Friday, September 9, 2016

Skill Development in Biotechnology

Skill India campaign launched by honorable Prime Minister of India on 15th July 2015 with an aim to train rural and urban people in India in different skills. The said system not only shapes the inner talent but also provide jobs to the large population. Under this campaign, biotechnology can play a major role to create opportunities to provide people to people services in different areas. This will helps them to generate revenue from their self-sustainable developed skill. The short term training and certification courses may be provided or developed for the people as per the local needs and demands, in the nearby university/institution/government laboratories/industries. The training and certification courses for National Skill Development Mission under biotechnology may be broadly categorised into Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3. 
  • Stage 1: Training and certification courses for the period 15 days to 1 month: Simple well established techniques only needs little exposer to the students and farmers.
  • Stage 2: Training and certification courses for the period 1 month to 6 months: Required some basic infrastructure.
  • Stage 3. Training and certification courses for the period of 1 year: Handing of modern biotechnology tools.

A. Agricultural biotechnology: (Stage 1)
  • Tissue culture techniques to generate disease free plantlets: It is an important area of biotechnology has played a significant role in producing disease free planting materials of vegetative propagated crops in horticulture industries. The current progress of the industry is encouraging but the expected rapid growth has not taken place mainly because of low awareness level amongst the people about application of the technology.
  • Bio-fertilizer for organic farming: In organic farming, crop production that involves without using pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics and growth hormones. There is a huge demand for the organic products in foreign countries as well as metros of India. To supply nitrogen source for such cultivation techniques is well-established. The manpower may be trained in cultivation of Rhizobium (Symbiotic), Azetobactor (Non-Symbiotic) which have commercial importance in this filed.
  • Vermicomposting techniques for organic farming: The tremendous increase in population, urbanization, industrialization and agricultural production results in accumulation quantities of solid wastes. This has created serious problem in the environment. In order to dispose this waste safely it should be converted effectively. This is achieved by bio-composting and vermicomposting of farm, urban and agro-industrial waste. It is being increasing realized that composting is an environment friendly process, convert wide variety of wastes into valuable agricultural inputs.
  •  Biogas production techniques: Biogas can be produced from raw materials such as agricultural waste, manure, municipal waste, plant material, sewage, green waste or food waste.
  • Different food processing techniques: Chemical and Physical Techniques like;

a)  The addition of some chemicals inhibits microbial growth in foods E.g. Salt, sugars, wood smoke and some spices 
b)    By pH control E.g. High acid (3.7) : apples, lemons, Acid (3.7 to 4.6) : oranges, tomatoes; Medium Acid (4.6 to 5.3) : bread, cheese, carrots, medium acid (4.6 to 5.3) : bread, cheese, carrots
c)    Sterilization, Pasteurization, Blanching, Microwaving, Frying, Refrigeration, Freezing
  • Mushrooms Cultivation: The mushroom can be produced on the farm production residual. There is huge demand of mushroom in market. Mushroom in highly nutritive and digestive in nature. Mostly Oyster mushroom and white button mushroom has high demand in market. Both can be processed in different final product.
  • Banana Fiber Extraction: Banana offers a food source of the fiber with excellent commercial value. Fiber is extracted from the pseudo stems of the Banana after the harvest. Banana fiber is a major alternative to pulp industry. Raw material is freely available. The Banana fiber creates a lot of employment opportunities in urban and rural sectors.

B. Enzyme and fermentation technology (Stage 2)
  • Production of commercially important enzymes like
b Amylase
Barley, Soya bean
Production of Beer and alcohols
Meat tenderiser, tanning, molecular biology, medical
Meat tenderiser, Baking, medicine
  • Citric acid production: It is the most important organic acid produced in tonnage and is extensively used in food and pharmaceutical industries. It is produced mainly by submerged fermentation using Aspergillus niger or Candida sp. from different sources of carbohydrates, such as molasses and starch based media.
  • Essential oils extraction from different plants and flowers.
  • Using bacteria culture to make cheese and yoghurt.
  • Production of industrially important microorganisms like yeast, Spirulina etc.

C. Modern Biotechnology Tools:

In the past few decades, the modern biotechnology boosted up the research in the field of agriculture, medical, animal and environmental science. To generate the precise data lots of sophisticated Modern Biotechnology Tools were also invented to work precisely, for example: FPLC, HPLC, Mass Spectrophotometer, Isothermal calorimeter, RT-PCR, PCR, X-ray Crystallography, and Sequencers etc.  The demand of skilled manpower in this field is always in demand as it will help industries and labs in diagnosis, production and in research areas.

The above training and certification courses may be started at the existing institutions and the industries pioneer in their fields. A Skill Development Centre (SDC) may also be created where the interested students and farmers may get full-fledged A to Z solutions. After successful completion of courses, the centre may provide and link the Skilled Manpower (SM) towards the industries or reframe the plan of business start-up. The SM may provide all the necessary information from SDC to start their commercial prospects for example;
  • Planning to set up suitable business start-up by viewing the local demand of the area.
  • Detailed process of registration of their small scale industries.
  • Possible funding form government resources (Start-up India, Skill Loan scheme, NABARD and State Institute of Rural Development )
  • Obtaining necessary certificates from FSSAI, AGMARK and other agencies for the developed products.
Our honourable Prime Minister has stated that the dream of “Kaushal Bharat, Kushal Bharat” may become true once you let go of the wheel of skilled manpower, a turnaround story may be started and with the time being the SM may be turn into form job seekers to an entrepreneur. 

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