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Centre to invest more in biotechnology: Chidambaram

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Bangalore, Apr 17 (UNI) Assuring that the Centre will accord importance to Biotechnology on the lines of Information Technology, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram today called upon the private sector to focus on Research and Development to produce drugs at an affordable rate for the weaker sections of society.

Inaugurating Biocon Pharmaceuticals, India's largest multi-product Biologics facility at 'Biocon Park', a joint venture project of the country's top biological firm Biocon and Cuba's Centre of Molecular Immunology here, he said the Centre would invest more in the biotechnology sector to sustain its growth and take it to greater heights.

Mr Chidambaram said the country had reasonable talent and capacity to meet the challenges and the Centre was ready to invest any amount of money in pursuit of knowledge and excellence.

He said the Centre was awaiting a report of the 'Knowledge Commission', set up under the leadership of Sam Pitroda to make more investments in the fields of IT and BT. The Centre had released over Rs 100 crore to the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and made a similar gesture to the Punjab University of Agriculture Sciences and the universities of Kolkata, Mumbai and Madras, which were celebrating its 150th anniversary, to conduct research on Nano technology, he recalled.

Commending the state-of-the-art R and D Facility built by Biocon and the Cuban institute to develop a vaccine for cancer, the Minister said Cuba and India were both developing countries and had always strived for mutual cooperation.

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