Bio-Technology at V V P
V.V.P. Engineering College-Rajkot is the only engineering college in the entire Gujarat State offering B.E. Biotechnology course since 2004. Biotechnology is a fast emerging sector in India. Gujarat is global player having presence of all multinational companies. The consumption of biotech products in India was $1789 mn during 1999, which grew up to the tune of $ 5000 mn currently by 2014. 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 vaccines market alone is valued at US$ 230 million and is growing at 20 per cent. India’s rich human capital is believed to be the strongest asset for this knowledge-based industry having 3 million graduates and 1500 PhDs qualified in biosciences and engineering. The investment opportunities in India are very promising with fresh investments of more than 145 mn creating a turnover of Rs. 200 mn in the next 5 to 7 years, making India -The global biotech market.
What is Bio-Technology?
Biotechnology is an interdisciplinary science, which encompasses the study of biophysics, chemistry, mathematics and engineering. It is fast growing field and has firm applications in every aspect of industrial and daily life from chemical, pharmaceutics, textile industries to genetics and agriculture. Its related fields are Biochemistry, Microbiology and Genetic Engineering. So, Biotechnology is the engineering of products involving living organisms or their derivatives. Earlier it was used mainly in agriculture and wine industry without knowing molecular basis of plant transformation or product formation. But, in the modern times, the focus is more on the molecular aspects of plants, animals and microorganisms. This kind of finer studies resulted in the further advancement of biotechnology research and applications.
Why to study B.E. – Bio Technology?
Over the years, biotechnology has evolved as an interdisciplinary area of science and technology having linked with many engineering fields like chemical engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering and so on. For example, technological revolution in computer science played a pivotal role for processing of millions of DNA sequences coming out from whole genome sequencing of different organisms including humans. The human genome sequence revealed that 99.9% sequences of any two individuals are same and an individual is different from others because of only 0.10% DNA sequences. What does it reveal? Besides, 98.5% of human genome comprises of non-coding sequences. This puzzle is not easy to solve. And there are about 30,000 genes in this genome and functions of most of them are still unknown. Similarly, there are thousands of unknown genes in bacteria, yeast, protozoa, soil worms, plants and in all the vertebrates. Understanding of the biological processes in all these living organisms will revolutionize the pharmaceutical industries, food industries, agriculture sector, heath care etc. and will provide solutions to different problems like aging, cancer development, infections caused by viruses and microbes and so on. It is a challenge for new generation of budding scientists and technocrats to crack this problem and contribute to science and technology so that mankind will be benefited.
Scope of Bio Technology
Four years of B. E. Bio-Technology programme at V V P Engineering College, Rajkot [ Gujarat] covers the research and commercial applications in the various fields like Agriculture, Food, Pharmaceutics & Healthcare, Animal Breeding, In Vitro Fertilization, Genetic Engineering, Gene Therapy, etc. These include the detail and scientific study of latest techniques and trends in Fermentation, Tissue Culture, Bioinformatics, Protein Engineering, Molecular Biology, Genomics, Nanobiotechnology and Metabolic Engineering and Environment, Biostatistics, Computational Biology, etc. The scope of biotechnology is getting brighter day by day with the advancement of scientific knowledge and due to development of sophisticated techniques for the investigation of biological specimen. The coming decades belong to the novel inventions and discoveries of biotechnology in serving the human welfare in a better way.
Biotechnology- A promising present and future: Indian Perspectives
Biotechnology is an interdisciplinary science, which encompasses the study of biophysics, chemistry, chemistry, mathematics and engineering. It is fast growing field that firm application in every aspect of industrial and daily life from chemical, pharmaceutics textile industries to genetics and agriculture. Its related fields are Biochemistry, Microbiology and Genetic Engineering. The confederation of Indian industry in its report on Biotechnology in India says the market has increased five fold since 1997 presently estimated at Rs.11,500 crore. The report has projected that the market has touch Rs. 20,700 crore y 2010. The Industry presently employs around 10,000 pounds is also estimated to double by end of 2001.
Biotechnology is the engineering of products involving living organisms or their derivatives. Earlier it was used mainly in agriculture and wine industry without knowing molecular basis of plant transformation or product formation. However, the earth-shaking discovery of DNA double helix by J. D. Watson and F. C. Crick in early 1950s revolutionized this field as never-before and paved the way for understanding life at cellular and molecular level. The discovery of restriction enzymes (molecular scissors) gave birth to recombinant DNA technology and it allows the manipulation of genetic makeup of any organism including human being at will. This field is popularly known as Genetic Engineering. It has made possible the cloning of individual genes and the whole organism as well. The cloning of Dolly the sheep by Ian Wilmut and colleagues at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1996, was a major milestone in science and technology and holds out hope for therapeutic cloning. Modern biotechnology is also associated with the use of genetically modified organisms like bacterium Escherichia coli, baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, plants and animals for the production of antibiotics or biological molecules of human origin. For example, human insulin gene was cloned into a plasmid and transformed into E. coli to produce large quantities of biologically functional insulin to meet the increasing demand of this product for the treatment of diabetes. Also, genetically modified plants are developed to get increased yield, high nutritional value and to make them pest resistant or salt tolerant.
Biotechnology- What and Why In India?
Biotechnology is an interdisciplinary science, which encompasses the study of biophysics, chemistry, mathematics and engineering.
It is fast growing field that firm application in every aspect of industrial and daily life from chemical, pharmaceutics textile industries to genetics and agriculture. Its related fields are Biochemistry, Microbiology and Genetic Engineering.
The confederation of Indian industry in its report on Biotechnology in India says the market has increased five fold since 1997 presently estimated at Rs.11,500 crore. The report has projected that the market has touched Rs. Almost 30000 crore in the year 2014.
INDIAN BIOTECH SECTOR
Prof. Dharmesh H. Sur
Head and Asst. Professor, Biotech. Dept., VVP Engineering College – Rajkot
After leading the I.T bandwagon India has shifted its efforts to 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 biotechmap. Even though 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 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 vaccines market alone is valued at US$ 230 million and is growing at 20 per cent. The success of firms like Shanta Biotech and Bharat Biotech emphasise the fact. India’s first genetically engineered vaccine, Shanta Biotech’s Shanvac against Hepatitis B, costs $4, less than half the price of similar vaccines marketed by multinational companies. India’s rich human capital is believed to be the strongest asset for this knowledge-based industry having a large English speaking skill base, 3 million graduates, 700,000 postgraduates & 1500 PhDs qualified in biosciences and engineering. It is estimated that 10% of researchers and 15% of scientists in Pharma/ Biotech R&D in USA are of Indian origin. The investment opportunities in India are very promising. Fresh investments of 145 mn hold the potential of creating a turnover of Rs. 200 mn. in the next 5 to 7 years, which could then further be utilized to innovate new products for the global biotech market.
Research institutes form the backbone of the biotech industry. India realising this has already taken a big leap forward by establishing a number of institutes which carry on a most advanced research programme. Major research in India so far is carried out at government funded research institutes like – Indian Council of Agricultural Research., Indian Council of Medical Research, Council of scientific & Industrial Research, Department of Biotechnology [under the Ministry of Science & Technology.
Job opportunities in Bio Technology
Career in biotechnology is a good option in India as the country has witnessed remarkable growth in biotechnology sector. India has become one of the best destinations for biotech industry due to good network of research laboratories, rich biodiversity/agriculture sector, well developed base industries and trained manpower. The nature of work of biotechnologists, being interdisciplinary, requires working together with people from different fields such as biology, chemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, immunology, genetics, engineering, food science, agriculture, animal science etc. Some of the fields where expertise of biotechnology is applicable are as follows.
- Medicine & health care: The remarkable work carried out by biotechnologists in medicine and health care field has helped in the development of various medicines, vaccines and improvement in the method of disease diagnosis.
- Research & Development: Both the government and the private sector employ biotechnologists. They conduct research and development work, for increasing productivity, improving energy production and conservation, minimizing pollution and industrial waste etc. Biotechnologists also find opportunities at places involving activities like chemical processes, genetic engineering, textile development, cosmetic development etc.
- Agriculture & animal husbandry: Indian economy is very much dependent on agriculture and biotechnology has made major advancements in this area, owing to the improvement in the quality of seeds, insecticides and fertilizers. The latest technologies like micro-propagation and tissue culture has further helped agriculturists to overcome problems like soil imbalances, genetic breeding and crop diseases. Biotechnologists are also encouraging a shift from chemically prepared fertilizers and insecticides to biochemicals and bioinsecticides. Biotechnology’s intervention in the area of animal husbandry has improved animal breeding. Numerous kinds of genetically engineered, high yielding animal breeds have come up, which has increased the output of dairy and meat products.
- Environment: Environmental biotechnology has become another area of utmost importance due to the dangers brought about by increasing levels of environmental pollution. In this field, the job of a biotechnologist spans from checking industrial air pollution levels, better conservation of ecosystem, treatment of industrial waste to recycling of sewage sludge.
Qualified biotechnologists get absorbed into either government or corporate run research and development organizations. The government institutes and organizations, such as Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR), Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and other premier institutions set up by the Government to support and interact with educational institutions and now increasingly with the private sector industry to speed up the transfer of technology from the laboratory to end-users. This is where the large pool of scholars and biotech professionals can hope to be absorbed. Further, the skilled biotechnologists have a great scope in the research laboratories as well. They get absorbed in various government-based and private universities and research institutes as research scientists or assistants depending upon their qualification.
Opportunities for higher studies in B.E. [ Bio Technology]
Biotechnology is one of the most revolutionary and beneficial interdisciplinary science, including not only biology but also subjects like chemistry, mathematics, physics, engineering and many more. Its application varies from agriculture to industry; food, pharmaceutical, chemical, bio-products, medicine/health care, nutrition, environmental conservation and animal/agriculture sciences etc., arguably making it one of the fastest growing fields. There is a great career opportunity for biotechnologists as the demand for trained professionals is growing in the global scenario including India.
Key to success
If you enjoy biology, technology/engineering, investigating and solving problems, and devising useful products, a career in biotechnology may be for you. To begin to prepare for a career in biotechnology, here are several steps to consider that may be helpful.
- Excellent academic background
- Hard work & high level of intelligence
- Good scientific aptitude
- Imagination, creativity & originality
- Methodical and patient by nature
- Effective interpersonal/communication skills
- Ability to develop contacts/network
- Capability to work independently as well in team
- Right spirit & scientific ethics
- Unrelenting learning ability
There is a growing demand for skilled biotechnologists with a higher degree of specialization. It is also important to have right degree from right institute for best opportunities in the industry. Post graduation degree (M.S/M.Tech or MBA) is preferred. Depending upon the aptitude and necessity, more advanced courses such as Ph.D. and post-doctoral experience can also be pursued from selected universities from India and abroad.
The students alternatively can take degree in law, management or journalism after a bachelor’s or masters in biotechnology. There is a pressing need for intellectual property rights and trade mark specialists along with corporate communication and sales personnel. Private companies find it useful to employ someone with a background in biotechnology to comprehend and communicate complex technical issues.
- National institutes of India
- List of universities (worldwide)
- Schools and universities in the US, Canada & Europe
Entrance tests for M.S/M.Tech & MBA
GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering): conducted by one of seven Indian Institutes of Technology in rotation, GATE is an annual exam for admission to M.Tech and M.S. programmes in most engineering institutes in India. The questions are usually based on a candidate’s B.Tech/BE syllabus. http://gate.iitkgp.ac.in/
GRE (Graduate Record Examination): standardized test required for admission to graduate schools in English speaking countries. It is a computer based online test. The percentile scored in this exam will decide your future in doing M.S in foreign nations.
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): evaluates the success of an individual to use and understand standard American English at a college level. It is required for non-native applicants at many English-speaking colleges and universities. A TOEFL score is valid for two years and then is deleted from the official database. http://www.ets.org/portal/site/ets/menuitem.fab2360b1645a1de9b3a0779f1751509/?vgnextoid=69c0197a484f4010VgnVCM10000022f95190RCRD&WT.ac=Redirect_ets.org_toefl
GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test): standardized test for business studies (MBA). Global institutes like ISB require the entries to write GMAT.
CAT (Common Admission Test): conducted by IIMs in India for entry to various IIMs present in India. http://www.catiim.in/
Indian Civil Service (IAS/IPS/IFS & Navy/NDA):
The Indian Civil Service serves as the backbone of India and carries great respect and responsibilities. India’s best brains compete for entry into the Indian Civil Services as officers. Even though corporate jobs may offer the best of salaries and perks, a majority of youngsters and their parents still crave entry to the prestigious Indian Civil Services held by the UPSC. The very fact that a big share of every year’s top posts in the civil services exams are bagged by professionals from various streams, shows that the IAS is still the dream job for many.
- Information about Indian Civil Service