Careers in Bio-Technology
Bio-Technology is a research oriented
science, a combination of Biology and Technology. It covers a wide variety of
subjects like Genetics, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Immunology, Virology,
Chemistry and Engineering and is also concerned with many other subjects like
Health and Medicine, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Cropping system and Crop
Management, Ecology, Cell Biology, Soil science and Soil Conservation,
Bio-statistics, Plant Physiology, Seed Technology etc. Bio-Technology is the use
of living things, especially cells and bacteria in industrial process. There is
a great scope in this field as the demand for biotechnologist are growing in
India as well as abroad.
There are many application of biotechnology
such as developing various medicines, vaccines and diagnostics, increasing
productivity, improving energy production and conservation. Biotechnology's
intervention in the area of animal husbandry has improved animal breeding. It
also helps to improve the quality of seeds, insecticides and fertilizers.
Environmental biotechnology helps for pollution control and waste management.
Most of the information that has led to the
emergence of biotechnology in the present form has been generated during the
last five decades. The setting up of a separate Department of Biotechnology (DBT)
(www.dbtindia.nic.in ) under the Ministry of Science and Technology in 1986 gave
a new impetus to the development of the field of modern biology and
biotechnology in India. More than 6000 biotechnologists of higher skill are
required in India as per the report from the Human Resource Development
Ministry. To overcome this vast requirement the department of Biotechnology (DBT)
has highlighted the need to set up a regulatory body for the maintenance of
standard education under the name of 'All- India Board of Biotechnology
Education and Training' under the AICTE.
If you want to join a course in
biotechnology you must have a background in science, that is Physics or
agriculture, chemistry and biology at the intermediate level can join for B.Tech.
In India, some universities offer the B.Sc biotechnology which one can join
after class 12 or equivalent examination, with physics, chemistry and
mathematics. Graduates in all sciences/engineering technology/medicine are
eligible for the postgraduate (M.Sc.) course in biotechnology. Programme in
Biotechnology. P.G. courses available are M.Sc. Biotechnology, M.Sc.
(Agriculture) Biotechnology, M.V.Sc. (Animal) Biotechnology, M.Tech.
Biotechnology,M.Sc./M.V.Sc.in Veterinary Biotechnology, M.Sc.(Marine)
Biotechnology,Medical Biotechnology, M.Tech.in Biomedical Engineering/Biotechnology.Depending
upon the aptitude and necessity, more advanced courses such PH.D.and
Post-Doctoral Research in Biotechnology can also be pursued.
Integrated M.Tech. programme offered at IIT
Delhi and Kharagpur is through a Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), which is held
for students who have successfully completed the 10+2 or equivalent examination,
with physics, chemistry and mathematics. For admission to IIT, a pass in the
IIT-JEE is required. The Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, AIIMS, Jadavpur
University, Kolkata and Anna University also offers integrated M.Tech course.
Selection to the graduate courses ( BE / B.Tech ) is based on merit i.e the
marks secured in the final exams of 10+2 and through entrance exams. Entrance to
the IIT's is through JEE (Joint Entrance Exam) and for other institutions
through their own separate entrance exams and other state level and national
level exams. Apart from the IIT's, some other famous institutes also recognize
JEE scores for selection. Selection to the postgraduate courses ( M.Sc / M.Tech)
in different universities is through an All India Combined Entrance exam
conducted by JNU, New Delhi and to IIT's through GATE in Two year/ 4 semester
M.Tech courses and through JEE in five year integrated M.Tech courses in
Biochemical engineering and Biotechnology.
Personal Qualities Required-A
prospective biotechnologist should have a scientific aptitude and a keen
interest in the biological sciences. He should be methodical and patient by
nature, able to work neatly and accurately and have a flair for laboratory work.
The ability to work independently is another important aspect. ability to use
computers in work is very important. biotechnologist needs certain skill of
problem solving, information technology skill, analyzing and interpreting
Duration: Three years
duration for B.Sc course. Two years to complete the M.Sc. course. B.Tech. course
is of four years duration and five year for integrated M.Tech. programme offered
at IIT Delhi and Kharagpur.
DBT (The Department of Biotechnology) has
therefore, launched an integrated Manpower Development Programme which includes
training of scientists/technologists for the expanding biotechnological R&D
activities and for filling critical gaps in internal competence. The programme
Short term Training Courses;
National and Overseas Associate ships;
Visiting Scientist from Abroad Programme;
Short-term Training Course for Industrial personnel
Biotechnology teaching/training programme for school
Biotechnology films etc.
Job Prospects and Career Options
Biotechnology as a subject has grown
rapidly. And as far as employment is concerned, it has become one of the fast
growing sector. Employment record shows that biotechnology has a great scope in
future. Bio-technologists can find careers with pharmaceutical companies,
chemical, agriculture and allied industries. They can be employed in the areas
of planning, production and management of bio-processing industries. There is a
large scale employment in research laboratories run by the government as well as
the corporate sector. Biotechnology students in India may find work in a
government-based entity such as universities, research institutes or at private
centers as research scientists/assistants. Alternatively they may find
employment in specialized biotechnology companies or biotech-related companies
such as pharmaceutical firms, food manufacturers, aquaculture and agricultural
companies. Companies that are engaged in business related to life sciences
(ranging from equipment, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, etc) also
consider a biotech degree relevant to their field. The work scope can range from
research, sales, marketing, administration, quality control, breeders, technical
support etc.;Armed with this powerful combination of fundamental cell and
molecular biology and applied science, graduates are well placed to take up
careers in plant, animal or microbial biotechnology laboratories or in
horticulture, food science, commerce and teaching.
Some major organizations employing
bio-technologists in India include Hindustan Lever Ltd, Thapar Group,
Indo-American Hybrid seeds, Bincon India Ltd, Bivcol, IDPL, India Vaccines
Corporation, Hindustan Antibiotics, National Botanical Institute, National
Chemical Laboratories, Tata Engineering Research Institute etc.
As there is increasing popularity and
explosive growth, there is plenty of opportunities available in Biotechnology
field. You can be a Research Scientist, Teacher, Marketing manager, Science
Writer, Bioinformists, Quality Control Officer or Production in-charge in the
Food, Chemical and Pharmaceutical industry. Analyst (Venture-Capitalist)Environmental
/ Safety Specialist .Biotechnology companies require Corporate Executives with
business/management Degrees. A graduate in Biotechnology can get job in
government sectors such as Universities and Colleges, Research institutes or at
Private Centers as Research scientists/assistants.
Lab technician: includes
cleaning and maintaining equipment used by scientists and working on the various
pieces of lab equipment as instructed. Research associate: If
you are interested in Research and Development, then becoming a Research
Associate can provide an interesting career that allows you to carry out
experiments under the instruction of established Scientists. Research
scientist: if you wish to enter the field at a high level, you may
choose to become a Research Scientist. This involves working alongside
established scientists to design and carry out experiments, then writing reports
for future publication. Engineer (Chemical, Electrical, Environmental
and Industrial): This position would involve engaging in a range of
projects from building robots to assisting with Research and Development.
Sales representative: As a sales representative, you would work
with hospitals, doctors and a wide range of medical institutions to keep them
aware of biotechnology's latest offerings, as well as trying to encourage their
approval for your products over rival products in the market. Marketing:
In biotechnology marketing, you would manage and devise campaigns aimed at
particular customer areas, through such methods as working with advertising
agencies and maintaining a visible presence at medical conventions and trade
shows. Business development manager: This position involves
working with colleagues to introduce products and to negotiate agreements with
The amount of remuneration depends upon academic
qualification, institute or university from which the degree is attained and the
level of work experience. In the corporate sector, fresh IIT pass outs may get
anything in the range of Rs. 70,000 to Rs. 85,000 as annual income and fresh
B.Sc./B. Tech. graduates from other universities may get anything in the range
of Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 70,000 as annual income. Those working in the research
institutes can expect something around Rs. 60,000 as annual income.