Indian Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology to be set up at Ranchi

Category: Higher Education,  News Source: The Hindu Business Line,  Updated-On: Aug 27 2012

Chennai: The Centre will set up an Indian Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology at Ranchi at a cost of Rs 287.50 crore. The Union Cabinet today gave its approval today to the proposal of the Ministry of Agriculture to establish the Institute.

The Institute will be a deemed university and will have different schools to import knowledge in genomics, bioinformatics, genetic engineering, nano biotechnology, diagnostics and prophylactis and basic and social sciences and commercialisation.

The mandate of the Institute would be (i) to undertake multi-disciplinary basic and strategic research with a view to future developing crops for traits such as increased yield, or increased tolerance to biotic and abiotic stress; (ii) to design and start academic programmes to develop trained manpower for fundamental research in agricultural biotechnology, and award post-graduate doctoral and post-doctoral degrees; (iii) to provide its research output to breeders and developers in agricultural universities and other institutions, to develop the germplasm, vaccines etc. that would enhance productivity and reduce losses due to biotic and abiotic stress; (iv) act as a mother institute that would provide both curricula and course material to India's agricultural universities and other institutions running or trying to establish successful agricultural biotechnology graduate and post-graduate programmes.

Observing that there is a growing need for food and fodder, a background note to the Institute notes that in 2020, India would need 284 million tonnes of foodgrain, 160 million tonnes of vegetables, 97 million tonnes of fruits and 69 million tonnes of oilseeds — all of which are substantially higher than the current demand.

However, the area under cultivation is not likely to increase from the present 142 million hectares and as such any increase in food production will have to come from increasing productivity.

“Therefore, there is a need for a second Green Revolution,” the note says.

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