Monday, February 12, 2007

When India is having trouble finding qualified people, we're all in trouble...

Noted scientist Dr. K Muniyappa has regretted that though the number of colleges offering biotechnology degrees in the country has grown by leaps and bounds during the last some years, the quality of the education imparted in these colleges is a subject for deep concern.

"The Indian biotechnology sector is facing an acute shortage of trained manpower and there is a lack of initiative for development of competent human resources," he said. There is an urgent need for the Union government to earmark a portion of the budget towards quality training of manpower in biotechnology.

The observation by the research institutes and the industry is that the present knowledge among biotech graduates makes them unemployable. In the post-graduate sector, many of the candidates are even unfit for on-the-job training.

"With the growing popularity of biotechnology among the students, there has been a spurt in the number of colleges offering biotechnology degrees, but the quality of training offered is a question," Dr Muniyappa, professor and chairman, department of biochemistry, Indian Institute of Science told Pharmabiz. "

Graduate students contribute the most, if not all to our research output in many disciplines. In India, the emphasis is on training rather than research productivity. This has led pharma-biotech sector to insist for candidates who have either studied or worked abroad only because of the quality of personnel in India are just not employable," Dr Muniyappa, who is also the founding coordinator, National DBT Post-doctoral Programme in Biotechnology and Lifesciences, added.

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