UNESCO's Regional Centre for Biotechnology to come up at Faridabad

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New Delhi, Nov 20 (UNI) A Regional Centre of the UNESCO for training and education in Biotechnology will be set up at Faridabad in Haryana to act as the focal point for cooperation in biotechnology among the member countries of the UNESCO in the Asian region.

A meeting of the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, today gave its approval for the establishment of the centre which will be a category-II institution of UNESCO with a revised budget of Rs 99.55 crore.

"The Centre will be a regional hub for interdisciplinary education and training in biotechnology with emphasis on novel education programmes relevant to industry, including bio-drug discovery science, nano-science and medicine, imaging techniques, designer crops, bioengineering and bio materials, intellectual property, technology transfer and regulation to fulfill and overcome the acute shortage of skilled human resources in India," Mr Prithviraj Chavan, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, told mediapersons.

He said the Centre would be governed by a Board of Governors with representations from India, UNESCO and its member countries.

"Collaboration with UNESCO will ensure gateways to international institutions such as European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB) and usher in skill acquisition in the global context," Mr Chavan said.

The centre would be the first inter-disciplinary institution in life sciences and biotechnology in India with unique international character to offer novel educational and training courses in the interdisciplinary and related areas of biotechnology.

Mr Chavan said it would also be a place of designing of new and novel programmes for education and training which could be then assimilated by the existing unversities in India and the region.

UNI SH PK HT1417

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