Bioeconomy key to India’s future economy: Dr Jitendra

Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, flanked by Secretary Biotechnology Dr Rajesh Gokhale, India's leading Biotechnologists and Industry representatives, releasing
Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, flanked by Secretary Biotechnology Dr Rajesh Gokhale, India's leading Biotechnologists and Industry representatives, releasing "India Bioeconomy Report 2022", at New Delhi on Tuesday.

Excelsior Correspondent

NEW DELHI, July 19: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today said, Bioeconomy will be key to India’s future economy over the next 25 years..
Releasing “India Bioeconomy Report 2022”, Dr Jitendra Singh pointed out that India’s Bioeconomy has reached over 80 billion US Dollars in 2021 recording 14.1% growth over $70.2 billion in 2020. Noting the rapid growth in the sector, the Minister said, Bioeconomy is likely to touch 150 billion dollars by 2025 and over 300 billion dollars by 2030.
The Minister urged all the stakeholders of the Biotech sector, particularly Industry, Startup Ecosystem, Investors, Scientists, Scholars, Entrepreneurs and enablers like DBT, BIRAC to collectively work to achieve the ambitious target.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, the number of Biotech Startups in the country have increased from 50 to over 5,300 in the last 10 years, because of the growing enabling ecosystem and prioritization provided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He hoped that Biotech Startups arising from a strong talent pool is expected to further increase 2 times, to 10,000 plus by 2025.
The Minister recalled that Modi’s presence in the 1st National Biotech Startup Expo 2022 organized by DBT/ BIRAC in June this year is a testimony of growth potential in the biotech sector and innovation talent pool of our Startup ecosystem.
Dr Jitendra Singh also launched a special Biotech Ignition Grant call for North East Region (BIG-NER) and announced financial support of up to Rs 50 Lakhs each to 25 startups and entrepreneurs from North East Region to develop biotech solutions. He said, North East has huge potential and talent to take forward the Biotech sector and asked the Ministry to reach out to them.
The Minister said, due to special focus of PM Modi on the North Eastern region, the trend of mass exodus of youth from region has been reversed. He also informed that BIRAC/ DBT has established a strong network of 74 specialized bio-incubation centers in 21 states/ UTs including 7 bio-incubators in the north east region – an emerging cluster. He said, DBT/ BIRAC should continue efforts to nurture a local vibrant bio-entrepreneurial ecosystem in the beautiful and bioresource rich North East to boost the local Bioeconomy.
Dr Jitendra Singh informed that India is among the top 3 in South Asia and top 12 destinations for biotechnology in the world, with approximately 3% share in the global Biotechnology industry. Moreover, India has 2nd highest number of USFDA approved manufacturing plants outside the US. He said, biotechnology sector has the potential to have cascading multiplier effect on overall economic growth of the country. This sunrise sector enables technology led solutions for Healthcare, Industrial manufacturing, Agriculture, Environment and Clean Energy, the Minister added.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that India is global leader in the supply of DPT, BCG and measles vaccines and for Covid vaccine also, the nation has demonstrated self-sustenance and also supported several countries. He said, it is interesting to note that while most sectors showed stunted growth or negative growth in the backdrop of Covid challenge, two rounds of lockdowns and global disruptions, the Biotech sector stood out distinctly.
Secretary, DBT, Rajesh Gokhale said, this year is particularly noteworthy as it coincides with the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, a celebration of our nation’s 75 years of independence and the release of Bioeconomy 2022 report could not be more apt, as it provides an interim progress report of our journey of Atma Nirbhar Bharat.
Dr Gokhale also informed that in case of sustainable Bio-fuel, target year for 20% ethanol blending has been advanced by India from 2025 to 2023 and this biotech sub-sector has shown two times growth. The Ethanol production of 3.3 Bn liters capacity has doubled to 6.5 Bn liters in 2021. With further growth, India would save its import costs, thereby, directly impacting the Forex reserves and Import-Export imbalance in the favor of achieving $10 Trillion overall economy target by 2030.
Similarly, Agriculture sector that employs nearly 60% on India’s population has large scope of improvement. BT Cotton, Biopesticides, Biostimulants and Biofertilizers contributed to about $10.48 billion in 2021 for the bioeconomy of the country.