Bioscience to Bioeconomy – The Big Picture – RSTV IAS UPSC

  • IASbaba
  • June 3, 2021
  • 0
The Big Picture- RSTV, UPSC Articles
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Topic: General Studies 3:

  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment

Biotechnology sector: At a Glance

The sector is recognized as one of the key drivers for contributing to India’s USD 5 Trillion economy target by 2024. Indian Biotechnology sector is poised to grow exponentially over the next decade. Policy initiatives of Government of India (GoI) such as Make in India program are aimed to develop India as a world-class Biotechnology and Bio-manufacturing hub. 

  • India is among the top-12 destinations for biotechnology in the world, with approximately 3% share in the global Biotechnology industry.
  • Indian Biotechnology industry’s economy is valued at $70 billion in 2020 is expected to grow to 2 USD 150 Bn by 2025. 
  • According to World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2020, India is now ranked 1st among South-Asian countries compared to 6th rank in 2014. India was ranked 48th according to the Global Innovation Index Report 2020.

Global Bio India 2021

Recognizing the importance of this sector, Global Bio India 2021 is going to deliberate on the opportunities and key challenges in the areas of bio-manufacturing, capacity-building, regulation & policies creating global supply chains for achieving a growth-oriented road-map for the biotechnology sector in the country – 

  • Showcase key biotechnological innovations, products, services, technologies from national and international companies, start-ups and research institutes
  • Identify funding and collaboration opportunities for research and development
  • Attracting major contract projects from international companies as well as major global venture funding into India and facilitate interactions of research institutions with the industry.


  • The project development cell of DBT was launched during the event, which will help significant targeted support.
  • A total of five new technologies were also launched, which are reflective of the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign. The technologies would help India excel in modern technology and help Indians access a better life and improved healthcare facilities.

The Way Forward: Bioscience to Bioeconomy

Biotechnology has emerged as the backbone of various industrial sectors in recent times.

Synthetic biotechnology is estimated to be a game changer; it will facilitate the creation of cells and help produce novel medicines.

Built on four core beliefs of entrepreneurship, innovation, development of local talent, and demonstrating high value-based care, India is in a unique position to transition from the biotech industry to a bio-economy.

India is at the forefront of fighting the pandemic – through the development of diagnostics, vaccines and novel protection equipment, apart from scaling up diagnostic capacity and rapid regulatory response. Research and solutions in synthetic biology and bio similars will help propel India forward. The aim is to be part of the global innovative ecosystem, beginning with a startup that should be scalable for global requirements. Innovation can happen in synthetic biology and rare diseases, and this should be taken to the masses with proper regulation in place.

  • Indian start-ups need to be encouraged to experiment and to go beyond run-of-the mill thinking
  • Required for scientists and researchers to be always ready to combat new and emerging diseases as the COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need to be ever vigilant to tackle an outbreak of sudden and unforeseen epidemics and pandemics.
  • With biotech sector’s ambitious target of becoming a USD 150 billion industry by 2025 and contribute to knowledge and innovation-driven economy, the academia and the industry need to join hands and engage pro-actively in imparting training and skills to the youth. When we look at the biotech global value chains, India’s participation can increase by building a skilled biotech workforce as it is a labour-intensive industry. By 2025, the biotech industry in the country aims to reach $150bn, of which $70bn has already been achieved.
  • India needs to engage more with rural India – leverage the huge potential of biotechnology sector to come up with new interventions to address the challenges faced by agriculture and allied sectors.


National Bio-Entrepreneurship Competition (NBEC)

  • It is a national platform for bio-entrepreneurs to present their innovative business ideas with significant societal impact in the life sciences domain
  • It is a joint initiative by BIRAC (a research assistance non-profit established by the government’s department of biotechnology) and C-CAMP (Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms, India’s premier life sciences innovation hub)
  • Ideas are encouraged from all domains of life sciences, including healthcare, agriculture, food, nutraceuticals, environment, water, and animal health.

How does it help innovators?

  • The framework of NBEC is designed such that competitors are judged solely on the merit of the idea and its societal impact.
  • If the idea is good, supporting infrastructure is provided through a network of innovation hubs, industry, and mentorship.
  • A big cohort of participants are invited to competition, which helps to form partnerships with industry leaders, and innovation hubs to operationalise their concepts.
  • It thus helps idea to be translated into reality and enter the market in a sustainable manner.

The value proposition lies in three broad areas—

  • A robust framework that democratises innovation access – many NBEC ideators are women, and from tier 2-3 cities/towns of India. 
  • Emphasis on ideas with national societal impact –
  • Connecting innovators up the idea-to-market value chain.

Connecting the Dots:

  1. Innovation and the future of India are inextricably linked. Discuss.
  2. What advances have taken place in the field of regenerative biotechnology? Examine.


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