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Education in India : Biotechnology

Looking for a Career Option in the Field of Biotechnology ? This section features Biotechnology as a career option, elaborated with reference to the job profile, personality traits required, the courses and training involved, premier institutions and future prospects.

Biotechnology is an integration of several sciences, applied to living cells, with the posibility of producing from widely available renewable resourses, substances and compounds essential to life and the well being of man. so it is an interdisciplinary science encompassing not only biology, but also other subjects, including physics, chemistry, mathematics and Engineering. Mainly research-oriented, it is the field that has created Dolly, the cloned lamb, and introduced scientific methods for genetic engineering, and new modes of propagation.

Biotechnology is one of the fastest growing fields as it finds applications in areas as varied as medicine, food technology, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and environmental conservation. In fact, the use and application of biotechnology spans a wide range of activities, including developing new varieties of seeds, improving livestocks breeds, creating pesticides of various kinds, formulating cures for genetically inherited diseases and developing industrial enzymes that hasten the production processes.

There are many application of biotechnology such as developing various medicines, vaccines and diagnostics, increasing productivity, improving energy production and conservation. Biotechnology’s intervention in the area of animal husbandry has improved animal breeding. It also helps to improve the quality of seeds, insecticides and fertilizers. Environmental biotechnology helps for pollution control and waste management.

The work of Biotechnologist is essentially scientific and research oriented, which aims at the application of technology to the improvement of life and developement of a variety of end uses, Biotechnologists are therefore involved in production as well as marketing and research.

Most of the information that has led to the emergence of biotechnology in the present form has been generated during the last five decades. The setting up of a separate Department of Biotechnology (DBT) (www.dbtindia.nic.in ) under the Ministry of Science and Technology in 1986 gave a new impetus to the development of the field of modern biology and biotechnology in India. More than 6000 biotechnologists of higher skill are required in India as per the report from the Human Resource Development Ministry. To overcome this vast requirement the department of Biotechnology (DBT) has highlighted the need to set up a regulatory body for the maintenance of standard education under the name of ‘All- India Board of Biotechnology Education and Training’ under the AICTE.

Personality Traits    

Biotechnologist should have high level of intelligence, ability to concentrate for long hours, an inquisitive mind, determination, perseverance, ability for teamwork, imagination, originality, a systematic and methodical approach, requiring attention to minor details, objectivity, practicality, resourcefulness.

Also a prospective biotechnologist should have a scientific aptitude and a keen interest in the biological sciences. He should be methodical and patient by nature, able to work neatly and accurately and have a flair for laboratory work. The ability to work independently is another important aspect. ability to use computers in work is very important. biotechnologist needs certain skill of problem solving, information technology skill, analyzing and interpreting skills.


Entry in to this field is usually possible at the postgraduate level, although there are some undergraduate courses. Science students, especially those with biology, chemistry, physics or agriculture subjects would do well in biotechnology. However, in industry, biotechnologists with an engineering background are preferred.

There are following courses in Biotechnology

  • BSc. in Biotechnology
  • BTech in Biotechnology
  • Degree course in Biotechnology
  • Five year MTech in Biotechnology
  • Postgraduate (MSc.) courses in Biotechnology
  • Ph. D in Biotechnology
  • M.Sc. (Agriculture) Biotechnology
  • M.V.Sc. (Animal) Biotechnology
  • M.Tech. Biotechnology
  • M.Sc. / M.V.Sc.in Veterinary Biotechnology
  • M.Sc. (Marine) Biotechnology
  • M.Tech.in Biomedical Engineering / Biotechnology

Three years duration for B.Sc course. Two years to complete the M.Sc. course. B.Tech. course is of four years duration and five year for integrated M.Tech. programme offered at IIT Delhi and Kharagpur.


you want to join a course in biotechnology you must have a background in science, that is Physics or agriculture, chemistry and biology at the intermediate level can join for B.Tech. In India, some universities offer the B.Sc biotechnology which one can join after class 12 or equivalent examination, with physics, chemistry and mathematics. Graduates in all sciences / engineering technology / medicine are eligible for the postgraduate (M.Sc.) course in biotechnology. Depending upon the aptitude and necessity, more advanced courses such PH.D.and Post-Doctoral Research in Biotechnology can also be pursued.

Integrated M.Tech. programme offered at IIT Delhi and Kharagpur is through a Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), which is held for students who have successfully completed the 10+2 or equivalent examination, with physics, chemistry and mathematics. For admission to IIT, a pass in the IIT-JEE is required. The Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, AIIMS, Jadavpur University, Kolkata and Anna University also offers integrated M.Tech course. Selection to the graduate courses ( BE / B.Tech ) is based on merit i.e the marks secured in the final exams of 10+2 and through entrance exams. Entrance to the IIT’s is through JEE (Joint Entrance Exam) and for other institutions through their own separate entrance exams and other state level and national level exams. Apart from the IIT’s, some other famous institutes also recognize JEE scores for selection. Selection to the postgraduate courses ( M.Sc / M.Tech) in different universities is through an All India Combined Entrance exam conducted by JNU, New Delhi and to IIT’s through GATE in Two year/ 4 semester M.Tech courses and through JEE in five year integrated M.Tech courses in Biochemical engineering and Biotechnology.


Please click here for the list of the Biotechnology Institutes in India.

Placements And Prospects    

As there is increasing popularity and explosive growth, there is plenty of opportunities available in Biotechnology field. You can be a Research Scientist, Teacher, Marketing manager, Science Writer, Bioinformists, Quality Control Officer or Production in-charge in the Food, Chemical and Pharmaceutical industry. Analyst (Venture-Capitalist) Environmental / Safety Specialist .Biotechnology companies require Corporate Executives with business / management Degrees. A graduate in Biotechnology can get job in government sectors such as Universities and Colleges, Research institutes or at Private Centers as Research scientists / assistants.

  1. Lab technician : Includes cleaning and maintaining equipment used by scientists and working on the various pieces of lab equipment as instructed. 
  2. Research associate : If you are interested in Research and Development, then becoming a Research Associate can provide an interesting career that allows you to carry out experiments under the instruction of established Scientists. 
  3. Research scientist : If you wish to enter the field at a high level, you may choose to become a Research Scientist. This involves working alongside established scientists to design and carry out experiments, then writing reports for future publication. 
  4. Engineer (Chemical, Electrical, Environmental and Industrial) : This position would involve engaging in a range of projects from building robots to assisting with Research and Development. 
  5. Sales representative : As a sales representative, you would work with hospitals, doctors and a wide range of medical institutions to keep them aware of biotechnology’s latest offerings, as well as trying to encourage their approval for your products over rival products in the market. 
  6. Marketing : In biotechnology marketing, you would manage and devise campaigns aimed at particular customer areas, through such methods as working with advertising agencies and maintaining a visible presence at medical conventions and trade shows. 
  7. Business development manager : This position involves working with colleagues to introduce products and to negotiate agreements with strategic partners.

The amount of remuneration depends upon academic qualification, institute or university from which the degree is attained and the level of work experience. In the corporate sector, fresh IIT pass outs may get anything in the range of Rs. 70,000 to Rs. 85,000 as annual income and fresh B.Sc. / B. Tech. graduates from other universities may get anything in the range of Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 70,000 as annual income. Those working in the research institutes can expect something around Rs. 60,000 as annual income.


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