MoU signed for Inter-Ministerial Cooperation for Promotion and Facilitation of Agricultural Biotechnology Research and Education.
- Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has entered into MoU for much-needed emphasis on multi-disciplinary R&D activities and nurturing innovations in Agricultural Biotechnology Research and Education.
- Major facilities and technology platforms created by both the agencies will be accessible to the National systems and a joint working group will be constituted to take the partnership forward.
- The collaborations also encompass to promote agri-innovations and start-ups, through the well-established BIRAC mechanism. This flagship synergistic approach would be taken-up in mission mode through networking with the elite institutions in the Country.
The specific objectives are :-
- to plan and implement jointly the mutually agreed major National programmes through joint funding and sharing of resources in the priorities areas of agricultural biotechnology;
- to form common think tank of experts from ICAR and DBT and others to formulate policies;
- to establish National platform for services related to genomics, genotyping, data banking, agriculture bioinformatics, GM food detection, validation of technologies such as vaccines, diagnostics of veterinary/ fisheries use, molecular markers in crop and animal breeding;
- to formulate and introduce courses/training programmes in the area of IPR, biosafety, biodiversity conservation and germ plasm exchange, genomic selection and breeding for faculty and students through appropriate mechanisms and;
- research prioritization with other ministries and foreign collation like Indo-UK SIC, BRICS, African countries and ‘Look East’ programme in relation to agricultural biotechnology.
- Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) is a not-for-profit Public Sector Enterprise, set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), as an Interface Agency to strengthen and empower the emerging Biotech enterprise to undertake strategic research and innovation, addressing nationally relevant product development needs.
Applications of Biotechnology in Agriculture
Biotechnology has played major role in agriculture by altering genes, studying and cloning various crops in order to provide better quality products of foods ultimately improving our lives.
- Oral vaccines have been in the works for much existence as a likely solution to the increase of disease in immature countries, where costs are excessive to extensive vaccination.
- By planning and injecting antigenic proteins into the Genetically Modified crops from transferable pathogens that will activate an immune will be a great help in dealing with such diseases.
- Plants are used to create antibiotics for both human and animal use. An expressing antibiotic protein in stock feed, fed straight to animals, is less expensive than traditional antibiotic production.
- But this practice raises many bioethics issues, because the result is widespread, possibly needless use of antibiotics which may encourage expansion of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strain.
- There is extra to agricultural biotechnology than just hostility disease or civilizing food quality.
- There is some simply aesthetic application and an example of this is the use of gene recognition and transfer techniques to improve the color, smell, size and other features of flowers.
- The agricultural industry plays a big role in the biofuels industry, as long as the feedstock’s for fermentation and cleansing of bio-oil, bio-diesel and bio-ethanol is concerned.
- Genetic engineering and enzyme optimization technique are being used to develop improved quality feed-stocks for more efficient change and higher BTU outputs of the resulting fuel products.
- Plant and Animal Reproduction:
- Enhancing plant and animal behavior by traditional methods like cross-pollination, grafting, and cross-breeding is time-consuming.
- Biotech advance let for specific changes to be made rapidly, on a molecular level through over-expression or removal of genes, or the introduction of foreign genes.
- Pesticide Resistant Crops:
- Not to be mystified with pest-resistance, these plants are broadminded of pesticides, allow farmers to selectively kill nearby weeds with no harming their crop.
- The most well-known example of this is the Roundup-Ready technology, urbanized by Monsanto.
- Nutrient Supplementation:
- In an attempt to get better human health, mainly in immature countries, scientists are creating hereditarily distorted foods that hold nutrients known to help fight disease or starvation.
- An example of this is Golden Rice, which contain beta-carotene, the forerunner for Vitamin A manufacture in our bodies.
- A biotic strain confrontation:
- A lesser quantity of than 20% of the earth is arable land but some crops have been hereditarily altered to make them more liberal of conditions like salinity, cold and drought.
- The detection of genes in plants in charge for sodium uptake has led to growth of knock-out plants able to grow in high salt environments.
Govt. Launches two National level Initiatives in the field of science communication
- The Department of Science and Technology (DST) along with Doordarshan (DD), Prasar Bharati today launched two science communication initiatives, DD Science and India Science.
- While DD Science is one-hour slot on Doordarshan National channel, India Science is an internet-based channel, which is available on any internet-enabled device.
- Doordarshan, which reaches out to more than 92 per cent of India’s population would be a very impactful medium for popularization of science.
- Prasar Bharati is a statutory autonomous body
- It is established under the Prasar Bharati Act 1997.
- It is the Public Service Broadcaster of the country.
- The objectives of public service broadcasting are achieved in terms of Prasar Bharati Act through All India Radio and Doordarshan.
10 percent EWS quota to be implemented in colleges and universities in the academic year 2019-20 itself
- Union HRD Minister informed that in a landmark decision, the Government has decided that from the academic year 2019-20 itself, 10 percent Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota will be implemented across 40, 000 colleges and 900 Universities in the country.
- This 10 percent quota for EWS will be over and above the existing quotas for SCs, STs and OBCs and General seats.
- Adequate additional seats will be created in these colleges and universities to implement the quota for EWS. The UGC and AICTE will be provided the operational mandate within a week to implement the quota.