Biotechnology: Plays a Major role in achieving the self-reliance mission of India
India is the second most populated country in the world and is a major economy. The recent events of the year 2020 have brought forward the need of being self-reliant. A self-reliant nation can handle economic shocks and natural crisis way much better than a nation which is not self-reliant.
India has recently brought the focus on the recent issue and its solutions “Local Solutions to Global Challenges’. The road to a self-reliant India that supports its economy as well would traverse through support to new biotechnology techniques and policies. India is amongst the top 12 destinations of the well-developed biotechnology industry and has now the power to contribute to the self-reliant mission of India. The biopharmaceutical sector only constitutes 64% of revenues of the biotech industry with bio agro having 14%.
Agriculture and health care both are major industries of India that affect a huge chunk of the population so; it seems natural to focus on the biotechnology industry to strengthen the self-reliance mission.
Mission to a Self- Reliant India-
A self-reliant India will be much more prepared for any future geo-economic disruptions. India experienced major set-backs and pull in sectors like health care, education, agriculture, etc. in the global pandemic of COVID-19, especially great pressure to supply affordable health care for not only our nation but also for the world. The agriculture sector was also greatly affected which led to large losses of resources, scarcity, and increased prices of commodities.
Biotechnology can make India stronger in many sectors and much more efficient to cater to its needs with new technological advances and innovations in health care, agriculture, etc.
Biotechnology will not only increase agricultural production for the nation but also would have enough for global outsourcing. A good product has the potential to increase India’s global export adding to its economy.
India’s biotech sector saved many lives by coming out with millions of diagnostic kits, personnel protective equipment, critical care equipment, ventilators, recuperative devices, etc. In fact, India has gone from non-existent to the world’s 2nd largest PPE manufacturing India.
Our honourable Prime minister also mentioned a technology-driven system one of the five pillars of mission self-reliant India.
At the moment the sector which requires the most support is health care. The biotech industry has the opportunity and both need to be self-reliant today. The world is waiting for the COVID-19 vaccine along with providing treatment. It is no doubt that the Indian biotech industry proved its capability by providing healthcare requirements and treatment in a difficult time. Now the role of Biotech all the more vital as government needs long-term planning for this pandemic.
Biotechnology is using a broad-based approach for developing treatments of COVID-19.
Assuming that vaccine is successful with a substantial investment of both resources and infrastructure biotechnology will have to lead the charge of finding a vaccine. It is because of only India’s biotech industry that India is in much better condition than many other developed countries.
For a Self Reliant India, the biotech is now focusing on primary healthcare and improved facilities at the grass-root level, and blueprints National Digital Health Mission will be expedited for better use of biotechnology in health care services. Biotech R&D department has the prospect and opportunity to become a self-reliant global leader in digital health services.
The medicine market of India is one of the most competent ones, one which is not only self-reliant but also a global supplier. With biotechnology and the government’s initiatives, India has the opportunity to become not only self-reliant for medical requirements but also a provider.
Biotech crops require less pesticide which is a benefit for not only health but farmers also. Biotechnology now has started to enrich the possibility of industrial microbial techniques that involves introducing new genes to live catalyst and modifying their genomes to fit pre-specified production needs. This can bring a revolution to the Indian agriculture industry and that too without harming the environment.
The government has sanctioned loans for agri-tech startups to enhance rural livelihood and reduce risks related to climatic uncertainties, and traditional farming.
India’s global supply of chemicals is not hidden. But with biotechnology, we hold the capacity of producing a variety of chemicals of industrial, agricultural, and health care importance. Some bacteria and yeast are being tested genetically to reprogram and repurposed to produce lipids serving as bio-fuels precursors and various other uses.
Non-natural chemicals like gasoline, terephthalic acid, etc. can be produced by metabolic engineering an advanced form of biotechnology and contemporary biotechnology is producing chemicals like polysaccharides, proteins, and synthetic polymers by fermentation biotechnology. All these chemicals have uses in sectors like environmental friendly packaging, the medical sector, industries, etc. This serves very well in India’s self-reliant mission as now most of everything is produced by India itself.
The Indian government is taking several steps to promote biotechnology initiatives and startups which will produce employment opportunities.