The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) is implementing a programme to augment and strengthen institutional research capacity for promotion of excellence in interdisciplinary science and innovation in specific areas of biotechnology through support for the establishment of a Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology. This information was provided in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha by Minister for Science, Technology and Earth Sciences, Pawan Kumar Bansal. According to an official press release on Thursday, “The programme provides flexible long-term support for highly innovative research (both basic and translational in nature) in biotechnology. DBT has planned to establish 50 such Centres of Excellence in Biotechnology in the country. So far, 15 Centres have been supported, covering healthcare, agriculture, bioinformatics and basic research in biotechnology.” The release further added, “These Centres of Excellence have been established in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has also initiated a proposal for establishment of 50 Centres for Training and Research in the frontier areas of Science and Technology. In addition, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has established Centres of Excellence (CoE) at University of Hyderabad; Bharathiar University, Coimbatore; National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore; Calcutta University; Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai; and IIT, Chennai. The establishment of CoE at Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata is under progress.” These centres are expected to strengthen an institution's research infrastructure along with developing and enhancing the research capability of the faculty in a specific thematic area of research. A critical mass of young scientists around a leader is also expected to be developed which will lead to enhance the competitiveness of the institution in a specific research area. These centres are expected to generate not only high-quality publications and intellectual property but also translational outputs through high end innovation.
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