Model Question and Answers for APSC | Why is there so much activity in the field of biotechnology in our country? How has this activity benefitted the field of biopharma?

Model Question and Answers for APSC | Why is there so much activity in the field of biotechnology in our country? How has this activity benefitted the field of biopharma?

Ans : Biotechnology is a technology that utilizes biological systems, living organisms or parts of this to develop or create different products. India is among the top 12 destinations for biotechnology worldwide. The industry comprises >2,700 biotech start-ups and >2,500 biotech companies in the country.
Reasons for activity in the field of biotechnology.

1. Already a front runner in pharmaceuticals
2. Availability of entrepreneurs, research staff and startups as suggested by data
3.Various initiatives by the Government to support the sector
4. India allows 100% FDI under the automatic route (a non-resident or Indian company will not require any approval from the government) for greenfield pharmaceuticals and manufacturing medical devices.
Government Initiatives
1. National Biopharma Mission, ‘Innovate India’ 2017, a DBT programme worth US$ 250 million, aims to bring together industry and academia in order to promote entrepreneurship and indigenous manufacturing in biopharma.
2. Biotechnology Parks and Incubators are established across the country by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT)

3. Atal Jai Anusandhan Biotech Mission
4. Under the Union Budget 2021-22, the government outlaid Rs. 1,660 crore (US$ 227.94 million) for biotechnology research and development. The government announced plans to set up nine biosafety level-3  (BSL-3) laboratories through Pradhan Mantri Atma Nirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana.
5. Mission COVID Suraksha- The Indian COVID-19 Vaccine Development Mission
Biotech initiatives benefiting Bio-Pharma:
1. The country is the world’s third-largest producer of recombinant Hepatitis B vaccine and the second-largest producer of BT cotton (genetically modified pest-resistant plant cotton).
2. The percentage share of Bio-Pharma is 62% in the overall biotechnology segment.