CHANDIGARH: Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Thursday said the startup movement has picked up momentum in the country and led to the creation of over 80,000 startups, whose number was about 350 before 2014.
Singh said that due to a push from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the startup movement has picked up momentum in India.
It has led to the creation of over 80,000 startups whose number was only about 350 before 2014, he said while speaking after inaugurating National Genome Editing and Training Centre (NGETC) at Mohali, Punjab.
The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences also inaugurated a four-day International Conference on Food and Nutritional Security 2023: – iFANS.
Singh said that agri-tech startup has an exclusive potential in India, and the concept needs more awareness by all the stakeholders in the country to become a success.
While saying the startup movement has picked up momentum in India, the minister said this quantum jump in the number of startups must equally and proportionally reflect in agri and biotech as well because this area is yet to be fully explored and taken advantage of by Indian entrepreneurs and youth.
He insisted on creating awareness about lucrative livelihood and income avenues in agri-tech entrepreneurship.
National Genome Editing & Training Centre (NGETC) inaugurated today is a one-roof state-of-the-art facility that will serve as a national platform to cater to the regional needs to adapt different genome editing methods, including CRISPR-Cas mediated genome modification.
“It will also empower young researchers by providing them with training and guidance about its know-how and application in crops. In the current climatic scenario, improving crops for better nutrition and tolerance to the changing environmental condition is a significant challenge.
“Genome editing could be a promising technology that Indian research could adapt to offer the desired tailor-made traits in crops. NABI has shown ability and can expand the genome editing tools to vast arrays of crops, including banana, rice, wheat, tomato, maize and millets,” he said.
The international conference on Food and Nutritional Security (iFANS-2023) is being jointly organised by the National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute (NABI), Centre for Innovative and Applied Bioprocessing (CIAB), National Institute of Plant Biotechnology (NIPB), and International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) at NABI, Mohali.
According to an official statement, the four-day conference will brainstorm how genome editing could enhance the country’s food and nutritional security amid changing climate in the country.
It will have multiple sessions with as many speakers from 15 different countries. They will share their experience through their contribution to plant sciences in the frontier areas of their research.
The conference will bring on new challenges and new ideas and will also work as a stage for fostering new research collaborations between laboratories in different countries.
It envisages bringing together international experts and young researchers in the areas of agriculture, food, nutrition biotechnology and genome editing.
The theme of the conference is pertinent to inspire young students and researchers considering the fact that food and nutrition security is a global demand.
Advanced biotechnology tool, such as genome editing using CRISPR-Cas9, has the potential to achieve these goals in a sustainable manner.
Notably, NABI, under the Department of Biotechnology, is a national institute with a mandate focusing on research activities at the interface of agriculture, food and nutritional biotechnology.
Genome editing is a crucial tool to cause site-specific gene mutations/changes so that important crop traits can be developed.
These mutations have the potential to mimic nature-like mutations and could be target specific in the genome. (PTI)