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India - Infrastructure - Biotechnology



The alignment of a vast pool of scientific talent, a world-class information-technology industry, and a vibrant generic pharmaceutical sector position India to emerge as a significant spot on the global biotech map.  There are about 170 biotech-based companies in India.  Out of these, 60 are in the modern biotech sector.  India holds a good advantage over many other countries of the world.  With its large population of over a billion people there is a huge market for products and services.  India’s population has a very interesting environment for biotech companies to shift bases here. 

Even thought in the global biotech market, Indian share is presently just about 2% the future seems very bright for the country.  Biotechnology is a fast emerging sector in India.  The consumption of biotech products in India was $1789 mn during 1999, which is expected to grow up to the tune of $4270 mn by the end of the year 2010.

Biotech industry in India at present is at the threshold of tremendous growth. For example, in the human and animal products segment of the industry alone, the vaccine market alone is valued at US$ 230 million and is growing at 20%.  The investment opportunities in India are very promising.  Fresh investments of 145 mn hold the potential of creating a turnover of Rs.200mn. In the next 5 to 7 years, which could then further be utilized to innovate new products for the global biotech market?

The government on its part has been increasing the outlays for biotechnology over the past decade.  The budgetary allocation have gone up by a tremendous amount from just 404 million in 1987-88 to 1138 million in 1997-98 and to almost double the amount of a whopping 2356 million in 2002-03.

Crop Biotechnology: Successful transgenic research has been carried out on banana, cabbage, mustard, mungbean and wheat for crop improvement, increased nutritional value, disease resistance, and better shelf life, particularly in cotton and rice.  Transgenic systems of indica rice and wheat have been developed; rice transformed with 3 genes and wheat with one gene to confer stress resistance.  India is now a partner I the International Rice Genome Programme with the responsibility to sequence a art of Chromosome 11.

Bt. Cotton trials at several locations have been monitored.  The date indicates that Bt. Cotton has an average yield advantage of around 4.0 times over non-Bt. Cotton.  No effects of Bt. Protein have been noticed on non-target and beneficial insects.

Plant Tissue Culture: Protocol standardization has been completed for a number of spices of forest trees horticulture and plantation crops.  Different crosses have been developed in a variety of orchids.  Fields demonstration trials are being conducted for tissue culture raised coffee, pepper and tea. Complete regeneration systems are now available for 20 different species. Transformation systems have been developed for Populus Species.   Polymerase chain Reaction (PCR) based molecular diagnostic h\kit has been perfected for the detection of Banana Bunchy Top virus.  


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