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Indian bioinformatics set to capture 5% of global share

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 28 (UNI) The Indian Bioinformatics sector, which is currently 2.5 per cent of the international market, has the potential to capture 5 per cent of global market share provided the government ushers in necessary changes in its future Biotechnology Policy, according to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

The Paper on 'India's Future Bioinformatics', which has been submitted to the government, states that to capture 5 per cent of the global market the industry would need to grow at a cumulative annual growth rate of 42 per cent.

The total annual manpower required by the industry to achieve a growth rate of 42 per cent would be 6484 professionals in 2008-09 and 26362 professionals in 2012-13.

The industry chamber also estimates that nearly 670 teachers would be required in the formal education sector in 2008-09.

Assuming a very realistic target for all the institutes by 2012-13, requirements for faculty would rise to 2723. There is a huge demand of skilled bioinformatics professionals in this sector, according to the paper.

The Paper also revealed that for a bioinformatics company, which hires 100 people, about 70 per cent of the people have a good understanding of bioinformatics Further, the number of people with informatics resumes has gone up but the quality of these professionals has not been adequate.

Companies on an average have to go through 100 short listed resumes to finally pick one qualified person.

The Chamber Paper appreciates that the Department of Biotechnology initiated the programme on bioinformatics way back in 1986-87 in which it identified bioinformatics as an area of high priority in the 10th Plan period in order to ensure that this sector attained levels demanded in the international arena.

However, the government formulated the bio-informatics policy in 2004-05 to make India competitive in this field in the changing global scenario.

The initiatives and policy directives given in the latest policy have also fallen short of the industry's requirement and therefore institutes like CSIR should be empowered to collectively formulate a new policy which gives huge incentives and subsidises the expenditure that industry incurs for equipment installations so that bioinformatics in the country gains momentum.

ASSOCHAM is of the opinion that pharmaceutical companies which would set the pace of real bioinformatics in and around the country, would have to be given liberal fiscal incentives with long term tax holiday schemes so that they take the lead in making India a global leader in the bioinformatics industry.


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