The biotechnology sector in India has been shaped by legislative and policy initiatives with significant institutional developments. India has long valued the potential of biotechnology to make significant contribution in the health sector, agriculture sector, environmental sustainability and economic progress. The legislative initiatives to promote and regulate biotechnology include legislation regarding IP, the environment, agriculture and related regulations. The regulatory framework involves a number of regulatory bodies operating through a complex web of legislation. Government policies have been pushing the biotechnology sector, with remarkable initiatives including tax deductions, fund raising and special schemes for start-ups, MSMEs and academic and research institutions. These initiatives have shaped biotechnology as an organised sector with well-defined sub-sectors such as biopharmaceuticals, bio-agriculture, bio-services, bio-industry and bioinformatics. Biopharmaceuticals has remained the most dominant sub-sector of biotechnology, catering for the medicinal and health needs of the people and contending with the great challenges of accessibility and affordability. Though the results produced by almost all the sub-sectors have been well received by the public, in the bio-agriculture sector however public perception largely governs the decisions as to the regulatory approval of GM food crops, and many a time it has been backed by a non-scientific opposition involving numerous farmer organisations, NGOs and other activists.
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