A country’s survival and growth is hugely dependent on its biological resources and also on its capability to sustainably utilize these resources for the benefit of its citizens. India has a rich repository of such biological resources and the DBT is involved in administering a plethora of scientific research to utilize them. Some of the biological resources that DBT focuses on are medicinal and aromatic plants and silkworms.
Availability and utilization of resources of the country are associated with environmental issues. Like all countries of the South, India has a plethora of environmental problems. Since 1990, the DBT has been attending to these challenges with the main focus on, development of mitigation technologies for climate change, development of microbial technologies for environmental improvement, development of treatment process of industrial effluent, bioremediation of xenobiotic compounds, biodiversity conservation, and characterisation of biodiversity.
Department of Biotechnology has constituted a new Task Force on Biosystems and Bioprocess Engineering with an aim to find innovative and efficient solutions for the development and improvement of sustainable bioprocesses of commercial interest, taking into account the environmental requirements and constraints involved in large scale production processes.
The National Bioresource Development Board (NBDB) was set up under the aegis of DBT in 1999 with a mission to evolve a broad policy framework for research and development for sustainable utilization of bioresources and an effective plan of action for economic prosperity of the nation through accelerated R&D using modern tools of biosciences.