DBT celebrates its 35th Foundation Day, stakeholders laud its exemplary work

The e-book "DBT Fights COVID- From Virus to Vaccine" showcasing initiatives and achievements of DBT in mitigation of COVID-19 pandemic, unveiled

New Delhi: The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) celebrated its 35th Foundation Day through video-conferencing on 26th February.
The e-book “DBT Fights COVID- From Virus to Vaccine” showcasing the initiatives and achievements of DBT in the mitigation of COVID-19 pandemic encompassing vaccines, diagnostics, biorepositories, therapeutics and genome analysis and other interventions, was also unveiled on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Renu Swarup, Secretary, DBT, informed that the department had undertaken several reforms in the past one year and emphasised the generation of biotech products, process and technologies for enhanced efficiency, productivity and cost-effectiveness in Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Security, Affordable Healthcare, Environmental Safety, Clean Energy, Biofuel and Biomanufacturing. Dr. Renu Swarup, also informed that the Department through its various programmes has made immense contributions to the National Mission launched by Prime Minister-Swasth Bharat, Swachh Bharat, Startup India, Make In India and Digital India.
Watch the recorded video at the top for details. (Credits: PIB)
Eminent speakers lauded DBT for launching major missions in the Agri-Biotech Sector over the past year towards the development of improved varieties of cereal crops. “BIOTECH KISAN programme of DBT has been implemented in 105 Aspirational districts and more than 50,000 farmers have been benefitted till date”, they informed. They also pointed out,“DBT-NGGF – National Genotyping and Genomics Facility- for advanced crop genomics technology and genotyping services to Public and Private Institutions has been established. Three improved maize hybrids have been developed by Enrichment of Nutritional Quality in Maize through Molecular Breeding”. It was highlighted that DBT has released“Guidelines for evaluation of nano-based agri-input and food products in India” released to push innovation in the agri-sector.
The participants emphasized,“Indian Biological Data Centre (IBDC) was established by DBT for deposition, storage, annotation and sharing of biological data generated in the country through extensive funding from various Government Organizations”. “Pan India Genome India was initiated for cataloguing the genetic variation in Indian population with a goal for whole genome sequencing and subsequent data analysis of 10,000 individuals”, said the speakers.
The celebrations also marked the giving away of prestigious BRITE (Biotechnology Research Innovation and Technology Excellence) Awards in various categories. The winners were congratulated by all “for receiving the Har Gobind Khorana- Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award (IYBA), Biotech Product, Process Development & Commercialization Award (BPPDCA), TATA Innovation Fellowship (TIF), S. Ramachandran – National Bioscience Award for Career Development (SRC-NBACD) & J. Ammal- National Women Bio-scientist Award (JA-NWBA)”.
To mark the occasion, DBT also organized webinar/s on “35 years of Biotechnology Growth in India – An exciting journey”. Dr. Manju Sharma, Former Secretary DBT wished DBT and all its institutions a bright future. Prof.VijayRaghavan, PSA to GoI and former Secretary DBT delivered the inaugural address. Eminent scientists like Prof. Padmanaban,IISc, Bangalore; Prof. Balaram,IISc, Bangalore;Prof. Akhilesh Tyagi, Former Director, DBT-NIPGR, New Delhi; Prof. Vijayalakshmi Ravindranath,Centre for Neuroscience, IISc, Bangalore; and Dr Dwipanwita Chattopadhyay, Chairman & CEO at IKP Knowledge Park, Hyderabad; also spoke on the occasion.
DBT’s National Biomedical Resource Indigenisation consortium (NBRIC) platform aims to achieve self-reliance towards diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19 and beyond. A special grant of Rs. 900 crore under Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 has been allocated to the Department for the COVID-SURAKSHA towards the development of vaccines against COVID-19.