Press Trust of India

North India’s first biotech park inaugurated in Kathua

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Jammu: Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Saturday inaugurated north India’s first industrial Biotech Park in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir, saying it will act as hub for incubation of new ideas .
He said the central government through the department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, has taken a number of initiatives to accelerate the growth of biotechnology by promoting development of innovative technologies, infrastructure, human resources and industry, which has helped the sector to gain global visibility.
This is the historic day for J&K as the name of Kathua is now listed among those developed regions of India where biotech parks have been established, attracting innovations and research not only from the country but from the whole world, Singh, the minister of state in the Prime Minister’s office, said after inaugurating the park along with J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha.
Singh, who represents Udhampur Parliamentary constituency, said that the next 25 years are very crucial for this country and when India would be celebrating its 100 years of independence in 2047, the youth of Kathua would be among the great contributors towards making India a Vishwa Guru’ (World leader).
Kathua is, because of its resource richness with diversity as well as its geographical location, destined to be North India’s StartUp destination, he said.
Singh said the Biotech Park would act as hub for incubation of new ideas and will act as a robust platform to support the Agri-entrepreneurs, Startups, progressive farmers, scientists, scholars and students not only from Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh but also from nearby states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
The biotechnology park at Kathua has a potential to produce 25 startups in a year which will be among its great contributions to this region, the local MP said, adding with the unlocking of space technology in India under Modi, 60 startups have been established in only one-and-a-half-years.
He said under Prime Minister Narendra Modi without any regional bias, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has seen a new dawn of development in education, health infrastructure, science and technology.
He also said that the need is to change the erstwhile government job mindset first among the elders and then youth when the government has created greatest avenues for youth in the name of lucrative start-ups under Start-Up India, Stand-Up India’.
He said the startup revolution has now started in J&K, the start-ups under Aroma Mission being the best starting points under it, creating household names in India like Bharat Bhushan, the brand ambassador of Aroma Mission in India who not only doubled but quadrupled his income in only a few years.
The Minister emphasised that the StartUps must be sustainable and connected to the livelihood which is the actual mantra of this government creating greater employment opportunities under StartUps.
The Botlabs’ is the best example of a sustainable startup connected to livelihood which flew 1000 drones during the beating retreat ceremony and are now earning in millions for sponsoring the drone shows in the country, he said.
He said northeast is now the best example of change in India attracting StartUps across the country.
J&K too has a potential to become the prime destination for start-ups with resources diversity, he said, adding the facilities like herbal extraction, fermentation, analytical lab, distillation, micro-propagation, plant tissue culture would be available in Biotech Park besides the provision of technology incubation, training and skill development.
Singh said the work on the two Industrial Biotech Parks, one at Ghatti in Kathua and other in Handwara in north Kashmir jointly funded by union Ministry of Science and Technology and Jammu & Kashmir Science, Technology & Innovation Council was started in February 2019.
CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, (CSIR-IIIM) Jammu has been entrusted with the responsibility of implementation of this project.
Singh said this biotech park will carry out research on biodiversity, medicinal and aromatic plants of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, and it will also promote green category businesses.
He said the Department of Biotechnology has established Biotechnology Parks and Incubators across the country to translate research into products and services by providing necessary infrastructure support.
These Biotechnology Parks offer facilities to Scientists, and Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) for technology incubation, technology demonstration and pilot plant studies for accelerated commercial development of Biotechnology. The Biotech Parks of J&K are among 9 Biotechnology Parks supported by the Department of Biotechnology in various States, he said.
He said Biotechnology has made significant impact on the socio-economic developments worldwide with contributions in various sectors of biotechnology such as health care, agriculture, process industry, environment and service sectors.
The Indian biotechnology industry is one of the fastest growing knowledge based economies and is expected to play a vital role in shaping India’s economy.
India is uniquely positioned to harness the immense potential that biotechnology offers for transforming all aspects of life globally. The Indian biotech industry is among the top 12 destinations in the world and ranks second in Asia after China, he said.


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