Bio-Technology 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 and is also concerned 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, Seed Technology etc. Bio-Technology is the use of living things, especially cells and bacteria in industrial process. There is a great scope in this field as the demand for biotechnologist are growing in India as well as abroad.
There are many application of biotechnology such as developing various medicines, vaccines and diagnostics, increasing productivity, improving energy production and conservation. Biotechnology's intervention in the area of animal husbandry has improved animal breeding. It also helps to improve the quality of seeds, insecticides and fertilizers. Environmental biotechnology helps for pollution control and waste management.
Most of the information that has led to the emergence of biotechnology in the present form has been generated during the last five decades. The setting up of a separate Department of Biotechnology (DBT) (www.dbtindia.nic.in ) under the Ministry of Science and Technology in 1986 gave a new impetus to the development of the field of modern biology and biotechnology in India. More than 6000 biotechnologists of higher skill are required in India as per the report from the Human Resource Development Ministry. To overcome this vast requirement the department of Biotechnology (DBT) has highlighted the need to set up a regulatory body for the maintenance of standard education under the name of 'All- India Board of Biotechnology Education and Training' under the AICTE.
If you want to join a course in biotechnology you must have a background in science, that is Physics or agriculture, chemistry and biology at the intermediate level can join for B.Tech. In India, some universities offer the B.Sc biotechnology which one can join after class 12 or equivalent examination, with physics, chemistry and mathematics. Graduates in all sciences/engineering technology/medicine are eligible for the postgraduate (M.Sc.) course in biotechnology. Programme in Biotechnology. P.G. courses available are M.Sc. Biotechnology, M.Sc. (Agriculture) Biotechnology, M.V.Sc. (Animal) Biotechnology, M.Tech. Biotechnology,M.Sc./M.V.Sc.in Veterinary Biotechnology, M.Sc.(Marine) Biotechnology,Medical Biotechnology, M.Tech.in Biomedical Engineering/Biotechnology.Depending upon the aptitude and necessity, more advanced courses such PH.D.and Post-Doctoral Research in Biotechnology can also be pursued.
Integrated M.Tech. programme offered at IIT Delhi and Kharagpur is through a Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), which is held for students who have successfully completed the 10+2 or equivalent examination, with physics, chemistry and mathematics. For admission to IIT, a pass in the IIT-JEE is required. The Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, AIIMS, Jadavpur University, Kolkata and Anna University also offers integrated M.Tech course. Selection to the graduate courses ( BE / B.Tech ) is based on merit i.e the marks secured in the final exams of 10+2 and through entrance exams. Entrance to the IIT's is through JEE (Joint Entrance Exam) and for other institutions through their own separate entrance exams and other state level and national level exams. Apart from the IIT's, some other famous institutes also recognize JEE scores for selection. Selection to the postgraduate courses ( M.Sc / M.Tech) in different universities is through an All India Combined Entrance exam conducted by JNU, New Delhi and to IIT's through GATE in Two year/ 4 semester M.Tech courses and through JEE in five year integrated M.Tech courses in Biochemical engineering and Biotechnology.
Personal Qualities Required-A prospective biotechnologist should have a scientific aptitude and a keen interest in the biological sciences. He should be methodical and patient by nature, able to work neatly and accurately and have a flair for laboratory work. The ability to work independently is another important aspect. ability to use computers in work is very important. biotechnologist needs certain skill of problem solving, information technology skill, analyzing and interpreting skills.
Duration: Three years duration for B.Sc course. Two years to complete the M.Sc. course. B.Tech. course is of four years duration and five year for integrated M.Tech. programme offered at IIT Delhi and Kharagpur.
DBT (The Department of Biotechnology) has therefore, launched an integrated Manpower Development Programme which includes training of scientists/technologists for the expanding biotechnological R&D activities and for filling critical gaps in internal competence. The programme includes
- Short term Training Courses;
- M.Sc/M.Tech./Post Doc.Programmes;
- National and Overseas Associate ships;
- Visiting Scientist from Abroad Programme;
- Short-term Training Course for Industrial personnel
- Technician Training
- Biotechnology teaching/training programme for school
- Biotechnology Publications
- Popular lectures
- Biotechnology films etc.
Biotechnology as a subject has grown rapidly. And as far as employment is concerned, it has become one of the fast growing sector. Employment record shows that biotechnology has a great scope in future. Bio-technologists can find careers with pharmaceutical companies, chemical, agriculture and allied industries. They can be employed in the areas of planning, production and management of bio-processing industries. There is a large scale employment in research laboratories run by the government as well as the corporate sector. Biotechnology students in India may find work in a government-based entity such as universities, research institutes or at private centers as research scientists/assistants. Alternatively they may find employment in specialized biotechnology companies or biotech-related companies such as pharmaceutical firms, food manufacturers, aquaculture and agricultural companies. Companies that are engaged in business related to life sciences (ranging from equipment, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, etc) also consider a biotech degree relevant to their field. The work scope can range from research, sales, marketing, administration, quality control, breeders, technical support etc.;Armed with this powerful combination of fundamental cell and molecular biology and applied science, graduates are well placed to take up careers in plant, animal or microbial biotechnology laboratories or in horticulture, food science, commerce and teaching.
Some major organizations employing bio-technologists in India include Hindustan Lever Ltd, Thapar Group, Indo-American Hybrid seeds, Bincon India Ltd, Bivcol, IDPL, India Vaccines Corporation, Hindustan Antibiotics, National Botanical Institute, National Chemical Laboratories, Tata Engineering Research Institute etc.
As there is increasing popularity and explosive growth, there is plenty of opportunities available in Biotechnology field. You can be a Research Scientist, Teacher, Marketing manager, Science Writer, Bioinformists, Quality Control Officer or Production in-charge in the Food, Chemical and Pharmaceutical industry. Analyst (Venture-Capitalist)Environmental / Safety Specialist .Biotechnology companies require Corporate Executives with business/management Degrees. A graduate in Biotechnology can get job in government sectors such as Universities and Colleges, Research institutes or at Private Centers as Research scientists/assistants.
Lab technician: includes cleaning and maintaining equipment used by scientists and working on the various pieces of lab equipment as instructed. Research associate: If you are interested in Research and Development, then becoming a Research Associate can provide an interesting career that allows you to carry out experiments under the instruction of established Scientists. Research scientist: if you wish to enter the field at a high level, you may choose to become a Research Scientist. This involves working alongside established scientists to design and carry out experiments, then writing reports for future publication. Engineer (Chemical, Electrical, Environmental and Industrial): This position would involve engaging in a range of projects from building robots to assisting with Research and Development. Sales representative: As a sales representative, you would work with hospitals, doctors and a wide range of medical institutions to keep them aware of biotechnology's latest offerings, as well as trying to encourage their approval for your products over rival products in the market. Marketing: In biotechnology marketing, you would manage and devise campaigns aimed at particular customer areas, through such methods as working with advertising agencies and maintaining a visible presence at medical conventions and trade shows. Business development manager: This position involves working with colleagues to introduce products and to negotiate agreements with strategic partners.
The amount of remuneration depends upon academic qualification, institute or university from which the degree is attained and the level of work experience. In the corporate sector, fresh IIT pass outs may get anything in the range of Rs. 70,000 to Rs. 85,000 as annual income and fresh B.Sc./B. Tech. graduates from other universities may get anything in the range of Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 70,000 as annual income. Those working in the research institutes can expect something around Rs. 60,000 as annual income