Scheme launched to train Biotech, Pharma students

VIJAYAWADA: Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation has come up with a new programme to impart skills and knowledge to students of Biotechnology and Pharma wings across the State. The programme has been designed by senior advisors of Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and Biotechnology department, Government of India, along with Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT).

Addressing a press conference on Friday, M Shankar Prasad, Convener of Task force committee on Biotechnology and Pharma Industry said that AP has to become a destination hub for biotechnology and pharma industries in the coming three years. “After a thorough research with senior advisors across the country, we have come to a decision to form pharma and biotechnology clusters in the State to turn AP into a hot destination for those fields.

For that, we will focus on improving skills of the students to build highly qualified manpower. Similarly, we will focus on academics and industry experts.” He further said that the industry requires 80,000 highly skilled professionals and 3 lakh semi skilled labour in the next 3-5 years. The new programme which is being designed will create highly skilled professionals for the industry. “In the first phase, around 400 selected people would be trained at IICT for six months. Industry experts will take 150 hrs theory classes and 120 hrs practical classes at IICT campus itself. Though the course costs over `1.25 lakh in the market, we are offering it for `40,000 only,” added Prasad.

The candidates for this course will be shortlisted through an entrance examination. Students studying B.Tech, Biotechnology, B. Pharmacy, M Pharmacy, MSc Chemistry are eligible to apply for this course. The officials are planning to complete the selection process by September 15 and start classes by September end.

D Sengupta, Director General of CSIR said,“We are planning to develop laboratories in AP for extensive research.Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Kadapa,Rajahmundry have a lot of scope for development of pharma and biotechnology sectors. We are planning to teach seaweed cultivation to fishermen  in coastal regions like Srikakulam,Visakhapatnam  and Vizianagaram.”

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