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India Launches BRIC Society and 'Zero Waste Life on Campus' Program to Propel Biotech Innovation and Sustainability

BRIC and its affiliated institutes will engage in public-private research partnerships and receive endowments from non-governmental resources, enhancing their capabilities to conduct research-related activities.

Shivam Dwivedi
India Launches BRIC Society and 'Zero Waste Life on Campus' Program to Propel Biotech Innovation and Sustainability (Photo Source: PIB)
India Launches BRIC Society and 'Zero Waste Life on Campus' Program to Propel Biotech Innovation and Sustainability (Photo Source: PIB)

In a historic move to advance biotechnology research and innovation, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh, announced the inauguration of the Biotechnology Research and Innovation Council (BRIC) during its first-ever meeting after receiving Cabinet approval on November 10, 2023.

The BRIC initiative aims to align with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision for an Atma Nirbhar Bharat, focusing on healthcare, food security, and energy needs through intensified biotech research and innovation. Dr Jitendra Singh highlighted the remarkable growth of India's bio-economy, recording a thirteen-fold increase over the past decade.

Quoting Prime Minister Modi's vision, he stated that India is on the cusp of entering the top 10 countries in the global biotech ecosystem. The newly established BRIC is envisioned as a testament to this ambitious goal, bringing together the best minds on a unified platform and fostering collaboration through the spirit of Sabka Prayas.

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), under the Ministry of Science and Technology, will serve as the nodal agency for promoting biotechnology in the country. The Cabinet's approval entails the rationalization of 14 Autonomous Institutions (AIs) under one apex autonomous society, BRIC, for centralized governance to maximize the impact of biotech research across India.

Dr Jitendra Singh emphasized that BRIC would maintain the distinct research mandates of each of the 14 institutions, governed by a unified body. The institutions will also collaborate with external researchers and industry partners, fostering a conducive environment for start-ups emerging from institutional research.

To further bolster the scientific character of these institutions, BRIC will introduce new Ph.D. programs with a common curriculum and immersion training for field or experimental studies. The restructuring initiative, in compliance with the directives on ‘Rationalization of Autonomous Bodies,’ aims to enhance governance, efficiency, and collaboration, adhering to the principles of ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance.’

The 14 institutes governed by BRIC include prominent names such as the National Institute of Immunology, National Center for Cell Science, and the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute.

In a significant move towards sustainability, Dr. Jitendra Singh also launched the 'Zero Waste Life on Campus' program during the BRIC Society meeting. This initiative aims to achieve sustainable waste management through the application and adoption of knowledge and technologies across BRIC campuses, fostering a sense of co-responsibility.

The 'Zero Waste Life on Campus' program aligns with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Mission LiFE movement, reflecting India's commitment to environmental responsibility. Dr. Jitendra Singh emphasized that this people-centric movement would not only strengthen collaborations among BRIC institutions but also serve as a catalyst for other institutions across India to embrace the concept of zero waste.

The establishment of BRIC and the 'Zero Waste Life on Campus' program mark significant milestones in India's pursuit of excellence in biotechnology research, innovation, and sustainability. These initiatives are poised to propel the nation towards a more self-reliant and environmentally conscious future.

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