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Societal Development
The main objectives of the programme is to promote the use of biotechnological processes and tools for the benefit of the disadvantaged section of the society comprising women, rural population, SC/ST and weaker section. The programme aims to create platform for self-employment generation among the target population and diffusion of proven and field-tested technologies through demonstration, training and extension activities.

The broad focused areas are:

  • Agriculture and Allied Sector
  • Health, Nutrition & Sanitation
  • Value Chain and Post Harvest
  • Agripreneurship Development
  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Rehabilitation and Restoration
  • measures for Natural Calamity

Till now large number of rural, SC/ST and women population have been benefited through implementation of these programmes. Excellent examples of innovative societal programme is “Network Project on Prasad Kit” and running of mobile ambulatory clinics for the farmers. Low cost poly house construction for raising nursery-planting material has also been developed for cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants with the implementation of rural bio-resource complexes at seven SAUs. A programme for the rehabilitation of Tsunami victims was also undertaken where projects were supported to benefit large number of coastal fisherman community. Another two new projects have been supported for the relief of flash flood affected areas in Uttarakhand as a rehabilitation programme.

Genesis of programme

Biotechnology based programme for societal development was initiated in 1990 to benefit the vulnerable section of the society particularly the farmers, women and SC/ST population. The emphasis was on diffusion of proven and field tested interventions with an approach to reach the unreached through various means like field demonstrations, trainings, education campaigns etc. These programmes were undertaken with the funding mechanism of department. These committees are aiming to promote dissemination of biotech interventions in agriculture and allied sector, health & sanitation, environment & biodiversity conservation, animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries, integrated farming, product / process development and value addition etc. for these target groups.

Strategy for implementation of programs during 12th Plan period

These programmes are implemented in the form of projects supported in identified areas to government agencies/NGOs/institutions/universities. Few major projects are also supported on utilisation of local bio-resources, cancer screening in rural set-ups, network projects in large cluster of villages, etc. Projects are likely to be undertaken on sustainable development through propagation of high yielding varieties for better productivity and production, use of bio-pesticides and bio-fertilisers, and also on affordable health care for all sections of the society. The projects are accepted round the year for consideration of DBT funding support. Concepts/ letter of interests are also invited occasionally to promote any specific theme based priority areas.

Monitoring and mentoring

There are specialized Task Force committees and also ESSCs (External Standing cum Screening Committees) to evaluate, monitor and mentor these programmes. These committees meet twice / thrice in a year for the assessment of the proposals received by the department. The Task Force and high power committees review the progress of the projects supported under these programmes and also to identify newer areas to expand the programme.

Some of the significant achievements of these programmes are as follows:

Guidelines for organizations for submitting the proposal to DBT

Contact address:
Program Head
Dr.Meenakshi Munshi,
Scientist `G’/ Adviser
Email: meenakshi29[at]dbt[dot]nic[dot]in

Dr. Shahaj Uddin Ahmed Ph.D
Scientist ‘E’
Department of Biotechnology
Ministry of Science &Technology
Government of India
C.G.O Complex, Block-3, 5th Floor
Room No. 521, Lodhi Road, New Delhi-110003
Phone No.011-24364065
E-mail: shahaj[dot]ahmed[at]nic[dot]in