Dr Jitendra Singh inaugurates International Conference, emphasises biomanufacturing for ‘Green Growth’

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FARIDABAD:  Biomanufacturing and Bio-foundry will drive India’s future bioeconomy and promote “Green Growth”, said Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science & Technology, MoS PMO, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space,Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Dr Jitendra Singh while inaugurating the 17th Annual International Biocuration Conference (AIBC-2024) being organised by Indian Biological Data Centre (IBDC) at Regional Centre for Biotechnology (RCB), here.

“After a policy shift under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Biotechnology research and Bio StartUps are prioritised and have taken centre stage”, he said. Dr. Jitendra Singh said “In keeping with India’s realisation of a global vision, the recent ‘Vote-on-Account’ envisages an exclusive scheme to promote biomanufacturing and bio-foundry”.

He said, the scheme will help transform today’s consumptive manufacturing paradigm to the one based on regenerative principles. It will provide environment-friendly alternatives such as biodegradable polymers, bio-plastics, bio-pharmaceuticals and bio-Agri-inputs to supplement Bio-Start-Ups and bio-economy, he added.

On the occasion, Dr. Jitendra Singh launched ‘ICE’-Integrated Computing Environment, a cloud-based computational facility for life science researchers.ICE is a dedicated Supercomputing environment accessible across the country and aims to build a cloud environment for storing, retrieving and analysing genomic data.

Dr. Jitendra Singh also launched 3 data Submission portals-1.Indian Nucleotide Data Archive –Controlled Access (INDA-CA) portal 2. Indian Crop Phenome Database Portal. 3.Indian Metabolome Data Archive Portal.

“India has a huge wealth of bioresources, an unsaturated resource waiting to be harnessed and an advantage in Biotechnology especially due to the vast biodiversity and the unique bioresources in the Himalayas. Then there is the 7,500 kms long coastline and last year we launched the Deep Sea Mission which is going to dig the biodiversity beneath the seas,” he said.

Dr Jitendra Singh said India’s Bioeconomy witnessed double digit growth rate year-on-year in the last ten years under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. India is now being rated among top 12 biotechnology destinations in the world, he said.

“In 2014, India’s bioeconomy stood at just about $10 Billion, today it is $80 Billion. In just 8/9 years it has gone (up) 8 times and we look forward to having $300 Billion by 2030,” he said.

At the inaugural ceremony, Union Minister Dr.Jitendra Singh launched ‘ICE’-Integrated Computing Environment, a cloud-based computational facility for life science researchers. ICE is a dedicated Supercomputing environment accessible across the country and aims to build a cloud environment for storing, retrieving and analysing genomic data.

Addressing the conference which is the 1st ever Biocuration conference happening in India the Science and Technology minister said “Indian scientists already had the acumen to develop the vaccines but the leadership and direction of PM Modi gave courage, conviction and enthusiasm to the scientific and research community”. He also shared that India is making its 1st ever vaccine for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which will be administered to all school going adolescent girls to prevent them from cervical cancer.

Dr. Jitendra Singh said “It is  the best time for Bio-Technology, highlighting the progress of biotechnology in India”, he recalled several success stories which have made tremendous contribution to India’s health ecosystem and bioeconomy like Mission COVID Suraksha, Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortium (INSACOG), Indian Tuberculosis Genomic Surveillance Consortium (In TGS) and recently completion of 10000 sequences of healthy Individuals representing 99 different ethnic populations.

“India has reached to nearly 6000 bio-startups from 50 in the past 10 years”, said Dr. Jitendra Singh. He also highlighted that India’s bio-economy has grown 13 folds in the last 10 years from $10 billion in 2014 to over $130 billion in 2024. He added that India developed the 1st ever DNA- Vaccine for Covid-19 and also gifted it to the world acknowledging India’s progress in robust vaccine development capacity which has been proved during COVID pandemic, said India is hailed as a global leader in Preventive healthcare.

The Union Minister said “Value addition in the Indian Economy can be achieved through Bio-economy, Blue economy and space economy”. Ha also added that India is not only on the same page as the world but also ahead in many sectors.

Union Minister mentioned that India has conducted the first human clinical trial of gene therapy for haemophilia A (FVIII deficiency) at Christian Medical College (CMC) Vellore.

Dr. Rajesh Gokhale, secretary, Department of Bio-Technology and Dr. Arvind Sahu, Executive Director, RCB and Dr. Suchita Ninawe, Advisor, DBT along with foreign delegates and scientists from across the globe were also present for the conference.

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