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India to be bio-manufacturing hub soon: Dr Jitendra

NEW DELHI : Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today said that India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be among the world’s top five countries and be recognized as a Global Bio-manufacturing Hub by 2025.
Speaking after releasing the Genetic Version of Indian rice and chickpea (DNA panArray) developed by National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR), Dr Jitendra Singh said, India’s Bio-Economy is on way to achieve 150-billion-dollar target from the current 70 billion-dollar to contribute effectively to Prime Minister’s vision of a 5 trillion-dollar economy by 2024-25. This will be possible through a very well-articulated vision, mission and goals, driven through a set of well-defined strategies and a clearly laid out implementation Action plan put forth by the Government, he added.

The Minister referred to the various Missions to achieve the Bio-Hub Goal by 2025 like Mission mode programme in “Germplasm characterisation in major crop species, Developing high yielding, Climate-resilient, Disease resistant and Nutrient-rich crops towards the second green revolution, Applying gene editing technology for improving crop varieties, One Health Mission on AMR for livestock and zoonotic Diseases, National Nutrition Mission on Fortified and Functional Foods, Phytopharma Mission for development of affordable phyto-pharmaceutical drugs and Mission on Waste to Value Technologies.
He said, Indian Rice panArray (IndRA) and Indian Chickpea panArray (IndiCA) will tap the huge potential of Indian plant biodiversity and genomic diversity towards food and nutritional security of the Nation. He said, these arrays include more than 80,000 genomic variants, identified using thousands of diverse global rice and chickpea accessions and will provide new technologies and improved genomic tools for crop improvement, helping breeders for fast tracking varietal development. The Minister also inaugurated “NIPGR First Translational Facility Network for Speed Breeding and High Throughput (HTP) Field Phenotyping” .
The Minister said that NIPGR is an autonomous institute of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) is now recognized as an international centre of excellence in plant science. He said, the institute’s scientists and students have developed value added crops for better human nutrition and adaptation to changing climate for higher productivity using various tools of biotechnology, such as, gene editing, genetic engineering and molecular assisted breeding. He also noted with satisfaction that very recently, institute has developed a device for enhancing shelf life of fruits and vegetables and established its first Start up “Fruvetech”.
Referring to NIPGR’s First Translational Facility Network for Speed Breeding and High Throughput (HTP) Field Phenotyping at the campus of Bharat Immunologicals and Biologicals Corporation Limited (BIBCOL), Bulandshahr, UP, Dr Jitendra Singh said, Genomics-assisted breeding is a rapidly emerging strategy for ensuring global food and nutrition security as well as for achieving future sustainable agriculture. He said, speed breeding technique shortens the breeding cycle by promoting quick growth and development and rapid generation advancement (even up to 4-6 generations per year) of crop plants. Speed breeding has been demonstrated in wheat, barley, chickpea, pea, canola and peanut in fully enclosed, controlled-environment growth chambers with supplementary environment, he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that Biotech Missions have been launched to align with the national and global priorities and give a fillip to the National Development Plans (NDP) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). He said, Biotech missions thus ensure that the efforts made in the field of biotechnology converge with other socio-economic efforts being made towards the end goal of achieving sustainable development under the ‘Atal Jai Anusandhan Biotech (UNATI) Mission’ including ‘POSHAN Abhiyan’ and Mission on ‘Combating Pests and Pathogens’.


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