Bioinformatics Shops Could Come Under Policy Scanner

New Delhi: | Updated: Nov 28 2002, 05:30am hrs
The bioinformatics policy, which is expected to be finalised in the first week of December, will address the issue of mushrooming bioinformatics centres all over the country, among other significant issues. As the current trend of setting up shop-like bioinformatics centres is hampering the real growth of the sector, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) is incorporating this issue in the policy paper.

Interestingly, even though bioinformatics is widely believed to have been coined in India more than 15 years ago, a policy for the sector is yet to be framed. But, said DBT director Dr Madan Mohan that the model is already there, only a formal document is being worked out now.

A task force headed by Pune University vice chancellor A S Kolaskar is scheduled to meet on December 9 for the final round of talks on the bioinformatics policy. With bioinformatics increasingly in the limelight, making a policy document has become necessary for the department, it is felt.

Even as comments are still pouring in from all accredited bioinformatics centres and other experts, the policy will work out steps to restrict the uncontrolled growth of training centres all over the country. A committee has already been constituted to look at government accreditation of centres. Bioinformatics potential in the private sector will also be identified to give accreditation to centres, the DBT official said.

Apart from that, the policy will emphasise on human resource development, research and development (R&D) activities and opportunities for training in the area of bioinformatics.

According to Dr Madhan Mohan, comments and ideas of corporate entities and business chambers such as Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (Ficci) will also be included in the bioinformatics policy. Also, DBT has looked at the bioinformatics norms followed in other countries, so that the Indian policy is comprehensive in nature.