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Biological Research Regulatory Approval Portal

  • 23 May 2022
  • 7 min read

For Prelims: Government Policies & Interventions, Portal BioRRAP, GDP

For Mains: Governance, Government Policies & Interventions, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Employment, India's Status Biological Fields, Startup Growth Scenario in India

Why in News?

In keeping with the spirit of "One Nation, One Portal", the Union Minister recently launched a Single National Portal for Biotech researchers and Start-ups, i.e., Biological Research Regulatory Approval Portal (BioRRAP).

  • Biotechnology has fast emerged as an academic and livelihood avenue for youngsters in India.

What is the Startup Growth Scenario in India?

  • India is a hotspot for startups. In 2021 alone, Indian startups have raised more than $23 billion, spread over 1,000+ deals, with 33 startups entering the coveted unicorn club. So far, the year 2022 has added 13 more startups to the unicorn club.
    • After the United States (US) and China, India has emerged as the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem.
      • Currently, India is witnessing rapid growth in the number of startups. According to the India Venture Capital Report 2021 published by Bain and Company, the number of cumulative start-ups has grown at a CAGR of 17% since 2012 and crossed 1,12,000.
  • As of 2021, India’s biotech industry clocks in about US$ 12 billion in annual revenue.

What is the Significance of Biological Research Regulatory Approval Portal?

  • A Gateway for Researchers: The portal will serve as a gateway and will help researchers to see the stage of approval of their applications for regulatory clearances and to see preliminary information on all the research work being undertaken by the particular researcher and/or organization.
  • Transparency & Accountability: This portal will strengthen interdepartmental synergies and bring accountability, transparency, and efficacy in the functioning of agencies regulating various aspects of biological research and issuing permission.
  • BioRRAP ID: To provide more credibility and recognition to such biological research, the Government has developed a web system under which each research, requiring regulatory oversight, will be identified by a unique ID called “BioRRAP ID”.
    • Using this BioRRAP Id, a further submission process to respective regulatory agencies has to be initiated based on the research application.
  • Ease of Doing Research: This unique portal of DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) is a step towards Ease of Doing Science and Scientific research and Ease of Start-ups in the Country.
    • There is also a need to link the applications submitted to various regulatory agencies for approval so that the status of the application may be seen in one place.
  • To Collect Information: This portal will not only help in understanding scientific strength and expertise but also in the formulation of enabling policies to garner the fruits of scientific research.

What is India’s Status in Biological Fields Researches?

  • India is among the top 12 destinations for biotechnology globally and the 3rd largest biotechnology destination in the Asia Pacific region.
    • At present, the industry comprises over 2,700 biotech start-ups and more than 2,500 biotech companies are present in India.
  • Other than biotechnology, biological work related to biodiversity, the latest methods of conservation and protection of flora and fauna, forest and wildlife, bio-survey, and bio-utilization of biological resources are also gaining momentum in India due to the effect of climate change on them.
    • Research in the various biological fields is continuously expanding its vista in India supported by grants from the various public and private sectors.
  • India will be recognized as a Global Bio-manufacturing Hub by 2025 and will figure among the top 5 countries of the world.
    • By 2025, the contribution of the Indian biotechnology industry in the global biotechnology market is expected to grow to 19% from 3% in 2017.
    • The Bio Economy’s contribution to the national GDP (Gross Domestic Product) has also grown steadily in the past years.
      • While the Bio-Economy contributed to 1.7% of the GDP in 2017, this share has grown to 2.7% in 2020.
      • The Indian bioeconomy grew from US$ 62.5 billion in 2019 to US$ 70.2 billion in 2020 at a growth rate of 12.3%.
    • India will touch new heights after 25 years of Bio-economy journey in the Centenary year of 2047.

What is Bio Economy?

  • The concept of Bioeconomy was started by USA, Canada, and European Union (EU) and Australia to boost the economy by using bio-resources.
  • The term 'bioeconomy' refers to the production of renewable biological resources and the conservation of these resources and waste streams into value added products, such as food, feed, bio-based products and bioenergy.

Civil Services Examination, Previous Year’s Questions (PYQs)

Q. What does venture capital mean? (2014)

(A) A short-term capital provided to industries
(B) A long-term start-up capital provided to new entrepreneurs
(C) Funds provided to industries at times of incurring losses
(D) Funds provided for replacement and renovation of industries

Ans: (B)

Exp:

  • Venture capital is a form of fund for a new or growing business. It usually comes from venture capital firms that specialize in building high-risk financial portfolios.
  • With venture capital, the venture capital firm gives funding to the startup company in exchange for equity in the startup.
  • The people who invest this money are called venture capitalists (VCs). Venture capital investment is also referred to as risk capital or patient risk capital, as it includes the risk of losing the money if the venture does not succeed and takes a medium to long term period for the investments to fructify.
  • Therefore, option B is the correct answer.

Source: PIB

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