Kapil Sibal wants biotech to trigger another green revoln

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Mumbai, Feb 15 (UNI) Union Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal today urgea the biotech sector in the country to trigger another Green Revolution.

''The first Green Revolution has become a grave revolution and the country needs biotechnology to find alternate routes, including biomarkers, to increase agricultural productivity which has touched an all time low,'' he said, while inaugurating a bio-pharma development summit here today.

The solution to the woes in the agricultural sector could be found only through the biotechnology route, Mr Sibal Stressed.

Fresh from a visit to Australia, the minister was keen that the Foreign Direct Investment for educational institutions should be allowed so that a number of leading academic institutions could set shop within the country to give a fillip to higher education.

''There is no need for us to send our students to other countries, when we can allow these institutions to come to India and educate an increasing number of students'', he added.

Referring to the pharmaceutical sector, he said that there was need for Indian Companies to rise to the occasion and capture the opportunities at global level. A number of multinationals were coming to the country to tap the talent pool available here.

Assuring all help to promote the sector, including concessions to the research and development centres, he said that the time was not far away when Indian pharmaceutical giants could acquire big pharma companies outside.

He called for greater cooperation from the private sector in research and development activities.

Ranbaxy Laboratories Managing Director Malvinder Mohan Singh, speaking about the future of the industry, said that there was need for the Indian pharmaceutical companies to cooperate and collaborate instead of competing with each other, to make the industry in India an unconquerable one. ''When you can collaborate with companies outside the country, why not within,'' he asked and said that there was need for consolidation in the industry which was highly fragmented. Such a move could enable the industry to provide quality drugs at affordable prices to the people, he noted.

He said that his company with hardly 3.5 per cent of the total market share was said to be the number one in the country which had over 2,000 pharmaceutical companies. The company was keen to maintain its prima donna position but raise the share to 7.5 to ten per cent, Mr Singh added.

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