DBT, ICAR sign MoU for cooperation in agricultural biotechnology research and education

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The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to increase emphasis on multi-disciplinary research and development activities and nurturing innovations in agricultural biotechnology research and education. The Department of Biotechnology has undertaken several activities and programs to promote Biotechnology Research & Development in the areas of agriculture biotechnology.

The MoU between DBT and ICAR will be implemented with the aim to collaborate with one another in mutually agreed-upon research programmes in the areas of agricultural biotechnology, funding of projects, policy issues, regulatory aspects, and other specified areas of National interest.

Specific objectives of the agreement :

• To plan and implement jointly the mutually agreed major National programmes through joint funding and sharing of resources in the priorities areas of agricultural biotechnology.

• To form a common think tank of experts from ICAR and DBT and others to formulate policies related to:

 Transgenic crops, animals, fish and biological agents along with trait prioritisation of traits.

– Strategies to employ the emerging areas of biotechnology tools, such as, genome editing, synthetic biology and nano-biotechnology in agriculture.

 Harmonise the laws governing bio-diversity, bio-safety, patents protection and food safety.

 Communication and public engagement in agricultural biotechnology.

 Modalities of public-private partnerships.

The MoU has been signed for mutual collaboration to explore the possibility of cooperation, convergence and synergy to promote and accelerate the progress of research and training in various disciplines of agricultural biotechnology between ICAR and DBT. Under the agreement, five to ten focused programmes, both short, medium and long term will be developed and implemented.