“There are no boundaries in research”

Researchers in biotechnology doing commendable work in spite of various constraints, says expert

It is encouraging that today's young researchers are looking at science as a global activity. They are trying to link their research with the works in other countries. Developing such international links is very important, Kartar Singh, Deputy Director, British Council, South India, Chennai, said here on Monday, addressing faculty of biotechnology.

He was inaugurating a five-day Autumn School in Biotechnology, organised by Plant Genetic Engineering Laboratory, Department of Biotechnology of Bharathiar University, in association with UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) of the British Council.

“There are no boundaries in research. It should not be confined to the four walls of a laboratory. UKIERI provides a platform for researchers here and the United Kingdom to collaborate. The joint outcome of such research will definitely be better and more effective than individual research,” Mr. Singh said.

Pointing out that opportunities available for faculty of biotechnology to improve their skills was not much, he said those who were teaching in remote colleges had even less opportunity to build their competencies.

Researchers in biotechnology were doing commendable work in the field, in spite of the various constraints, he added.

P. Thirumalvalavan, Registrar, Bharathiar University, said biotechnology was an emerging area in research as well as in terms of business proposition.

It was looked upon to provide solutions to various problems such as ensuring food security, solutions to hereditary diseases, and its uses were also seen in agriculture.

“Biotechnology is a sector that is receiving liberal support from Government and other bodies. As is the practice with all emergent technologies, those in this sector too will be viewed with initial resistance. Tissue culture, cloning and similar technologies involve ethical issues. People involved in such research should also find solutions to handle these issues,” the Registrar said.

R. Boopathy, Head, Department of Biotechnology, said it was not enough if the university stopped with developing the curriculum and sending it to colleges for teachers to follow it. It was also its duty to orient the staff about the latest developments to enable them teach the curriculum in an effective manner.

To make the teachers of biotechnology who taught in the 15 colleges affiliated to the university up to date, the department was planning to organise summer and autumn schools in biotechnology annually.

R. Sathish Kumar, organising secretary, spoke.

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