What is Biotechnology?
Biotechnology is the application of scientific and engineering methods to biological processes, organisms and systems for making and modifying products. The growing list of biotechnology products includes medicines, medical devices, and diagnostics, as well as more-resilient crops, bio-fertilisers, biofuels, biomaterials such as plastics and fibres, and pollution control agents. Biotechnologists are often employed to scale up bio processes from the laboratory scale to the manufacturing scale. They are also required to deal with legal issues such as patents and government regulations. An engineering course in biotechnology focuses on adaptation and application of biological processes for commercial and industrial use. It is a inter-disciplinary program that combines the fields of plant and animal physiology, genetics, cellular biology, molecular biology, and microbiology with chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering, information processing, computing and relevant legal aspects.
How to Pursue the Course?
To do a B.Tech. in Biotechnology, a minimum 50% in math, physics and chemistry is required in class 12th. In some cases, the student needs to have studied biology in addition or as an option to math. And then students can write engineering entrance exams at the national and state level. The admission will depend on the rank scored in the exam. Some of such exams are IITJEE (for IITs), JEE Mains (for NITs), VITEEE, Manipal OET, SRM EE, GGS IP CET, EAMCET among others.
Some Top Colleges:
Some of the institutes providing Biotech Engineering are the IITs at Roorkee and Guwahati; some of the NITs; BIT Mesra; PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore; Sastra University, Thanjavur; Punjab Technical University, Jallandhar; Manipal Institute of Technology; Amity University, Noida; VIT University, Vellore; SRM University, Chennai; NIIT University, Neemrana; Apeejay Stya University, Gurgaon; R V College of Engineering, Bangalore and many more.
The field of Biotechnology has been registering a tremendous growth in past few years. This is because modern biotechnology provides breakthrough products and technologies to combat debilitating and rare diseases, reduce our environmental footprint, feed the hungry, use less and cleaner energy, and have safer, cleaner and more efficient industrial manufacturing processes. As a result, there is demand for biotechnology engineers across a spectrum of sectors such as pharmaceuticals, food processing, cosmetics, agriculture, animal husbandry, pollution control, energy etc. in the country. In addition, there are opportunities in government research lab and the many foreign biotechnology companies who are now seeking to create their research centers in India.
Normally, Biotech Engineers bag a package of 2 to 3 lakhs per annum and some around 5 lakhs. The difference is due to the reputation of college. And with time, as one gains experience and industry specialisation, the salary goes up substantially. There are also a lot of opportunities to work abroad where the salaries are several times higher.