Biomanufacturing will drive India’s future bioeconomy & promote green growth: Dr Jitendra Singh

Union S&T minister informed that the India has conducted the first human clinical trial of gene therapy for haemophilia A (FVIII deficiency)

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New Delhi: Biomanufacturing and Bio-foundry will drive India’s future bioeconomy and promote “Green Growth”, said Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh while inaugurating the 17th Annual International Biocuration Conference (AIBC-2024) being organized by Indian Biological Data Centre (IBDC) at Regional Centre for Biotechnology (RCB), in Faridabad, Haryana.
“After a policy shift under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Biotechnology research and Bio StartUps are prioritized and have taken centre stage”, he said.
Dr Singh said, “In keeping with India’s realization of a global vision, the recent ‘Vote-on-Account’ envisages an exclusive scheme to promote biomanufacturing and bio-foundry”.
He said, the scheme will help transform today’s consumptive manufacturing paradigm to the one based on regenerative principles. It will provide environment-friendly alternatives such as biodegradable polymers, bioplastics, biopharmaceuticals and bio-Agri-inputs to supplement Bio-Startups and bioeconomy, he added.
On the occasion, Dr. Jitendra Singh launched ‘ICE’-Integrated Computing Environment, a cloud-based computational facility for life science researchers. ICE is a dedicated Supercomputing environment accessible across the country and aims to build a cloud environment for storing, retrieving and analysing genomic data.
Dr. Jitendra Singh also launched 3 data Submission portals-1. Indian Nucleotide Data Archive –Controlled Access (INDA-CA) portal 2. Indian Crop Phenome Database Portal, & 3. Indian Metabolome Data Archive Portal.
Addressing the conference, which is the first ever Biocuration conference happening in India, the Science and Technology minister said, India developed the 1st ever DNA- Vaccine for Covid-19. The world acknowledges India’s progress in robust vaccine development capacity which has been proved during COVID pandemic, and India is hailed as a global leader in Preventive Healthcare.
He also shared that India is making its 1st ever vaccine for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which will be administered to all school going adolescent girls to prevent them from cervical cancer.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that in the last 10 years under PM Modi, India’s bioeconomy has grown 13 folds from $10 billion in 2014 to over $130 billion in 2024. India is now being rated among top 12 biotechnology destinations in the world, he said.
“India has reached to nearly 6,000 bio-startups from 50 in the past 10 years”, said Dr Singh.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said, “It is the best time for Biotechnology, highlighting the progress of biotechnology in India”. “India has a huge wealth of bioresources, an unsaturated resource waiting to be harnessed and an advantage in Biotechnology especially due to the vast biodiversity and the unique bioresources in the Himalayas. Then there is the 7,500 kms long coastline and last year we launched the Deep Sea Mission which is going to dig the biodiversity beneath the seas,” he said.
The Union Minister said, value addition in the Indian economy can be achieved through Bioeconomy, Blue economy and Space economy. Ha also added that India is not only on the same page as the world but also ahead in many sectors.
Dr. Rajesh Gokhale, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology and Dr. Arvind Sahu, Executive Director, RCB and Dr. Suchita Ninawe, Advisor, DBT along with foreign delegates and scientists from across the globe were present during the conference.