PM IAS Editorial Analysis

Par Tapi Narmada project:

GS Paper 3: Different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage.


  • PM Modi is slated to kick off the Astol project, which will deliver tap water to 4.50 lakh people living in 174 tribal villages and 1,028 hamlets on the hills of Gujarat’s Valsad district.
  • This is significant because local tribes have been protesting the central government’s Par-Tapi-Narmada river link project.


  • The Par-Tapi-Narmada river link project in south Gujarat was halted because to strong opposition from tribal people in the region’s three districts.

Concerning the Project:

  • The National Perspective Plan of 1980 envisioned this.
  • The project intends to move river water from surplus Western Ghats regions to shortage Saurashtra and Kutch regions.
  • It intends to connect three rivers:
  • Par, which flows through Valsad from Nashik in Maharashtra.
  • Tapi flows from Saputara through Maharashtra and Surat in Gujarat.
  • The Narmada River originates in Madhya Pradesh and flows through Maharashtra, as well as the Bharuch and Narmada districts of Gujarat.


  • The excess water scheduled to be channelled through the estimated Rs 10,211 crore Par-Tapi-Narmada link project is expected to irrigate an area of 2,32,175 hectares, 61,190 ha of which is en route to the link canal.

Why is this project being fought against?

  • According to a NWDA assessment, the projected reservoirs will sink approximately 6065 acres of land area.
  • A total of 61 communities will be affected, with one completely submerged and the other 60 partially underwater.
  • The overall number of affected families would be 2,509, including 98 families affected due to the construction of the Jheri reservoir, Maharashtra’s sole one spanning across six villages.
  • The project would effect approximately 2000 families in Gujarat. Tribals who fear displacement predominate in the districts where the project will be conducted.

Advantages of interlinking:

  1. Enhances water and food security.
  2. Proper utilisation of water.
  3. Boost to agriculture.
  4. Disaster mitigation.
  5. Boost to transportation.

India’s first Biotech Startup Expo 2022

GS Paper – 3 Biotechnology, Indigenization of Technology.

Why in the news?

  • The Prime Minister just launched the Biotech Startup Expo – 2022.
  • It reflects the country’s widespread growth in the biotech sector.

What are the Expo’s main highlights?


  • The Biotech Startup Expo 2022 will serve as a venue for investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, researchers, industry leaders, manufacturers, bio-incubators, regulators, and government officials to network.
  • The expo is being organised by the Department of Biotechnology and the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) to commemorate BIRAC’s tenth anniversary.
  • It will highlight biotechnology applications in a variety of disciplines, including healthcare, agriculture, genomics, clean energy, biopharma, industrial biotechnology, and waste-to-value.
  • ‘Biotech Startup Innovations: Towards AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ is the theme.

What Is Biotechnology and How Does It Work?

  • Biotechnology is a branch of technology that uses biological systems, living creatures, or components of them to develop or produce various goods.
  • Brewing and baking bread are examples of biotechnology processes (the use of yeast (= living organism) to produce the desired output).
  • Traditional biotechnology methods typically use living creatures in their native state (or further improved through breeding), but more current biotechnology will generally include a more advanced alteration of the biological system or organism.
  • Biotechnology is concerned with the large-scale manufacture of biopharmaceuticals and biologicals from genetically modified microorganisms, fungi, plants, and animals.
  • Therapeutics, diagnostics, genetically modified crops for agriculture, processed food, bioremediation, waste management, and energy production are all examples of biotechnology applications.

What is the State of the Biotech Industry?


  • India is one of the top 12 biotechnology destinations in the world, and the third largest biotechnology destination in the Asia Pacific region.
  • In addition, the country is the world’s third-largest producer of recombinant Hepatitis B vaccine and the world’s second-largest producer of BT cotton (genetically modified pest resistant plant cotton).
  • Biopharmaceuticals, BioIndustrial, Bioagriculture, BioIT, and BioServices comprise India’s biotech sector.
  • India has a high expertise in contract manufacturing, research, and clinical trials, and it is home to the most US FDA certified plants outside of the US.


  • The Indian bioeconomy increased by 12.3 percent from USD 62.5 billion in 2019 to USD 70.2 billion in 2020.
  • The Indian biotechnology business, which was worth USD 63 billion in 2019, is predicted to grow to USD 150 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 16.4 percent.
  • The Indian biotechnology industry’s contribution to the global biotechnology market is predicted to increase to 19% by 2025.
  • By 2021, India’s biotech industry will generate approximately USD 12 billion in yearly sales.

Biotechnology’s Potential:

Biotechnology is a multifaceted topic that includes applications in agriculture, pharmaceuticals, scientific discoveries, and so forth. The biotech industry is organised into five key segments:

  • Biopharma
  • Bio-agriculture
  • Bio-services
  • Applications in Biotechnology
  • Bioinformatic

Biotech Startups on the Rise: The sector employs the greatest minds and contributes to the development of generic and affordable medications as one of India’s pioneering achievements in biotechnology.

There are currently around 2,700 biotech start-ups, with the number predicted to reach 10,000 by 2024.

BIRAC’s Role: The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), which was founded under the Department of Biotechnology in 2012, continues to play an important role in the growth of India’s biotech sector.

BIRAC brings together innovators and funders, allowing ideas to become a reality and facilitating technology improvements that enable human growth.

Other Considerations:

  • The biotech business sees India as a potential land of opportunity.
  • A diversified population, diverse climates, a talented workforce, measures to relax corporate restrictions, and a growing market for bio commodities are among these causes.

Associated Difficulties:

  • Because production in the biopharma business is capital intensive, such investments in India have been suboptimal due to restricted access to money, inadequate infrastructure, and a complex and ever-changing regulatory framework.
  • Because biotechnology products and solutions frequently require ethical and regulatory clearance, the process is lengthy, costly, and time-consuming.
  • Furthermore, low scientist pay (in comparison to rich nations) and a lack of institutional research bases have not helped to establish new jobs in biotechnology.
  • In comparison to wealthy economies (such as the United States), biotechnology research in India is heavily subsidised by the government.
  • Unless and until the corporate sector begins to support applied research and collaborates with academic institutions, there will be little innovation in applied and translational biotechnology.

Lack of Innovation: To develop, entrepreneurial, and create technology, the biotechnology sector requires years of experience in the domain, access to labs with advanced instruments, and consistent and long-term funding.

However, India has not done enough to improve the culture of innovation.

What are the Initiatives Involved?

  • Programmes of the UNATI Atal Jai Anusandhan Mission.
  • Incubators and Biotechnology Parks
  • Mission of National Biopharma
  • Initiative ‘UMMID’
  • India’s Genome
  • Project LOTUS HR
  • Biotech-KISAN

The Way Forward

  • Given India’s long history of disease, the country has amassed years of experience and scientific understanding in disease prevention and treatment. Under numerous flagship programmes such as ‘Make in India’ and ‘Start-up India,’ India is aiming to strengthen the biotechnology sector.
  • An increase in the number of biotech incubators would stimulate research and encourage start-up growth, which is crucial for the success of the Indian biotech industry.
  • The favourable placement of biotech hubs will be determined by crucial elements such as R&D competency, market, industry policies, infrastructure, and investments.
  • The establishment of integrated biotech hubs will facilitate FDIs, promote investor trust, increase Indian export potential for quality products, boost in-house capability for import substitution, and foster and support innovations to generate more IP for India.


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