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BIO TECHNOLOGY - Document of Intent
-The Genome State
People must be enabled to take the fullest possible advantage of their natural, cultural and knowledge heritage. I believe Biotechnology can play a very important role in ensuring this for the people of Chhattisgarh, who are the custodians of an exceptionally rich heritage.
Biotechnology, or BT, offers hope for farmers, who are perpetually wrestling with reducing input costs, eliminating crop failure and eliminating damage to health and environment. BT offers promise of greater yields, newer vaccines, and several other benefits intimate to livelihoods. Through bio-remedies we can secure our pristine heritage one of the richest and least spoilt biospheres in the world while ensuring industrial growth. The age-old wisdom of our traditional healing and other knowledge systems and nutritional habits can reach a larger number of our people more effectively.
How will this happen in Chhattisgarh? This will happen through the right policies and the right institutions and infrastructure and, above all, through an alliance between the State, the leaders in Biotechnology and the entrepreneurs in this sector. We have formulated our vision in this document in which we seek to build on our strengths while seeking a win-win alliance with the technology leaders and entrepreneurial investors.
We are proud to present Chhattisgarh as The Genome State. Chhattisgarh, particularly Bastar, along with the Himalayas in the north and the Western Ghats is one of the three richest biospheres in India. Our State is endowed with about 22 varied forest types. We have more species of wild paddy than anywhere. We are extremely rich in aromatic plants used in herbal medicine. We have huge tracts of land even today where chemicals or GMOs have not been used. We have thousands of square kilometres of virgin biosphere reserves where primordial tribes flourish as they have for Šons. Our communities have established traditional knowledge systems of self-healing, nutrition and bio-produce based on bio-wealth.
We are in the midst of a community led initiative (Gaon Dahar Chalav - On To Villages) for the preparation of Peoples Reports (Jan Rapats) containing village-wise databases for all our 20,000 odd villages. We are also creating farmer-wise computerised databases for all our two million farmers. Both databases will be ready before year-end. We are creating a Statewide GIS, which will also help our communities in identifying the spread of their bio-wealth and its beneficial effects. We have drafted a detailed Biodiversity Plan, which has to go before our Biodiversity Board. We have established protected preserves 3 National Parks and 11 sanctuaries covering a forest area of 6471 sq km corresponding to one-twentieth of the total area under forests in Chhattisgarh. We follow a management approach of Total Ecosystems Preservation in the core areas, and eco-development for conservation in the buffer zones. We plan to create Bio Parks for ex situ conservation and Biotech Parks for state-of-the-art infrastructure. The Biotechnology Departments of our Universities at Raipur and Bilaspur, as well as our Agriculture University are involved in research and contribute to our all round efforts. We welcome leading institutions of technological excellence to take advantage of our unique Private University Act, 2002. We intend to leverage synergies in the Knowledge Sector by combining our efforts in BT, IT and related Higher Education sectors.
These are our plans. We intend to make a realistic yet ambitious beginning in Biotechnology. And, I commit our enterprise in partnering likeminded stakeholders for garnering Bio-benefits for Chhattisgarh The Genome State.
WE AIM TO
enable the Communities of Chhattisgarh, who are the custodians of our bio-resource heritage, to get the fullest possible advantage of their natural, bio-cultural and bio-knowledge heritage in a sustainable manner;
create an environment where benefits of bio-resources are not dissipated, but available to their natural custodians, whether individually or as a community, and to involve in this enterprise all stakeholders, including knowledge professionals, entrepreneurs and technology leaders;
contribute 5% of the Biotechnology output of India by 2012;
achieve substantial productivity gains and substantial reduction of risks to livelihoods and environment in sectors relating to agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fisheries;
institutionalise major capabilities in Biotechnology research and development in the Indigenous Knowledge Systems and their applications in furthering Socio-economic growth;
take stock of the States biodiversity and bio-practices in all 20,000 odd villages by 2003 and to have the same organised into a GIS-supported database and Decision Support System;
establish Centres of Excellence in Biotechnology at all our Universities as well as in Private Universities that may come up in this sector;
strengthen biotechnology by increasing professionals in this sector through the higher education system and through attracting individual professionals and enterprises employing them to the State through policy initiatives and State-of-the-art infrastructure;
leverage convergence between BT, IT and Higher Education systems through programmes directed at synergistic areas like bioinformatics and R&D in higher education institutions.
CHiPS the CHhattisgarh infotech Promotion Society ensures top-of-the-board institutionalised coordination and implementation of States plans for enabling Bio-benefits. A Registered Society promoted by the State Government, it acts as the nodal agency and prime mover for propelling Biotechnology (including Bioinformatics) and Information Technology growth in Chhattisgarh.
The Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh heads the High Powered Governing Council of CHiPS. The Council includes eminent persons from Knowledge and Technology sectors, representatives from Government of India and national agencies, and key State Government Departments.
Bio-geographically, India is situated at the tri-junction of three realms namely, Afro-tropical, Indo-Malayan and PalŠo-Arctic. This assemblage of three distinct realms makes the country rich and unique in biological diversity. Chhattisgarh is situated in the Deccan biogeography; and therefore, houses an important part of Indias biodiversity. What is more conspicuous is that the State is significantly rich in endemism with respect to many plants of medicinal importance. Our forests fall under two major types the Tropical Moist Deciduous and the Tropical Dry Deciduous and the State is endowed with a range of 22 forest sub-types. Bio-geographically, Chhattisgarh falls in the Deccan bio-region comprising representative fauna of Central India. We are proud to be home to numerous rare and endangered wildlife species including the Wild Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) our State Animal, which is the purest wild strain of buffalo in the world and, the Hill Mynah (Gracula religiosa), declared as our State Bird. There is a large variety in the genetic composition within species as well. Chhattisgarh is extremely rich in native wild varieties of paddy, silkworms and aromatic herbal plants as well as in mixed tropical deciduous forest tree species. Approximately, 44% of the State is under forests.
We are in the process of inventorying this bio-resource and are creating a GIS database and Decision Support System, currently estimated for completion by 2003.
We have established protected preserves 3 National Parks and 11 sanctuaries covering a forest area of 6471 sq km corresponding to one-fourth of the total area under forests in Chhattisgarh. We follow a management approach of Total Ecosystems Preservation in the core areas, and eco-development for conservation in the buffer zones. Similarly, the 11 sanctuaries distributed across the State represent between them a majority of forest eco-systems of the region.
BIO PARKS & BIOTECH PARKS
We envisage setting up a network of Bio Parks & Biotech Parks in Chhattisgarh. Leveraging on the natural resource endowments, we plan to create ex situ Bio Parks in identified areas. High quality infrastructure would be provided at competitive rates along with relevant integrated services to biotech manufacturing units in Biotech Parks. Joint Venture and wholly Private initiatives in investments are welcome in Chhattisgarh. Several public good services such as databases on Human Resources availability, networking with academic centres of research and industry, One-stop-Services would be provided by the Government of Chhattisgarh.
The focus of these Parks would be on Biotechnology industries of relevance to our agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, forestry and environment protection in the different agro-climatic zones. Agri-biotechnology would have rice research, vegetables and tubers, etc. as the thrust areas. We would also encourage the development of sericulture and oilseeds as well as fisheries.
THE PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES (ESTABLISHMENT & REGULATION) ACT
Human Resources are critical to any knowledge-driven industry such as that in Biotechnology. Chhattisgarh has two public Universities in the conventional mode at Raipur and Bilaspur as well as an internationally renowned Agriculture University at Raipur. All three Universities offer Post Graduate Programmes in Biotechnology. The Indira Gandhi Agriculture University has ongoing collaboration with institutions of repute such as BARC (Bhabha Atomic Research Centre), SAC (Space Application Centre), ICRISAT (International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics), ICGEB (International Centre for Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology), and IRRI (International Rice Research Institute), among others. While we continue to encourage activities of teaching, research and development in Biotechnology in the public university system, we are also aware of the limits to public funding both in terms of the quantum as well as the range. We believe that public-private partnership and encouragement to private initiative is the key to attracting investments required for development of human resources in the field of Biotechnology as in the other frontiers of knowledge.
We are committed to encourage the setting up of world-class Centres of Excellence for teaching, research and development in Biotechnology; and, towards this end a legal frame has been put in place in the form of a State Legislation called the Chhattisgarh Private University (Establishment and Regulation) Act, 2002. Under the provisions of the Act, the Government encourages establishment of Private Universities by offering various concessions such as for land etc. The private promoters of such institutions can have returns on investments too.
The State would strive for excellence in Human Resources Development by leveraging the existing national programmes of the Central Government at the Post Graduate, Post Doctoral levels as well as through multiplying the numbers in Biotechnology Assistantships, Training, Visiting Fellowships etc. Popularisation of Biotechnology among the masses would be yet another initiative at the State level. A robust strategy for HRD is being worked out and a Task Force of eminent academics, researchers and representatives of the Biotechnology industry would vet it before adoption under the Biotechnology Policy of the State.
Retooling and reorienting the personnel already working in field Biotechnology related areas of knowledge and industry is also among our priorities. Short-term programmes in Training would be sponsored with emphasis on hands-on exposure in emerging areas of focus for the personnel.
Educational institutions would be encouraged to promote short duration (8-12 weeks) and long duration (12 months) training modules for meeting the requirement of a large work force of trained technicians for the Biotechnology industry in Chhattisgarh. We envisage such training modules to be imparted by a large number of private training institutions outside of the organised University system whether public or private much on the lines of the training industry in the field of Information Technology; with the role of the Government being that of an agent for setting standards.
INDUSTRY-PARTNERED ACADEMIC PROGRAMMES
The current emphasis on campus-based stand-alone teaching by the University system in the State would be modified and a programme of collaboration with industries in the field of Biotechnology would be worked out as part of the strategy for Human Resources Development in this sector. Programmes at Post Graduate levels would be encouraged.
Biotechnology publications, popular lecture by experts of eminence, expositions, seminars, symposia, conferences and other forms of media efforts would be mounted to popularise the benefits and use of Biotechnology so as to demystify technology as well as to satisfy misplaced apprehensions. At the same time, communities in Chhattisgarh would be sensitised in valuing traditional domain knowledge thus enabling them to leverage such knowledge vis-Ó-vis those outside the communities.
INVESTOR FACILITATION SERVICES
We have recently brought into force, a new legislation for providing One-Stop investor facilitation services. Chhattisgarh Industrial Investment Promotion Act, 2002 provides for a High Powered State Investment Promotion Board, which has been mandated to provide services within specific time-frames. The Board exercises the powers of various Government agencies and is competent to deal with any or all of the concerns of investors in Chhattisgarh. For investors intending to invest in Biotechnology industries in Chhattisgarh services with rights of facilities granted under a statute would crash project deployment.
INCENTIVES TO BIOTECHNOLOGY INDUSTRIES
Biotechnology occupies a pride of place in the industrial promotion Policy of the State, details of the various incentives available to industries in Chhattisgarh are downloadable from our website www.chhattisgarh.nic.in and a linked site www.csidcindia.com.
Typically, the set of incentives in our Industrial Policy relate to attractive power tariffs, permission for captive power units, exemptions in entry taxes, freedom in locating non-polluting industries such as those in Biotechnology, package deals in mega projects, easy availability and allocation of land, exemptions from payment of electricity duties in respect of captive generating units up to 150 KVA, infrastructure support, incentives for ISO certifications and other global standards, preferential purchases for the State Government from industries located in Chhattisgarh, incentives specially available to industrially backward areas, special incentives available to women entrepreneurs and units with women work force.
The State Government treats Policy Stability as a guiding principle. It keeps out of any area where private initiative is forthcoming, and focuses only on governance issues. Private investment is encouraged in all areas of Biotechnology.
Biotechnology industries located in rural areas are also eligible for all incentives and exemptions available to rural industries in Chhattisgarh. Under the States Industrial Policy, Biotechnology industries have been treated as part of a sunrise sector along with IT industries; and the States policy is to promote technology and knowledge industries in the sunrise sector at par with each other. More special features are being added.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
Protection of Intellectual Property Rights is the key to spurring research and innovative efforts in a Knowledge Society. The State Government of Chhattisgarh is committed to promote and, where required, create awareness in respecting IPR. It would assist, where needed, in accessing patent related databases and patent search facilities to local entrepreneurs, research personnel etc.
Striving to be a Knowledge State
276, Mantralaya, DKS Bhawan
Raipur 492 001
Phone: 91 (771) 680576 / 666205
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