The Globalization of Indian Firms from Steel to Software
Appendix C: Evolution of biotechnology in India
While the biotechnology industry in India is of relatively recent origin, it has its roots in government eﬀorts to promote research in biotechnology beginning with the establishment of the Department of Biotechnology (under the Ministry of Science and Technology) in 1986 to coordinate talents, materials, resources, and budgetary provisions. Thus, biotechnology has historically been a government-sponsored eﬀort with little private participation in investment although recent trends show that private sector participation is increasing (Ghose and Bisaria, 2000). India confronts problems raised by a fast-growing population, degradation of the environment, destruction of forest cover, inadequate health care and nutrition, and damage of agricultural land. Many of these problems can be addressed by the application of available knowledge in frontier technologies such as biotechnology. Thus, biotechnology is of great interest to developing countries like India because of the potential for stimulating agricultural productivity by increasing crop yields and reducing biotic and abiotic stresses. Similarly, application of biotechnology has the potential to change the production proﬁle of the industrial sector. As the growth of knowledge-based sectors is dependent on strong institutional support for science and technology and R&D, the historical development of institutions pertaining to biotechnology is brieﬂy outlined (Chaturvedi, 2002). EDUCATION AND TRAINING Before independence in 1947, scientists and academics were engaged in intellectual advancement primarily for self-satisfaction and were funded by the government with no industry involvement. While need-based research was not pursued, there were some eminent world-class thinkers in universities such as the scientist J.C....
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