Dr. Abhilasha Shourie
Professor & Head of Department
Qualifications: M.Sc, Ph.D
Experience: 13 Years
Areas of Interest: Phytochemistry
Biotechnology is growing at a fast pace in India and is rapidly gaining significance and opportunities throughout the world. India is one of the leading markets for Biotechnology industries and there is a huge focus of Indian government on Research Development in Biotechnology. The biotechnology sector of India is highly innovative and is on a strong growth trajectory. Robust growth in Biotech industry has attracted the significant amount of attention of global companies over the past two decades. Biotechnology has shown a very promising future in India and has emerged as the most sought after discipline for turning the country into a global manufacturing hub. This discipline is the most diversified of all the natural sciences, exhibiting a bewildering array of sub disciplines. The complex multi faceted nature of biotechnology is the result of its amalgation with other scientific disciplines such as physics, chemistry, mathematics, electronics, mechanics, information technology and programming. This has made possible the description of life processes at the cellular and molecular level and has largely enabled scientists to predict and engineer these processes.
Biotechnology can today be considered as a series of enabling technologies involving the practical applications of organisms or their cellular components to manufacturing, service industries and environmental management. Biotechnology is developing at a phenomenal pace and will increasingly be seen as part of the advancement of modern life. Biotechnology is also one of the most realized fields for “Make in India”campaign and it has been identified by the Government amongst the 25 sectors that will be covered under the Make in India plan to strengthen the Indian economy. Huge funds are being mobilized in different areas of biotechnology such as Biopharma, Agri-biotechnology, Diagnostics, Horticulture, Food science and more through several schemes and initiatives by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Department of Science & Technology (DST) along with other government funding agencies.
The Department of Biotechnology was set up in 2002 at MRIIRS. The Department has very highly qualified teaching faculty with Doctorate and PG qualifications in different areas of Biotechnology. The Department has a wide range of laboratories namely Cell Biology Lab, Microbiology Lab, Fermentation Technology Lab, Molecular Biology Lab, Environment Biotechnology Lab , Bioinformatics Lab, equipped with world class instrument facilities like HPLC, Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer, IR Spectrophotometer, Fermenter, Gel Documentation System,PCR etc. A state- of art research level laboratory has been recently established Molecular Biosciences Research Lab, which is fully equipped with animal cell culture facility and houses major instruments like CO 2 incubator, fluorescence microscope, deep freezer, fume hood etc. This laboratory is meant for advanced research in molecular biology, animal biotechnology, enzyme technology and other allied areas. The undergraduate programme B. Tech Biotechnology offered by Department of Biotechnology has been accredited by NBA in 2018 under Tier I Category.
The academic performance of students has always averaged between 80-85% in different Programmes offered by the department. The students not only excel in academics, they are also facilitated for their 360 degree development. Exposure and awareness of manufacturing units where bio processes are well established towards product delivery, needs to be introduced to students. To meet this aim, industrial visits are regularly conducted to renowned industries like Mother Dairy, Vita Milk Plant, Yakult Probiotics, etc for an understanding of bioprocesses and manufacturing of bio- products. Students undergo industrial training in their final year at industries like Cipla, SRL, Ranbaxy, Mother Dairy, Pepsico, Dabur etc. and research organizations of national repute like Institute of Nuclear Medicine Allied Sciences (INMAS)- DRDO, Defence Institute of Physiology Allied Sciences (DIPAS)- DRDO, Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), CSIR-Institute of Genomics Integrative Biology (IGIB), International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Centre for Cellular Molecular Biology (CCMB) Hyderabad and many more. Department of Biotechnology has MoUs with industry and premium research organizations of India viz- Indian Oil company Ltd, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), National Institute of Immunology (NII) to facilitate students and faculty in collaborative R& D, joint projects, trainings etc. Research Innovative projects are the backbone of any progressing department. A rich Faculty resource, each holding Doctoral Degree with diverse skill sets, are engaged in intensive research with research scholars and students of both PG and UG Programmes. Faculty members are also guiding Research scholars for the Ph D Programme. Their dedicated efforts have resulted in more than 250 publications in National and International journals of high repute and proceedings of seminars/ conferences. To ensure quality student products, workshops/ seminars/ conferences are organized regularly to disseminate developments in the discipline of Biotechnology. Students are encouraged to pursue research projects in the domain of their interest, present their work in seminars/ conferences and/or publish their work in scientific journals. This inculcates scientific temperament in students and fosters critical thinking.
An International achievement of Deaprtment of Biotechnology was showcased by a students team under the mentorship of Dr Kapila Kumar, Assistant Professor, Department of Biotechnology, FET, MRIIRS. Team comprising of ten students from the Department of Biotechnology (Kartik Jatwani, Devashish, Abhilansh pandey, Alokit tanwar, Shivam Bhardwaj, Shivani Khare, Umra Mahmood, Srishti Chopra, Tarini Vohra and Hardik Grover) represented Manav Rachna at one of the biggest international competitions in Synthetic Biology- iGEM ( INTERNATIONAL GENETICALLY ENGINEERED MACHINE) 2020 organized by MIT, BOSTON. Initially the team won iBEC (INDIAN BIOLOGICAL ENGINEERING COMPETITION) and was therefore fully sponsored by the DEPARTMENT OF BIOTECHNOLOGY, GOVT. OF INDIA for representing India at the International platform (iGEM). The team rigorously worked for the whole year on their project “Li-Koff” which they presented at iGEM on 15th November 2020. After all the hard work, the team has secured a Bronze medal in the competition.
There is immense potential in Biotechnology for placement and it is a complete myth that the market has no jobs for Biotech graduates. The main players in market are of course Pharmaceutical companies which offer majority of jobs, other sectors are Biomedical devices , Diagnostics, Fermentation, Dairy, Chemical Industry, Food industry, Agrochemicals and fertilizers, Clinical research particularly Molecular Diagnostics and many more. The pass out students of Biotech have bagged excellent placements in leading companies, viz, Agilent Technology, Covedien, Imperial Life Sciences, Life Cell International, Totipotent RX, Sagacious Research, CHC Health Care, e4e Health Group, Link Biotech, Ozone Biotech, CPM, Panacea Biotech, Medox Diagnostics, TCS (Biotech Division), Infosys (Biotech Division), IDS, L & T Infotech, IFBI and HCL,SCOTT EDIL &; Kelly Services India Pvt. Ltd, Boston Scientific, etc.
Also there are immense opportunities for entrepreneurship and students can start their own ventures. Large amounts of funds are being provided through various schemes by GoI such as BIRAC, where innovative ideas are acknowledged by the investors and seed money is granted to the budding entrepreneurs.
Many pass outs have opted for higher studies in both national and International universities after qualifying in competitive exams. National institutes include IIT- Delhi, IIT- Kharagpur, IIT- Kanpur, IIT- Guwahati, NIT- Surthkal, NIT- Kurukshetra, BITS- Pilani, BHU- Banaras and Anna University, Chennai etc. International institutions where the alumni of Biotech have pursued their higher education a re University of Minnesota , USA, University of Buffalo, USA, University of Pennsylvania, USA, John Hopkins, USA, Nottingham Trent, UK, Sydney University, Australia, Arizona State Univ, USA, Baltimore Univ, USA, Florida Inst Of Tech, USA, Worcestor Polytech, USA, Imperial College – London, Monash Univ. Australia, University of Kuopio, Finland etc.