Biotechnology – Aspiring to become a biotechnologist?
Biotechnology, as the name indicates, is a combination of technology and biology. This subject encompasses a wide range of other subjects such as biochemistry, microbiology, genetics, health sciences, medical sciences, immunology, cell biology, agriculture etc. But of late biotechnology is associated with genetic engineering technology.
The four major industrial areas in which biotechnology is applied are agriculture, health care, environment and industries. While in agriculture in helps improve animal breeding in health care it is applied to develop medicines. In the agri sector, biotechnology plays a pivotal role in enhancing the seed quality and development of fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides. Environmental biotechnology helps tackle waste management and control pollution.
About the Department of Biotechnology:
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) was set under the Ministry of Science and Technology in the year 1986 with aim of promoting and accelerating the development of biotechnology in India. This also includes training the biotechnologists to expand the research and development activities. In order to achieve this, the DBT conducts post graduate and doctoral programmes, short-term training programmes, national and international associateships, etc.
It is mandatory that the aspirants this course should have studied science as core subjects in 10+2 level. Many universities offer Bachelors Degree in biotechnology, B.Sc. or B.Tech., for which the eligibility criteria is 10+2. To enroll for post graduation in biotechnology one must have graduated with anyone of the science subjects or medicine or engineering. As biotechnology is a fast developing field there is doctoral and post-doctoral courses also available.
Some Indian Institute of Technology (IITs), the AIIMS, the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jadavpur University, Anna and Kolkata University also offers integrated M.Tech programmes for those students who have completed their 10+2. However, admissions in some universities are through entrance exams, which is highly competitive. While the B.Sc., courses are of three-year duration, M.Sc is two years. B.Tech and integrated M.Tech courses are four and five years, respectively.
Research Scientist, Marketing, Bioinformists, Quality Control or Production in-charge in the Food, Chemical and Pharmaceutical industry, Analyst, Environmental and Safety Specialist are some of the career opportunities available in this field. Graduates in Biotechnology can opt for government sectors such as research institutes. For those inclined in teaching, universities and colleges is the best bet. One can also opt for a job at research institutes or at private centers as research scientists/assistants.