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North East Region: DBT’s biotech efforts bringing paradigm shift
Department of Biotechnology (DBT)
Ministry of Science & Technology
Government of India

Press Brief
Biotechnology in the North East Region (NER)
DBT’s efforts are bringing a paradigm shift.

In order to give focused attention to the North Eastern Region, the DBT has made 10% allocation to North Eastern States of India & this comes to about Rs. 180.00 Crores per Annum. A North Eastern Region Biotechnology Programme Management Cell (NER-BPMC) has been established and is helping to evolve and implement new programmes in the area of biotechnology for the benefit of NER states.

Major Highlights of DBT’s efforts in NER are as follows:

  • Twinning R&D Programme has been implemented, which made a huge impact in NE states for implementing hard core biotechnology in association with rest of India institutions. So for more than 480 twining projects have been implemented as collaborative projects between North East institutions and the rest of India Institutions.
  • Support to 11 medical colleges in NER to create an environment of training and research in Medical Biotechnology.
  • Establishment of 126 Biotech Hubs at various institutions, universities & colleges to promote education, training & research in biological sciences including biotechnology.
  • DBT e-Library consortium (DeLCON): Eighteen institutions of NER are part of the consortium, which provides access to more than 900 high impact e-journals.
  • >Creation of biotech infrastructural facilities at NRC Yak; NRC Mithun and NEIGRIHMS.
  • Support to Star Colleges: 15 colleges have been recognized so far as Star Colleges in NER.
  • DBT’s Overseas Associateship for North East Region: 208 Scientists from NER have been supported through a special scheme of DBT’s Overseas Associateship
  • Setting up of Bioinformatics Centre: DBT has set up 30 Bioinformatics Centre in NER and also supporting Biotech Education at 5 Universities/Institutions in NER.
  • Biotech Industrial Training Programme for NER students also initiated by DBT.
  • Biotechnology Labs in Senior Secondary schools (BLiSS) programme: DBT has established Biotechnology Labs at 88 Senior Secondary Schools from NER under BLiSS programme.
  • DBT-NER Visiting Research Professorship (VRP) Scheme: 30 Scientists/Faculty have been selected for bringing advancement in the Biotechnology and Life Science related activities in various institutions of research and higher learning in the NER under VRP Scheme.
  • DBT-AAU Centre of Excellence on Agriculture Biotechnology: Centre has been established at AAU, Jorhat for promotion of agriculture biotechnology research relevant to North East Region.
  • Centre of Excellence on Fisheries & Aquaculture Biotechnology (FAB): The Centre has been supported at College of Fisheries, CAU, Tripura.
  • Establishment of a regional level Animal House facility: The facility is being established at RMRC, Dibrugarh (Assam), which will be accessible to entire biomedical research community of NER for carrying out critical animal experiments in disease biology, molecular medicine, vaccinology and pharmacology.
  • Advance Animal Disease Diagnostic & Management Consortium (ADMaC): DBT has also initiated a network programme on “Advance Animal Disease Diagnostic & Management Consortium (ADMaC)” for surveillance and control of trans-boundary, exotic and zoonotic pathogens from NER.
  • Chemical Ecology of North East Region programme: A major network programme on chemical ecology of NER has been implemented in collaboration with leading institutions in India (IISC, NCBS, and UAS Bangalore).
  • Institute of Bio-resources and Sustainable Development (IBSD), Imphal, Manipur (an Autonomous Institution of DBT): IBSD has also taken several initiatives in the field of organic farming, bamboo shoots (locally called Soibum) product development, fermented soya bean and promoting bio-enterprises in NER. A Regional Centre of IBSD has also been established at Gangtok, Sikkim.

Major New DBT’s Mission Programmes in North East Region

  • Phyto-pharmaceutical Mission in North East Region: DBT has planned to launch Phyto-pharmaceutical Mission in North East Region jointly with Ministry of DONER. This Mission Programme will help in conservation of endangered and threatened medicinal plants and discovery of new botanical drugs for unmet medical needs using rich ethno botanical knowledge and biodiversity of NE states.
  • Foldscope: A frugal microscope as a tool for education and research is becoming a major way of connecting students and science from the NE with young students from all over the country.
  • Brahmaputra Biodiversity and Biology Boat (B4): The Department of Biotechnology proposes to establish a laboratory on boat: “Brahmaputra Biodiversity and Biology Boat (B4)” on the Brahmaputra River. This is tentatively planned to cover the region from Pasighat, Dibrigargh, Neemati, Tejpur and Guwahati in the State of Assam. DONER has in principle agreed to partner in the efforts.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Hon’ble Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences has provided hands-on leadership in implementing various biotech initiatives in NER and personally visited each and every state in NER to review on-the-spot progress in implementing various projects and schemes and interacted with students, academia, scientists and local communities.