On the first day of the Monsoon session, Rajya Sabha today passed a bill providing for setting up a regional centre for Biotechnology, which will act as a mentor institution and focus on training of skilled manpower as well as work on research and development.
Lok Sabha had passed the bill in April this year.
The government through an executive order in April 2009 had established the Regional Centre for Biotechnology Training and Education at Faridabad. Now with approval from Parliament, the institute would be able give Masters and Phd degrees, just like the Indian Institute of Science (IISc).
Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Minister Harsh Vardhan today introduced the Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2016 in the Upper House and within half an hour, it was passed by voice vote.
The bill provides for establishing a regional biotechnology centre that will work on education, training and research, under the auspices of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in the National Capital Region and declare it to be an institution of national importance, he said introducing the bill.
“This centre will take up research and innovation as well as impart education and training in new areas of biotechnology at the interface of multiple disciplines of science creating a hub of technology expertise,” Harsh Vardhan added.
Bio-technology is a new and growing field with immense potential for societal benefit and economic transformation. It has been considered as a powerful enabling technology that can revolutionise agriculture, healthcare, industrial processing and environmental sustainability, the Minister said.
Participating in the brief debate, S C Mishra (BSP) asked the Minister to specify whether the government will follow the reservation policy while making appointments in this institute.
Harsh Vardhan said there is a mandate by Parliament on such institutions which will be followed.
To this some members from the BSP, Congress, DMK and TMC demanded that the Minister should clarify the government’s stand on reservations on appointments on this issue.
Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien intervened and said that Harsh Vardhan has already said that the institution will be run as per the rules.
But the members demanded further clarification, to which the Minister said reservation policy will be followed as per the prescribed rules.
During a short discussion on the Bill, N K Swain (BJD) said similar institutions should be opened in other parts of the country.
Derek O’ Brien (TMC) claimed that the government and Congress are talking among themselves on various issues and other parties are being left out.
To this, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi quipped: “We are not doing anything chori chori chupke chupke (quietly).”