When biology and technology is amalgamated, we call it Biotechnology. It is a fast growing and evolving field in science. The Biotechnology scenario is changing rapidly and dynamically in the world. Biotechnology is a set of powerful tools that employ living organisms (or parts of organisms) to make or modify products, improve plants or animals, or develop microorganisms for specific uses. Biotechnology is a research oriented science, a combination of Biology and Technology. It covers a wide variety of subjects like Genetics, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Immunology, Virology, Chemistry and Engineering. It also close association with many other subjects like Health and Medicine, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Cropping system and Crop Management, Ecology, Cell Biology, Soil Science and Soil Conservation, Bio-statistics, Plant Physiology and Seed Technology. Biotechnology is the use of living things, especially cells and bacteria in industrial process. Witht the development of industriral biotechnology and global interest in biofuels, opportunities in this industry are increasing day by day.
The curriculum for Biotechnology is primarily designed to orient the aspirants towards competitive field of science. Its curriculum and syllabi is crafted with a view to impart current advancement and understanding about biotechnology along with basic knowledge about research. The curriculum provides the up-to-date knowledge and developments in the fields of pharmaceutical, bio-pharmaceutical, and drug discovery, healthcare, diagnostic and therapeutic, plant and animal sciences, and environmental sectors along with the core subjects.
Candidates who wish to pursue Engineering in Biotechnology should have passed Higher Secondary Board Exam from a recognized board in India with aggregate 50 percent marks in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry.
Personal skills required for pursuing Engineering in Biotechnology:
Technical writing skills
Mathematics for Biologists
Molecular Biology & Molecular Genetics
Molecular Biology of Eukaryotic Systems
Animal Cell Biotechnology
Genetic Engineering & its Applications
Computational Biology & Bioinformatics
Molecular Biology of Infectious Diseases
Computational and Structural Biology
Protein Stability and Folding
Optimization of Recombinant Protein Expression
M.Sc. Biotechnology is a very popular course. Any graduate in biology or related sciences is eligible to apply. There are two major entrance exams for the course. JNU holds an All-India Combined Biotechnology Entrance Exam on behalf of 53 universities for M.Sc. and M. Tech. Generally, MSc in nanoscience is through research. Here the basic eligibility is either a B.Tech or basic degree in Physics, Chemistry or allied sciences. If you are a science graduate, it does make sense for you to do a Master’s in applied sciences before you go for an MTech degree. Some of the NITs offer MTech programmes, which are also very good, especially if you are GATE/CSIR/ JRF qualified candidates. Beside, most of the good private sector universities have their own independent examinations. Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) also conducts an All India exam for admission to M.Sc. Plant Biotechnology across various state universities.
It is essential to have a PhD in Biotechnology if you are seeking a career in research. Most of the top institutions offer you the option to pursue research studies. A valid GATE score (for engineering graduates) or a high score in the UGC-JRF or a CSIR or ICMR fellowship would ease your entry. It will also provide you with good fellowships. Most of the institutes offer part-time teaching/research assistance to candidates unable to obtain a fellowship. Many students also try and obtain their PhD from foreign universities as well.
This is a recent entrant among MBA degrees. It usually requires a candidate to have a Bachelor’s degree in biological or related sciences. MBA (Biotechnology) will enable you to move into business functions in a biotech company. Institutions like Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai and Pune University offer such degrees.
The Scope for the Biotechnology engineers, both in India and abroad is immense. A number of diversified job opportunities are available to Biotechnology graduates. This ranges from an intense lab-based research interest to on-field business management.
Industrial jobs in agricultural and medical domains are booming for Biotechnology graduates in India. Medical biotechnology occupies a large market share of 70 percent, giving boost to the industry in India. A potential area of research is agricultural biotechnology. After the success in BT cotton, there are attempts to go for BT products in food crops. The manpower required for this activity is derived mostly from plant breeding and botany.
“Biotechnologists perform different roles in our company – finding genes, transforming tissue culture, evaluating condition of plants in green house, data analytics section where all data comes together,” shares Dr Anuradha Subramaniam, Lead, Regulatory Science at DuPont Pioneer, a global company which develops and supplies genetically modified crops.
Agricultural biotechnology has benefitted India immensely. “Ever since we introduced foreign genes into plants, that is, genetically modified crops, we have moved to a second Green Revolution. The recent discovery of BT Cotton (tolerant to insects), grown over the country, is a major hit. India has gone moive forward from importing cotton to exporting it.
Bio-fertilizer and bio-pesticides industry are other promising sectors. The current emphasis on developing bio-fuels as a substitute source of fuel will also lead to demand for biotechnologists. Opportunities are also there for graduates in petro-chemical industries. Industrial microbiology is another major area of research for development of new products for the pharmaceutical industry. Existing industries like sugar and distilleries also need contribution from tissue culture and bio-inputs. Many graduates go on to acquire a managerial role in manufacturing, quality control, regulatory and intellectual property (IP) affairs and retail.
Medical and Clinical Lab Technologists & Technicians
Biochemists and Biophysicists
R&D and Process Development Scientists
Regulatory QA/QC Bio manufacturing Specialists
Bio production Operators
Name of the Institutes
School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad
Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Trivandrum, Kerala
Department of Biotechnology, SRM University, Tamil Nadu
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