Centre plans to set up 50 biotech labs in Arunachal schools

24 December 2016

The Department of Biotechnology will set up 50 biotech laboratories in senior secondary schools of Arunachal Pradesh under the Biotech Labs in Senior Secondary Schools (BLISS) scheme, to encourage young dynamic students.

The department has earmarked Rs75 to 100 crore for implementing the projects, union minister of science and technology and earth science Dr Harsh Vardhan said while laying the foundation stone of the Centre for Bio Resources and Sustainable Development at Kimin, Papum Pare District, Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday.

The project will be jointly funded by the department of bio-technology and rural technology centre of department of science and technology, government of India.

Addressing a public meeting in Kimin after the foundation stone laying ceremony the minister said while Arunachal Pradesh is rich in terms of its biodiversity and its bio resources, it is necessary that these bio resources are preserved and monitored and utilised for the best use of the humanity not only for the people of Arunachal Pradesh but for the whole world.

The minister further said that a State Level Biotech Hub will also be set up in the state to conduct high-end researches and training North Eastern Region Researchers and students, to create and train employable manpower. For protection of indigenous traditional knowledge of the state, an intellectual property (IP) cell will be set up in the state science and technology council. Five centres of excellence will also be established in different areas of biotechnology in the state, he said.

Harsh Vardhan said the setting up of biotechnology labs in schools will directly benefit more than 10,000 students and teachers of the state towards promoting education in biotechnology and attracting billion young students with multidisciplinary research areas.

The outreach programme will help in generating awareness and enhancing literacy and promoting public understanding of biotechnology in the state. The minister also said that organising the outreach programme will directly benefit more than 5 lakh people, including students in the state, towards understanding biotechnology comprehensively/holistically.

The project will also lead to biotechnological implementation and sustainable utilisation, development and conservation of bio resources of the state  rural technology centre under CSIR, value added agriculture, medicinal and aromatic plant cultivation mushroom, floriculture, leather and pottery to promote rural technology.

Dr Harsh Vardhan also urged the state government to expeditiously implement the projects, which will lead to more than 1,500 natural dye extraction units, 100 banana fibre and extraction units,  over 150 fruit processing units, over 300 mushroom production entrepreneurs, 200 medical and aromatic cultivation units, and more than 50 orchid cultivation entrepreneurs  and  more than 100 vermi-culture entrepreneurs.

Implementation of biotechnology projects will also lead to developing market linkages to facilitate entrepreneurs for marketing their produce that will help to generate income and sustainable socio-techno-economic development in rural tribal areas at large.

A team of experts will be sent to the state to study the feasibility and promotion of science and how the youth can benefit from government of India's 'start up and stand up programme and after their suggestions many more projects will be given to the state.

Calling the day a historic moment for people of Kimin, minister for urban development, law and justice, government of Arunachal Pradesh, Nabam  Rebia, said that from the communication point of view Kimin is a very important place and serves as a gateway to many districts of the state.

Rebia also said that Arunachal Pradesh has plenty of resources, which are yet to be explored, and developed for welfare of the people. He further said that Arunachal Pradesh is a peaceful state with peace loving people and patriotism is deep routed in the heart of the people of the state.

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