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DBT, ICAR sign MoU for cooperation in agricultural biotechnology research and education

The Department of Biotechnology and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to increase emphasis on multi-disciplinary research and development activities and nurturing innovations in agricultural biotechnology research and education.

Jan 16, 2019 14:25 IST
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The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on January 14, 2019 to increase emphasis on multi-disciplinary research and development activities and nurturing innovations in agricultural biotechnology research and education.

The Department of Biotechnology has undertaken several activities and programs to promote Biotechnology Research & Development in the areas of agriculture biotechnology. On the other hand, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research has been coordinating, guiding and managing research and education in agriculture including horticulture, fisheries and animal sciences in the entire country.

Objective

The MoU between DBT and ICAR will be implemented with the aim to collaborate with one another in mutually agreed-upon research programmes in the areas of agricultural biotechnology, funding of projects, policy issues, regulatory aspects, and other specified areas of National interest.

The specific objectives of the agreement include:

To plan and implement jointly the mutually agreed major National programmes through joint funding and sharing of resources in the priorities areas of agricultural biotechnology.

To form a common think tank of experts from ICAR and DBT and others to formulate policies related to:

- Transgenic crops, animals, fish and biological agents along with trait prioritisation of traits.

- Strategies to employ the emerging areas of biotechnology tools, such as, genome editing, synthetic biology and nano-biotechnology in agriculture.

- Harmonise the laws governing bio-diversity, bio-safety, patents protection and food safety.

- Communication and public engagement in agricultural biotechnology.

- Modalities of public-private partnerships.

To establish national platform and centres for services related to genomics, genotyping, data banking, agriculture bioinformatics, GM food detection, validation of technologies such as vaccines, diagnostics of veterinary and fisheries use, molecular markers in crop and animal breeding.

To formulate and introduce courses and training programmes in the area of IPR, biosafety, biodiversity conservation and germplasm exchange, genomic selection and breeding for faculty and students through appropriate mechanisms.

Research prioritisation with other ministries and foreign collation like Indo-UK SIC, BRICS, African countries and ‘Look East’ programme in relation to agricultural biotechnology.

Other Details

The MoU has been signed for mutual collaboration to explore the possibility of cooperation, convergence and synergy to promote and accelerate the progress of research and training in various disciplines of agricultural biotechnology between ICAR and DBT.

Under the agreement, five to ten focused programmes, both short, medium and long term will be developed and implemented.

The major facilities and technology platforms created by both the agencies will be accessible to the National systems and a joint working group will be constituted to take the partnership forward.

The collaboration also aims to promote agriculture innovations and start-ups, through the well established BIRAC mechanism.

This flagship synergistic approach would be taken-up in mission mode through networking with the elite institutions in the Country.

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