Majority of students hopeful of a good career in biotech!

While the latest changes brought into the system are well appreciated, there is a huge need for increased student industry interactions besides a thrust on translational research and communication

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New Delhi: The education system in the modern world has to be in sync with the new trends and needs of masses. It can no longer afford to create individuals who are only well versed in theory with no practical know how to create value for the society. In that context, the bioscience is an area where there are immense opportunities to create new products in health, environment, agriculture and much more.

If we begin by taking into consideration the situation in early 90s, the number of institutes offering the education in this field were less and the biotechnology industry was slowly taking off. The biotechnology education was limited mostly to the DBT controlled departments in the prominent universities. The later part of the century saw the private institutes taking the plunge. Most of these lacked infrastructure and the basic amenities required for even the simple lab experiments. But the hype about a bright career in biotechnology made the students to opt for the field. The biology students had to face a lot of peer pressure for moving into this field owing to the wrong notions created about the biotech while comparing it with IT industry.

The Indian researchers have been well appreciated globally for their calibre. But the fact that the translational research in India picked up late is a bitter truth that needs to be recognized and paid attention.

However having said that, at the same time it can’t be denied that there certainly is the great career prospect in the biotechnology and the allied areas of life sciences. The amount of interest needed in the biotechnology-related subjects is vast and one has to be ready for the long incubation period before reaping the benefits. The more higher research you pursue in the field, the more you refined and experienced you become.

The need for the right talent pool in this industry is very important. There are certain hurdles that need to be addressed at the base of this issue only. One is the curriculum that is offered in the educational institutes and the other being the necessary infrastructure needed to carry out the research. The right training and exposure is also important for the creation of the enriched talent pool required for developing the industry. For that, there is a need for the government to evolve a clear cut strategy on employment.

Course correction might set the record straight

Every year, the hundreds of biotech institutes churn out thousands of graduates and post graduates who don’t have anywhere to go. Is there any plan to revamp the existing structure and have a streamlined process? The business aspect of the biotech cannot be overlooked for long time and needs to be put in place at the right time. Otherwise the whole industry is set to lose in the long run. There are two way solution that can be offered. Those having a flair for corporate world should be given an opportunity in this industry and at the same time the research oriented students should be having ample support to help them in their pursuit. The Indian researchers have been appreciated globally for their calibre and there is no conflict in that. But the translational research has been picked up late and that too is a bitter truth that has to be accepted.

In an age where long theoretical lectures have very few takers, the short yet valuable information is appreciated. The subject matter in educational institutes too has to be crisp. A student of pharmaceuticals or biotechnology cannot afford to remain aloof when there are updates on technological interventions across the globe. Therefore, what is required is the timely updating of subject matter in a centralized way by superseding the regular bureaucratic setups at lower levels which generally bulldoze any efforts of change.

The majority of students still repose their faith in the system as visible from the BioVoice Survey. They are dreamers, highly ambitious and hopeful of a good career in the longer run. And we hope they are proven right!

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