What is Biotechnology Engineering – Introduction
Biotechnology is a field that has a wide scope and offers ample opportunities in research and engineering. Biotechnology is the amalgamation of biology and technology. It is the use of a living organism or their biological system to make advances in the field of technology and then using them in various fields. It plays a major role in the development of minuscule and chemical tools.
Where does the term come from?
The word Biotechnology is derived from the Greek words “Bios” which means “everything to do with life” and “Technikos” which means “human knowledge and skills”. Scientifically, it is the exploitation of biological processes for industrial and other purposes.
It is mainly used in the field of agriculture, medicine, and food science. It aims in producing health and medicinal benefits for humans by using advanced life sciences and living organisms.
Father of Biotechnology
Karoly Ereky is the father of biotechnology. He was born as Karoly Wittmann but later changed his name to Karoly Ereky. He was a Hungarian agricultural engineer. He worked for many food industries and later became the Hungarian Minister of Food. He coined the word “Biotechnology” in the year 1919.
Types of Biotechnology
There are mainly two types of biotechnology:
- Medical Biotechnology
It uses living cells to find efficient ways to maintain human health. The technique produces drugs and chemicals which help in fighting diseases. It has extensive study of DNA which helps in manipulating the genetic makeup of cells so that they are useful for humans.
Examples are vaccines and antibiotics.
- Agricultural Biotechnology
It focuses mainly on modifying plants genetically which helps in increasing the yield of the crop. It also involves the mixing of genes of one plant to another which helps in making the plant more durable and for producing more yield.
Examples are pest-resistant crops and plant and animal breeding.
Applications of Biotechnology
Biotechnology is applied in many fields which are very important for our health and nutrition and to make our daily life better. They are:
- Nutrient Supplementation
- Abiotic Stress Resistance
- Industrial Biotechnology
- Strength Fibres
Scope of Biotechnology
Biotechnology is one of the most emerging fields in today’s education system. It creates technologies and products that help to improve human life. The recent advances in biotechnology have helped to face the most difficult challenges faced by society.
The latest technologies are found to be of great help in fighting diseases, reducing environmental harm, using less and clean energy, and having a safe and clean industrial manufacturing process.
To date, more than 250 health care products and vaccines have been made available to patients which have been found to be effective in diseases that were difficult to treat before. The farmers have benefited a lot from agricultural biotechnology. Biotechnology with its recent advances has helped us to face the difficult challenges of society.
All this shows that the scope of biotechnology as a career option is very promising as every other day there are amazing discoveries, new applications, and innovative products introduced in the market. Biotechnology courses enable the student to contribute to the benefits of society. There are many organizations that make available great resources for freshers in this field.
Best Biotechnology Colleges in India
Biotechnology holds a very important place in the field of technological development. The student who wishes to pursue this course should try to take the degree from the best colleges and universities in India. The top Biotechnology universities and institutes are:
1. Indian Institute of Technology
This institute is considered to be the best college to pursue Biotechnology. All IITs offer this course but IIT Delhi and Kharagpur are the best amongst them. Students can opt for B.Tech and M.Tech in Biochemical Engineering.
2. Delhi Technological University
The department of Biotechnology of Delhi University was founded in the year 2004 and it provides extensive research in different fields of biotechnology. The University offers B.Tech, M.Tech, and Ph.D. courses.
3. National Institute of Technology
There are 31 NIT’s in India that provide this course. One needs to clear JEE with a good percentage. Each NIT has its own training procedure that provides students with top-class knowledge of the subject.
4. Anna University, Chennai
The university focuses mainly in the fields of Biotechnology and Food Technology. The undergraduate courses are Industrial Biotechnology, Food Technology, and Biopharmaceutical technology. The postgraduates courses offered are Biotechnology, Food Technology, Pharmaceutical Technology, Nanoscience, and Computational Biology.
The Ph.D. research has a wide range of subjects like Environmental Biotechnology, Tissue Culture, Drug Discovery, Genomics and Proteomics, and Stem Cell Technology.
5. Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra
This institute offers application-oriented research and development of in-house technologies in various fields of Biotechnology. It has 1 undergraduate program, 4 postgraduate programs, and various options for Ph.D. Extensive research has been done in the field of Genetic Engineering and Cell Biology, Biomedical Instrumentation and Imaging, Plant and Animal Biotechnology, Molecular Biology, etc.
6. Vellore Institute of Technology, Tamil Nadu
The admission to this college is through the VITEE entrance exam. There is extensive research in the field of Microbiology, Medical Genetics, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, and Biomedical Sciences. It has a very strong linkage to many institutions like Central Scientific and Instrument Organization(Chandigarh), Christian Medical College (Vellore), and Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (Delhi).
7. Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai
It is popularly known as UDCT, Mumbai. It is the best PG center in India. There are many research centers on the campus like Center for Green Technology, Center for Energy Bioscience, and DBT-ICT. They have collaborations with many Indian and Foreign Universities.
8. School of Biotechnology, Madurai Kamaraj University
It is the center of excellence in Bioinformatics. Its main focus is on the development of research and manpower. It has excellent infrastructure which helps in carrying out various experiments in genetic engineering and genomics.
9. Shoolini University, Himachal Pradesh
Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences is the 2nd best private university in India. School of Biotechnology and School of Bioengineering, Food Technology and Agriculture are the two schools of Applied Sciences and Biotechnology.
10. Jaypee University
It is the top-ranked private university in India. It has done outstanding research and education in biotech and bioinformatics. Their main research fields are medical biotechnology, food biotechnology, industrial biotechnology, plant biotechnology, and bioinformatics.
Career Opportunities and Jobs Options in Biotechnology
There are many fields where biotechnology is applied. There are a wide variety of jobs from different fields. The main recruiters are:
- Research firms
- Food production firms
- Clinical research firms
- Consultation agencies
- Chemical manufacturers
- Educational institutes
- Fertilizer manufacturers
- Soil biology
- Animal husbandry
Biotechnologists can work as:
- Biotechnology engineer
- Lab technician
- Project manager
- Bioproduction Operators
- Biomanufacturing Specialists
The salary of biotechnology professionals depends on factors like
- Institute from which graduation is done
- Specialization of the candidate
- Domain of expertise
- Job location
Depending on this, the annual salary ranges from Rs.3 to Rs.5 lacs. With the increase in experience, the salary increases exponentially.
Top firms who recruit Biotechnologists
- Dr.Reddy’s Lab
- Cadila Healthcare
- Reliance Life Sciences
The Final Say
Biotechnology is the future of today’s education system. There are magnificent developments seen in this field. Biotechnologists are continuously working hard to make progress in this field. The research tries to explore the unexplored areas for the betterment of humans.
Biotechnology opens doors to many opportunities with many industries and firms that are working towards the betterment of the society. We are waiting for the day when biotechnologists will make a breakthrough drug that will cure all the hazardous diseases. It has a great scope and students should surely pursue this course.