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Hungry for More Investment, India s Ministry of Science and Technology Proposes Biotech Strategy

NEW YORK, April 4 (GenomeWeb News) - India's government has proposed establishing a National Biotechnology Regulatory Authority to oversee market clearance for all biotechnology products as part of a broad biotech draft strategy, the Ministry of Science and Technology said last week.


The Ministry also suggests that priority be given to research in molecular and cellular biology, neuroscience, molecular genetics, transplantation biology, genomics, proteomics, system biology, RNA interference, and stem cell research.


According to the Ministry, the government's draft strategy "aims to bring clarity in regulatory issues, provide an action plan for human resource development and suggest measures for promotion of innovation. It has also mentioned specific measures for promoting biotechnology industries and attracting investment." The strategy also calls for building new centers of excellence in the biotechnology field.


The strategy, said the ministry, proposes that all biotechnology industries be made exempt from the requirement of compulsory licensing and "allowing foreign direct investment up to 100 percent on automatic route." It also proposes the continuation of all existing fiscal incentives for biotech industries up to 2010. "The strategy aims at an annual turnover of $5 billion and creation of 1 million jobs by 2010," the ministry said.


The strategy also proposes the establishment of a national task force to "formulate model undergraduate and post-graduate curricula in life sciences and biotechnology," the Ministry said.


The strategy has been opened for six weeks for public debate.

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