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The National Bioresource Development Board
a1 Energy Bioscience Programme
a4 Bioprospecting and Bioresources
a2 Capacity building programmes
a3 National Certification System for Tissue Culture Raised Plants (NCS-TCP)


Bioprospecting and Bioresources
Area of Research

Programme is being pursued on bioprospecting, inventorization and characterization, value addition and sustainable utilization of bioresources along with relevant training, capacity building and awareness generation. The overall objectives of the programme are as follows-

  • Inventorisation and characterization on bioresources
  • Prospecting of bioresources for novel genes and genes products, biomolecules and compounds
  • Improvement of economically important bioresources
  • Technology development of value added products from Natural Resources
  • Capacity building including strengthening of infrastructure and other biomolecules components of R&D

Various programmes under Bioresource Inventorization and Prospecting focuses on the application of biotechnological and related scientific approaches for R&D and development of new products and processes. The thrust is on Bioresource inventorisation and characterization both spatial and non-spatial; Prospecting of bioresources for novel genes and genes products, biomolecules and compounds and improvement of economically important bioresources.

Department had supported a major grand challenge Mission programme on microbial prospecting: drugs from microbes launched in a unique public-private partnership model involving nine institutes and an industrial partner. The largest collection of microbial cultures (nearly 250000) were screened for four different therapeutic targets. A total of 16123 three stars hits were obtained of which 518 anti cancer, 3643 anti inflammation, 6676 anti diabetic and 5286 anti infective activities. Based on the hits obtained, the Phase II activity i. e. Chemical Characterization of selected hits of bioactives has been initiated. One NCE with anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory activity and 12 probable NCA were identified. All these cultures are in the process of classification and storage in an National Repository created by DBT at National Center for Cell Science, Pune which was recognized as an International Depositary Authority w.e.f. April 2011.

Under the bioprospecting programme, a number of projects have been supported for prospecting of novel genes, molecules, enzymes etc. from plants, microbes, fungi, lichens for production of potential products of industrial importance. Under the programmes supported on biodiversity characterization and digitized inventorization, the IBIN portal was launched towards developing a single window gateway to access distributed bioresource database available in the country to offer spatial and non-spatial services on diverse domains of bio-resources and biodiversity. A first ever systematic attempt has been made for quantitative assessment of plant resources of Andaman and Nicobar islands.

Several innovative programmes have been launched to screen, characterize and improve important resources. The initial emphasis is on biological, chemical and molecular characterization, downstream processing, modification of existing methods for products of commercial importance to make them more eco-friendly and economically viable.

In the capacity building programme the Department has established Rural Bio-resource Complexes to demonstrate viable and ecologically compatible technologies to the rural people for adoption in a holistic and sustainable manner. The Department launched DNA clubs (DBT‟s Natural Resources Awareness clubs) in creating deeper awareness among school students regarding the importance of our environment, biodiversity, biotechnology and the relation of all these with everyday life.

Review/Monitoring of Programs

Various Committees Constituted by the division, so far are as follows:

Projects are being monitored through a well-established review process by relevant expertise. Scientific and technical progress reports get evaluated through respective Project Monitoring Committee and Task Force and special Expert Committees.

Capacity Building
(a) DBT‟s Natural Resource Awareness Club

NBDB had supported a major capacity building programmes for students during vacations, particularly for the children who have appeared in class X board exam. DNA Clubs has emerged as a scalable and replicable model of connecting future generations with issues and concerns related to Bio-resources. In view of the overwhelming of the students to the „Vacation Training Programme on Bioresources for school children‟ the Department launched DNA clubs (DBT‟s Natural Resource Awareness Club) in schools across the country in 2007-08. The DNA Clubs Program has spread out across the country in a more focused manner. More than 1,00,000 students have benefited from this programme. The activity profile and annual calendar of activities of a typical DNA Club comprises of a diverse set of activities which includes planned visits to institution of excellence, field excursions for first hand exposure to microbial, plant and animal resources. Lab Experiments to understand and analyze processes, learn biotech techniques. Mini-Projects / Hands on Activities, Lectures by invited Eminent Experts, Audio Visual Shows. Inter & Intra school competitions on Bio-resource based themes and Vacation Training Program on Bio-resources.

DBT-TERI mentoring schools of northeast is being implemented through partner institutes in 361 high schools. The project has benefitted 43320 students directly in 8 northeastern states.

(b) Rural Bioresource Complexes

Department has established Rural Bio-resource Complexes (RBC) to demonstrate viable and ecologically compatible technologies to the rural people for adoption in a holistic and sustainable manner. In the first phase, the projects have been funded at five State Agricultural Universities (SAU) viz. GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology (GBPUAT), Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana, Agricultural University (HAU), Hisar, Haryana, Marathwara Agricultural University (MAU),Parbhani, Maharashtra, University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Bangalore, Karnataka and Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT), Bhubaneswar, Orissa.

An independent study on the Impact assessment of Rural Bioresource Complexes in terms of its socio-economic benefits that have been transferred to the community was commissioned by DBT to Mott MacDonald Pvt. Ltd., Noida. The planned interventions of respective SAUs and the implemented interventions, as observed in field have been compared, which revealed that the number of activities have increased in almost all the institutes. The observation is as given below:

Name of Center Technological interventions
Total Beneficiaries
UAS, Bangalore 18 6744
HAU, Hisar 8 2621
OUAT, Bhubaneshwer 9 1058
MAU, Parbhani 6 1419
GBPUA&T, Pantnagar 5 8430
Total 46 20272

Rural Bioresource Complex in North-East India

Rural Bioresource Complex in North-East India has been established with the aim to upscale the available technologies for value addition of selected bioresources & transfer them to the users and to upgrade the skill of farmers for technology adoption through a series of trainings. The project is being implemented jointly by NEHU and ICAR, Research Complex, Barapani (Meghalaya). ICAR is responsible for demonstration farming of Megha 1 turmeric and Khasi Mandarin, while the remaining activities of the project are the responsibility of NEHU. For extraction of turmeric and ginger oleoresin and oil, an extraction plant has been established at Laskein village, Jaintia Hills District. The mechanical drying and powdering units have been installed in Jaintia Hills and Ri-Bhoi District. The plant at Jaintia Hills District is ready for mechanical destarching, drying, powdering and oleoresin extraction. During this year, 9 new varieties of rice were collected from Ri-Bhoi District. 32 varieties of Citrus species collected from different parts of North-eastern India have been regularly monitored in the field germplasm bank for maintaining and expanding the Citrus germplasm. Demonstration farming of Lakadong variety of turmeric was undertaken by NEHU in 6 villages under Laskein block in Jaintia Hills
District. So far, 134 beneficiaries belonging to 13 SHGs/Farmers‟ Club have been benefited under Megha-1 variety of turmeric crop cultivation. Eighty (80) beneficiaries belonging to 7 SHGs/Farmers‟ Club have been benefited under Khasi Mandarin cultivation. Training programme on ginger processing was organized in which thirty farmers participated in the programme.