BLiSS REPORT (2013-14) - Establishment of Biotech Labs in Senior Secondary Schools (BLiSS) in North Eastern States of India
27th Co-ordinators meeting to be held in Nainital from 3-5 March, 2016
National Symposium on Bioinformatics was held at University of Jammu on February 2, 2012
Compendium on Bioinformatics publications released during 23rd Co-ordinators meeting
  India has made major strides in Biotechnology and Bioinformatics. The industry growth in these areas is spectacular. The growth can be better if India is able to create high quality human resources and provide industry relevant training. Last few years several private institutions and universities have started Bioinformatics courses and training programs at various levels. The quality of the training given in these institutions and universities is not in the uniform level. This has created two main problems mainly the industry is not getting the desired quality manpower which is affecting their growth in terms of carrying out contract research as well as the development of bioinformatics software tools and generation of IPR. Secondly which is rather equally important is that the young students do not find the job even after they try substantially for such training and thus the disillusionment among students and parents. Therefore, DBT has decided to conduct national level Bioinformatics Certificate Exam to identify quality bioinformaticians. The task is assigned to Bioinformatics Centre, University of Pune. A National Coordination Committee under the Chairmanship of Prof. Ashok Kolaskar was formed with the experts from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Madurai Kamaraj University, Anna University, West Bengal University of Technology, Pondicherry University, Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology, Bangalore; Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; Bose Institute, Calcutta, Department of Biotechnology, University of Pune, etc. The test was designed in three parts. The first part of the test was fundamentals through objective type question paper, second part was to test the knowledge of Bioinformatics through short answers and third part was the practical on the computers. The syllabus was designed by the experts and kept on the web at least four months in advance with model question paper and all the details as to how the examination would be conducted. The examination was conducted at Pune, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata. In the first year 2006, not a single student could get in the first paper more than 50% marks and thus no one qualified out of 314. However, the examinations conducted in the next year 2007, 8 students were qualified and in 2008, 12 candidates have been qualified. The trend shows BINC pass percentage increases year wise and with this progress we can achieve generation of enough number of Bioinformatics qualified personal in the country to minimize the present gap of skilled human resource to work on hard core Bioinformatics problems. To popularize this scheme the DBT is also offering cash prizes for the toppers of BINC and fellowships similar to NET and GATE for the all BINC qualified candidates to facilitate pursuing PhD in this field.

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