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North India’s first biotech park to be inaugurated in Ghatti, Jammu

New Delhi, May 24: North India’s first Industrial Biotech Park would be inaugurated by Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Science and Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge)) Ministry of Earth Science; MoS of Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, and Manoj Sinha, Lieutenant Governor, Jammu & Kashmir on 28th May, at Ghatti, Kathua, Jammu.

The work on the two Industrial Biotech Parks, one at Ghatti, Kathua, Jammu, and the other in Handwara, Kashmir, had started in Feb.2019. CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, (CSIR-IIIM) Jammu has been entrusted the responsibility for implementing this project. The project is jointly funded by the Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India, the Ministry of Science & Technology and the Jammu & Kashmir Science, Technology & Innovation Council.

The Department of Biotechnology has established Biotechnology Parks/Incubators across the country to translate research into products and services by providing necessary infrastructure support. These Biotechnology Parks offer facilities to Scientists, and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) for technology incubation, technology demonstration, and pilot plant studies for accelerated commercial development of Biotechnology. The Biotech Parks of J&K are among 9 Biotechnology Parks supported by the Department of Biotechnology in various States.

Biotechnology has made a significant impact on the socio-economic developments worldwide with contributions in various sectors of such as health care, agriculture, process industry, environment, and service sectors. The Indian biotechnology industry is one of the fastest-growing knowledge-based economies and is expected to play a vital role in shaping India’s economy. India is uniquely positioned to harness biotechnology’s immense potential for transforming all aspects of life globally. The Indian biotech industry is among the top 12 destinations globally and ranks second in Asia after China.

The Government of India, through the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, has taken several initiatives to accelerate the growth of biotechnology by promoting the development of innovative technologies, infrastructure, human resources, and industry, which has helped the sector to gain global visibility.

The Union territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh are uniquely positioned to harness the potential of biotechnology due to the conducive climate, geographic location and availability of unique crops and plants. The region is bestowed with plenty of natural resources of great economic value, particularly a wide range of elite varieties of flowers, and commercially relevant medicinal plants, besides fruits and nuts.

While the biotech park will carry out research on biodiversity, medicinal and aromatic plants of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, it will also promote green category businesses. From the Kandi areas of Park Jammu division to Bhadarwah, Bani, Basohli and Kishtwar, the climatic yields of medicinal plants will be increased and farmers will get better income apart from traditional farming. The Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu has already started promoting entrepreneurial ideas.

The Biotech Park, Ghatti, offers facilities like herbal extraction, fermentation, analytical lab., distillation, micropropagation, and plant tissue culture, besides provision of technology incubation, training & skill development.  It would support the agri-entrepreneurs, startups, progressive farmers, young entrepreneurs, scientists, scholars, and students not only from Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh but also from nearby states of Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh. The Biotech Park would act as a hub for the incubation of new startup ideas and facilitate connecting with the outside industries.

India’s top scientists and technologists, Prof. Ajay Kumar Sood, Principal Scientific Advisor, Dr. Rajesh Gokhale, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, DSIR and DG, CSIR, Dr. M. Ravichandran, Secretary, MoES, Dr. S. Chandershekhar, Secretary, Department of Science & Technology, Prof. K VijayRaghavan, former Principal Scientific Advisor, and Dr Shekhar C Mande, Ex-DG CSIR & Secretary, DSIR, are expected to attend the event.

(India Science Wire)

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