About Author: Adarsh Raj is an undergraduate student of biotechnology, based in Chandigarh. He is also the Editor of Print Editions for the PU Mirror-Panjab University’s independent student-run newspaper. He was the national winner of ‘Voice for BT’, a public speaking competition organized by Novozymes in 2016, presenting his talks on ‘Biofuels’ and ‘Mitigating food and nutritional challenges via Biotech’.
I am a firm believer in the reasoning that a true biotechnologist in India is born when a child is spellbound after reading about basic food and fibre production in his class sixth NCERT science textbook, when he watches a superhero flick and for a second supposes that it might not be impossible after all, and when he believes that after all this time, the next step in human evolution and the secret of immortality is not in the hands of a higher magical being, but within our nucleic acid combinations.
The point being, biotechnology, in its essence, is almost a mystical subject, literally providing its master the power to control and manipulate the brainchild of this Universe – Life itself. It is an all-encompassing alchemy of science and art taking shelter in an ever raging war between ethics, breakthroughs and the greater good. Fearing this immense power and the risks arising from such an uncontrolled potential, we ourselves have put justifiable restrictions and regulations to its use.
Acceptance of this realization is the greatest challenge for the youth about to pursue biotechnology. The realization that it is not just another bifurcation of a biological stream, but a highly specialized science which decides what and how the future eats, wears, cleans, breathes, lives, heals, fuels, and most importantly, survives.
“The key lies in proper orientation and guidance, and most importantly, factually leading the students to believe that, biotechnology is, indeed the future, the boom is a real thing and the $100 billion dream is not impossible”