Biotechnology is a highly interdisciplinary subject encompassing biological sciences, process engineering, and technology. The scope and application of the subject is manifold, spanning from synthesizing genetically modified food, drought-resistant crops in agricultural sciences; tissue engineering, drug designing in the medical field and also in areas such as bioinformatics and aquatic living systems. Besides, the subject also involves studies on public policy planning, such as the use of genetically modified food and ethical issues involved with it, tampering the crop/gene to make them disease resistant and embryonic stem cell technology to name a few. The versatility of the subject is in understanding how living organisms work at a microscopic level and to find remedies/solution to make living things to work in a way that we expect. Unlike other engineering subjects, Biotechnology deals with tailoring the living systems, whose outcome might turn benignant or malignant.
For a developing country such as India, the agricultural community is dependent on regular monsoon rains for good yield. With global warming, it has been predicted that rainfall patterns may be erratic. To be dependent on single natural factor to help in good agricultural productivity is a risk, which is not worth taking. Instead, crops can be made adaptable to the extremes of weather such as drought-resistant seeds, moisture retaining crops; all these can be possible with help of Biotechnology. Besides, the use of pesticides can be also made redundant, if pest-resistant seeds can be developed. Similarly, in the medical arena, gene therapy can help people to reduce the risk of preventing hereditary diseases. Stem cell technology is one of the key outcomes of biotechnology and molecular biology. With the broader scope of the subject, there is a strong potential for employment opportunities in Corporate/Government organizations at research and manufacturing level. The subject keeps evolving with time, which is a stronger impetus for the students to go in for higher education.
Corporate and public R&D organizations recruit biotechnology personnel in good numbers. As the employers realize the need for the indigenous development of ideas domestically, they look for good quality personnel to ramp up their operations. Besides, research organizations also see good scope for new and improved products and processes in medical, agricultural fields; they are on a constant lookout for motivated personnel. Contract Research organizations in pharmaceutical and Biotech industry recruit graduating college students; they are trained and inducted in the workplace. Dupont, Biocon, Dow Chemicals, Dr.Reddy's laboratories are some of the companies that actively hire biotech personnel.
Students who have studied maths, physics, and chemistry with biology/computer science at the higher secondary schooling level, are eligible for a B.Tech in Biotechnology. As biology is taught from a level from where anyone can comprehend; students, who have had a non-biology subject apart from maths, physics, and chemistry will not be at a disadvantage.
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