are selected for the course through an online exam followed by an interview. If IBAB takes care of the academic requirement, an initiative like BTFS aims to address the paucity of industry-ready graduates in the field of bio-technology. Initiated by the Department of IT BT and S&T, Government of Karnataka, via the implementing arm KBITS (Karnataka Biotechnology and Information Technology Services), BTFS aims to address this issue.

The programme has been designed specially for life science students to give them hands-on training in various soft skills related to the field. The programme is currently in its fourth year and so far, 337 students have graduated from the schools. After six months of academic work, students are asked to intern with a company related to their domain of expertise. This programme is present in 12 institutions across Karnataka: Dayanand Sagar Institution, Bengaluru; Maharani Lakshmi Ammani College, Bengaluru; Siddaganga Institute of Technology, Tumkur; Padmashree Institute of Management of Sciences, Bengaluru; St. Aloysius College, Mangalore; Manipal Life Sciences, Manipal, etc. to name just a few. Students are selected for the BTFS programme through the Karnataka Biotechnology Aptitude Test (KBAT) which is followed by interviews and counselling sessions.

Those who have completed a Masters in the subject can join BTFS.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 10:23:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/education/empowering-the-biotech-sector/article7587152.ece

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