Daily Answer Writing And Mentorship Program


Q: What significant progress has been achieved in applied biotechnology through research and development, and how can these breakthroughs contribute to enhancing the welfare of society? (15 Marks, 250 Words)

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Applied biotechnology refers to the use of biological systems, organisms, or their derivatives to develop products, processes, or technologies that have practical applications in various fields.
· It involves applying principles of biology, genetics, molecular biology, and other related disciplines to solve real-world problems and improve human life.
· India is among the top 12 destinations for biotechnology globally and 3rd largest biotechnology destination in the Asia Pacific Region.

Significant progress in applied biotechnology through R & D:
Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals:
Ø Development of Recombinant Insulin: Recombinant DNA technology transformed diabetes treatment by
using genetically engineered microorganisms to produce insulin, ensuring a more dependable and abundant
Ø Gene Therapy: Gene therapy advancements offer promising treatments for genetic disorders like spinal
muscular atrophy and hemophilia, with potential for long-term and curative effects.
Agriculture and Crop Improvement:
Ø Genetic Modification of Crops: Genetic engineering has produced GM crops like Bt cotton, GM maize, and
GM papaya with enhanced traits, yielding higher productivity and reduced pesticide dependence.
Ø Molecular Breeding: Biotechnological tools like marker-assisted selection and genomic selection expedite
crop improvement, leading to the development of improved varieties with higher yields, nutrition, and
environmental resilience.
Industrial Biotechnology:
Ø Enzyme Production: Biotechnology enables large-scale production of enzymes for industries like textile,
detergent, and food processing, offering environmentally friendly and efficient alternatives to traditional
chemical processes.
Ø Biofuel Production: Biotechnological advancements enable the production of biofuels like bioethanol and
biodiesel, derived from renewable sources through biomass conversion, reducing fossil fuel dependency and
greenhouse gas emissions.
Environmental Sustainability:
Ø Bioremediation: Biotechnological methods utilize microorganisms to remediate contaminated environments
by degrading pollutants like hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and pesticides in soil, water, and air.
Ø Waste Management: Biotechnology is vital in waste management, employing microorganisms to decompose
organic waste through composting and anaerobic digestion, reducing waste volume and producing renewable
Personalized Medicine:
Ø Pharmacogenomics: Pharmacogenomics utilizes genetic information to personalize drug therapies, tailoring
treatments and dosages based on an individual’s genetic makeup to optimize efficacy and minimize side

Biotechnology enhances the welfare of Society:
Ø Bt Cotton: Bt cotton adoption in India has positively impacted vulnerable communities, enhancing income
and livelihoods of farmers in states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh.
Ø Low-cost Sanitary Napkins: The “FLOH (For Life on Earth) Tampons” project, developed by an Indian startup,
utilizes biotechnology to produce low-cost and biodegradable sanitary napkins made from bamboo fiber.
Ø Biotechnology-based Nutritional Supplements: Biotech-based Horlicks Pro-Height Protein Plus by GSK
Consumer Healthcare supports growth and development with essential nutrients, including proteins,
vitamins, and minerals.
Ø Rotavirus Vaccine: Indigenous rotavirus vaccines, Rotavac and Rotasiil, developed using biotechnology, have
transformed child health by providing affordable protection in India.
Ø Biotechnology-based Skill Development: For instance, the Biotechnology Skill Enhancement Program (BiSEP)
in Karnataka provides training to disadvantaged individuals especially in rural youth, enhancing skills for
biotech industries and promoting empowerment.

Ø Biotechnology Business Incubators: For instance, the Biotechnology Ignition Grant (BIG) scheme by the
Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) aims to support and mentor innovative ideas
from startups and entrepreneurs.
Ø Bio-entrepreneurship: For example, the development of low-cost biofertilizers using microbial biotechnology
has allowed small-scale farmers, particularly those from marginalized sections, to reduce their dependence
on expensive chemical fertilizers.

Thus, the Biotech Start-up Expo (2022), LOTUS-HR, and WETLAB are dedicated to enhancing the biotechnology
sector through flagship programs like Make in India and Start-up India. Their efforts aim to stimulate growth,
innovation, and entrepreneurship in the biotech industry.