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Biotechnology in India

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Soft skills have always been rated on the first priority of an employer, be it any kind of industry. Soft skills generally focus on the interpersonal skills of an individual but these days employers are more focusing on the term “Cultural Skills” and they found a huge gap in the preparedness of the upcoming workforce.

Cultural Skills focus on working in a group or team setting, demonstrating leadership qualities and recognizing an individual’s role in the organization. Research shows that companies coming for recruitment specifically looking for this kind of soft skills in the new recruitments. Recruiters mention that they can find skillful candidates but they are looking for a “Cultural –Fit” – someone who can seamlessly transition into the company and work with fellow colleagues.

A Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization that supports science and biotechnology education, released its 2018 Job Trends Forecast for the Life Science Industry in Massachusetts, presented at the Life Science Workforce 2018 Conference, hosted at Northeastern University’s Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC). The report highlighted another year of growth in the biotechnology sector, predicting approximately 12,000 new biotech jobs by 2023. But, interestingly, the conference also highlighted a large gap in the preparedness of the workforce – a lack of “cultural training” among new applicants.  (Education, 2019).

Biotechnology jobs require a lot of hard skills just to get into a specific job. Whether it is scientific skills, research skills, technological skills – these skills are always a prerequisite. But apart from that, there are certain skills which are required essentially if someone is looking for some advancement.

Soft skills are such skills that cannot be taught rather they need to be learned gradually and these skills help to make all the difference down the road. Everyone knows this fact, yet ignores it and later realizes that it is true somewhere down in their career. Following are a few soft skills which an individual needs to focus on further advancements:

  • Find the edge of your comfort
  • Turn theory into practice, practice into performance
  • Review the tapes
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Collaboration
  • Diversity of thought
  • Complex problem solving
  • Time management
  • Communication

Soft skills are really the skills that deal with people. Don’t forget that it’s people that run industries.

Biotechnology is an area of advanced research. Benefits of biotechnology can also be seen in medical institutions. This field in biology is extensively used in pharmaceutical products and medicines, human therapy, engineering, science and technology, agriculture and many more. Gene therapy is the most successful result of biotechnology research use to cure aids and cancer. It is proven to be a great solution to mankind struggles by considering cell biology as an important research area.

Cell biology provides us an understanding of how a cell works, from bacteria to mammalian cell. Cell division is crucial in Biotechnological studies when monitoring growth of Cancer cells for therapeutic purposes. This field is becoming increasingly important in efforts to better understand complex biological behaviors.

The eukaryotic cell division is a complex phenomenon comprising of two key events, duplication of the entire genome and equal segregation of the duplicated genome into two daughter cells. These events are highly regulated so that replication occurs only once per cell cycle which is further essential so as to restore the genomic integrity of cells and prevent uncontrolled cell growth (Cancer). Deregulation of replication factors leading to loss of genomic integrity is seen in many cancers. Role of micro-RNAs in the regulation of DNA replication and cell cycle, indirectly in cancer, is being explored by various research groups worldwide.

MicroRNAs are a class of endogenous small non-coding RNAs with 20–25 nucleotides in length. These miRNAs are present ubiquitously in animals, plants, and viruses, suggesting that miRNAs may be of significant evolutionary importance. By down-regulating gene expression post transcriptionally, miRNAs play important roles in nearly all biological processes, such as developmental timing, cell proliferation, apoptosis, stem cell maintenance, differentiation, signal pathway, and pathogenesis including carcinogenesis.

The number of individual miRNAs expressed in different organisms is comparable to those of transcription factors or RNA-binding proteins (RBPs), and many are expressed in a tissue-specific or developmental stage-specific manner, thereby greatly contributing to cell-type-specific profiles of protein expression. The nature of miRNA interactions with their mRNA targets or say putative protein targets, which involve short sequence signatures, makes them well suited for combinatorial effects with other miRNAs or RBPs that associate with the same mRNA. With the potential to target dozens or even hundreds of different mRNAs, individual miRNAs can coordinate the over-expression of proteins in a cell hence leading to control cellular growth and giving cancer a better treatment approach.

Biotechnology has given rise to biofuel. The use of limited resources has forced us to think about the optimum utility of renewable resources for human consumption across the globe. Biodiesel is one such fuel that illustrates the importance of a renewable source of energy. Biodiesel is an alternative renewable fuel that is produced from vegetable oils, animal fats, spent frying oils and microbial oils.  Greases and Jatropha are also sources of biodiesel and constitute non-edible sources.

A major challenge in using non-edible sources, however, props up in the form of utilization of large scale land, which can cause scarcity of agricultural land for edible crops. To circumvent this problem, microalgae have been used to create biodiesel. Microalgae have high photosynthetic efficiency and can grow in diverse environmental conditions that include high salinity, toxic metal content, presence of toxicants and high CO2 concentration.

Moreover, microalgae can grow in non-arable lands like sea coasts and deserts. The growth of microalgae in water is controllable and non-potable water can also be used. Most microalgae like Scenedesmus and Chlorella have short life cycles, usually less than 24 hours and they have high oil productivity per hectare. Many species of microalgae have been identified to be sources of renewable fuel. Groups from diverse parts have engaged in the development of renewable fuel.

It has been seen that the addition of iron to growth medium under nitrate limitation was found to enhance the crude lipid content of Chlorella to 56.6%. Biodiesel is produced by the synthesis of fatty acid methyl esters – FAME, that involves a transesterification reaction between fatty acid and alcohol.

This step is known to be economical but generates industrial waste that is a hazard.  In this method, pre-extraction is carried out of the oil from the raw material. Nowadays, In situ transesterification has been developed as in this method the pre-extraction and esterification are combined in a single step. The production of industrial waste is countered in this method. Thus, with research and innovation in biotechnology, humans are better equipped to face the challenges of the future.

The horizon of excellence was visible as Chandrayaan – 2 lifted off successfully to explore the moon, representing the scientific exuberance that India has in its armour. More interestingly the passion for scientific excellence has spread to many Indians and in the spectrum of areas available, Biotechnology is one that is booming. The aspirations of people are many and one of them is the development of insect-resistant crops.

The hard work of a farmer is at risk of loss when insects and pests attack a crop. The dedication with which crops are cultivated has now been supported robustly by the utilization of Bacillus thuringiensis bacterium. This bacterium which has a size of one or few microns i.e. one thousand of a millimetre has been effective in battling insects that spoil crops. This bacterium is abbreviated as Bt. It has been applied for the betterment of crop productivity by expressing its biological trait as well. The bacterium could be used as an inhabitant of the soil. First discovered in Japan in 1901 and subsequently in Germany in 1911, the bacterium has been used for a century. These bacteria can be used as a liquid spray or their genes can be introduced into a plant for expressing proteins that help a plant to survive. This microorganism has a gene, Cry1Ac, that produces a protein that targets the digestive tract of harmful Lepidoptera moths and caterpillars but is not derogatory for humans or harmless animals.  The gene that produces such a protein has been cloned in seeds of crops, making them resistant to attack by insects that feed on them.  Bt cotton in India and Australia have been blockbuster success frontiers that have caused the good output of the product. Before the inception of Bt cotton, the pink bollworm wreaked havoc in Indian fields but now that problem has been countered. Corn borers caused so much damage to corn in the 1960s, that they were labelled “ billion-dollar pest”. Bt has been the tool of choice to evade this menace. The other advantage is that this technique reduces the use of other topical insecticides that are harmful to human health. To summarize, Biotechnology has been a great provider of protection to agriculture and in boosting productivity.

History is witness to the fact that since time immemorable, a huge importance has been attributed to the system of Guru shishya school of thought in our great nation. From noble kings to mere mortals, a Guru has paved the righteous and successful way for many a pupil. In continuation of the pious social and ethical practices of historic India, the glory of academics in Dr. B.Lal Institute of Biotechnology has increased tremendously with the advent of Guru Shishya Parampara (GSP) – a trend that highlights individual focus and attention given to each student by the faculty of the Institute. In this system, the GSP incharge holds together the sanctity and dedication of the student towards academics and cultural activity. The teacher makes sure that the personal problems of the students are overcome by counseling, attendance is regular, the student is understanding all subjects and feedback is taken from them.

This system creates a bond of respect tethering students and teachers and unlocks skills amidst students who bask in the aura of encouragement and support. Training is imparted to students in various colleges but GSP activity makes Dr. B. Lal Institute of Biotechnology incomparable. This institute has set the highest standards of teaching and student guidance. The teachers are constantly committed to the betterment of the students. The students get comfortable in sharing their problems with their teachers and guidance of the right kind is imparted to them.

In its illustrious journey of ten years, Dr. B. Lal Institute of Biotechnology has paved the way for countless students towards success and spiritual enrichment in life. The positive vibrations that resonate the institute, emanate. in part, from GSP. The construction of creative minds is a task to which every teacher of the institute is committed to. The guru shishya parampara has created a milestone in the development of students in all spheres of life.


The advent of biotechnology is prominent. Gone are the winds of insipid excitement and permanent are the forces of renovation that contain historic achievements. The use of microbes that have inhabited the earth for millions of years, for bioremedial techniques illustrates the fact that natural history paves a way for present development. Bioremediation of toxic metals from groundwater is an advantage that biotechnology has provided for human health. Arsenic is a toxic metal that can be removed from water by arsenic oxidizing bacteria. The bacteria are used for oxidation of Arsenite As(III) to As(V), that can be easily separated from the water. Many heterotrophic bacteria oxidize As(III)  to detoxify their immediate environment. On the contrary, some bacteria behave as agents that use As(III) as electron donors. Various molecular markers have been identified to recognize bacteria with potential arsenic oxidizing activity such as 16s rRNA, aioA, arsB and others. By oxidizing the more toxic Arsenic As (III) to less toxic As(V) and concomitantly gaining energy, such bacteria have an appreciable ecological advantage over their counterparts. The As oxidase gene has been characterized by bacteria. A study has confirmed that the As oxidase gene is a very ancient gene. In certain ways, Arra and As oxidase have been found to be similar.

Classical technologies are efficient in removal of  As(V) but not As(III). There are also cost intensive. Here Biotechnology counters the problem. Biocolumn reactors with immobilised bacterial cells have been used. A novel cost effective biocomposite- granules of cement coated with cysts of certain cyanobacteria has been studied The composite has been proven to remove 96% arsenic. Many such biocolumns or devices have been made that harness the ability of bacteria to remove As(III) and As(V). The efficiency of these has been very high. Thus techniques of biotechnology have been effectively used to clean drinking water from arsenic. Similar approaches have been taken for remediation of other toxic metals like cadmium, excessive Iron and others. Biotechnology is critically involved in the maintenance of human health.

Environmental Biotechnology is a dynamic branch of Biotechnology that deals with the improvement of the environment and microbes that remediate the problems of the environment.  This important branch of biotechnology harnesses the power of microbes to sequester toxic chemicals from contaminated sites. This field is a combination of biology and engineering.

In modern times, rapid industrial growth has led to drastic increase in pollution; Pollutants have been added to our environment in gigantic proportions by human activities. To ameliorate this problem, Environmental biotechnology is a potent tool. This field is known to include techniques like development of plants for filtration of pollutants in air, soil and water, synthesis of biofuel and optimization of sustainable process.

The benefits of environmental biotechnology have been observed in the production of biofuel from the Jatropha plant. Moreover, cotton waste has also been used to generate ethanol via fermentation. Such fuels are required very much for human activities as conventional fuels are limited in amount. Bioremediation is another critically important field that used recombinant microorganisms to clear contaminated land sites of toxic metals like cadmium, arsenic, etc. The use of earthworms for treatment of wastewater, called vermifiltration, has been effectively used.

In government organisations, jobs are aplenty for qualified personnel of Environmental Biotechnology. Their work is contributory in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, town planning offices, sewage treatment plants, etc.  Thus a plethora of societal and economic applications of environmental biotechnology are to be made in the current time and in the future.


Listen to the expert Dr. Sonika Saxena, Vice Principal, Dr. B. Lal Institute of Biotechnology, Jaipur below!

Biotechnology has created an unprecedented threat in the progression of agricultural, environmental, food and dairy technology. However, the role played by biotechnology in the medical field and healthcare has been immense, unbeatable and unparalleled.

This subject – Biotechnology is a synonym for the prosperity of human health and medical care. Thus, it is a boon for the medical industry.

Medical Biotechnology (MBT) deals with healthcare and pharmacy sectors, infusing these fields with tremendous humanitarian implications. This is because a small discovery made by any medical biotechnologist can save millions of lives on Earth.

As the global economy is scaling new heights, the requirement of qualified and skilled biotechnology researchers is increasing with time.

India is counted among the top 12 biotechnology destinations in the world and the third largest in the Asia Pacific region.

Biotechnology, a vast field, is culturing ton healthcare and treatment through techniques that result in rapid and accurate diagnosis of diseases with the utilization of techniques like Polymerase Chain Reaction, ELISA, Indirect Immunofluorescence and Recombinant DNA Technology; the investigation of human diseases has reached a gargantuan level.

Apart from these techniques, gene cloning in Biotechnology has made possible, the mutated or disrupted gene in the damaged cell. This procedure is referred to as Gene Therapy.

Those students, who have the technical expertise and thorough acclimatization towards handling equipment, can opt for a great career in Medical Biotechnology.

To become competent and successful professionals in this field, students can choose to study B.Sc in Biotechnology. For this course, 12th examination with biology/ maths/ agriculture is essential.

On completion of this highly potent academic course, students can further study M.Sc in Medical Biotechnology or pursue Ph.D to become illustrious medical scientists in future.

Qualified graduates can complete M.Sc in Medical Biotechnology and work in research institutes all over the world as Research Associate or Research Scientists.

They can also become medical professionals in clinical settings, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies.

According to National Human Genome Research Institute’s report, by the year 2025, the trend of personalized medical treatment will start, in which an individual would obtain medical treatment based on his or her genetic makeup.

Definitely, one can say that the future is bright because of the Biotechnology and there is going to be a huge requirement of qualified medical biotechnologists to secure the healthy future of mankind and nature.


Listen to the expert Dr. Sonika Saxena, Vice Principal, Dr. B. Lal Institute of Biotechnology, Jaipur below!

Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field that addresses biological problems using computational techniques and makes the rapid organization and analysis of biological data possible.

Bioinformatics may also be referred to as computational biology and can be defined as conceptualizing biology in terms of molecules and then applying informatics techniques to understand and organize the information associated with these molecules, on a large scale. Bioinformatics plays a key role in various areas, such as functional genomics, structural genomics and proteomics and forms a key component in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector.

Bioinformatics is an amalgam of computer science, information technology and the different subject of biology as well as for biotechnology. The interdisciplinary nature of bioinformatics leads to dynamic job opportunities in the various fields of academia as well as industries including pharmaceutical industries, life sciences, food industries, diagnostic sectors, agriculture, etc.

Bioinformatics is a fascinating subject having the input of engineering art as well as of science. Bioinformaticians are mostly engaged in designing new algorithms, software, developing updated databases that all help in solving many biological problems. The growth of the biotechnology industry in recent years is unprecedented and advancements in molecular modeling, disease characterization, pharmaceutical discovery, clinical healthcare, forensics, and agriculture fundamentally impact economic and social issues worldwide.

As a result, with people confidence and development of biotechnology, bioinformatics also reached new heights among all the biological sciences. The human genome sequence data is so huge that if compiled in books, the data would run into 200 volumes of 1000 pages each and reading alone would require 26 years working around the clock. This challenge of handling such huge data can only be possible because of bioinformatics.


Join Industrial Biotechnology Training Program in Bioinformatics (Session 2019-2020)

Biotechnology is the broad area applied to biology and other research areas which include Genomics, Plant and Animal Biotechnology, Medical Biotechnology, Environment and Biodiversity, Bioinformatics, Product and Process Development, Biofuels, Bioinstrumentation, Human Resource development, and Biofuels.

Biotechnology utilizes biomolecular and cellular processes that help to create products and technologies which improve our lives. Recent biotechnology develops breakthrough technologies to fight diseases, feed the hungry, use less and cleaner energy, reduce our environmental harm, have safer, cleaner and more efficient industrial manufacturing processes.

Till today, more than 250 biotechnology health care products and vaccines have been made available to patients. Agricultural biotechnology is used by more than 13.3 million farmers around the world and is used to prevent plants from damage by insects and pests increase yields, and reduce damage done on environment due to farming.

To reduce the toxic chemical pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, new industrial and environmental biotechnology advances have been made.

Other than this, renewable biofuels from algae and use of other cellulosic materials decrease greenhouse gases as well as reducing our dependence on oil. Substitute for petroleum-based plastics, replacing waste destined for a landfill with biodegradable, compostable consumer products is accomplished by the help of Bioplastic, another product that is available today.

“Feeding the world will be one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. It will be impossible without using scientific advancements and biotechnology.”