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Old November 18th, 2004, 05:48 AM   #1
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Thumbs up Tech Goes Rural

Tech Goes Rural

The Internet helps near-bankrupt farmers turn their businesses around; milkmen use smartcards while fishermen turn to the Web for a better catch. Though in pockets, infotech is empowering rural India

Rajneesh De
Thursday, September 23, 2004

http://www.dqindia.com/content/top_s.../104092301.asp

Sandeep Tawde had hit rock bottom. His poultry-farming business was on the verge of bankruptcy. There didn't seem much else he could do any more. Might as well go visit the newly opened Internet café in the village. He did, and it changed his life.

Tawde's café visit might well go down in history as one of the most profitable cyber journeys ever made in rural India. What was then an exotic new tool gave him exotic options, and this B.Com graduate decided to make a drastic change in the kind of birds he reared, moving from poultry to emus. The 32-year-old emu farmer has, in the last three years, made profits of Rs 6 lakh, since that life-altering online quest, by selling more than 1,200 birds.

Says Tawde, "I found out a lot about emu farming from various sites and then started on a 60-acre farm with an investment of Rs 2 lakh. Subsequently, I set up an Internet kiosk in my farm, the first in the whole of Baramati, and have been using Net since then to both market my products as well as acquire information on them. I also started pomegranate farming, again after gathering information about it online, and last year even sold about eight to ten tonnes of pomegranate online to a buyer in Taiwan. Now I get online orders for emus too, from places like Saudi Arabia."

The "Net" effect: 60% additional profits compared to offline business because of large export orders; more than 27,000 people visiting his farm following online information; and, most importantly, the formation of a Maharashtra Emu Farmers Association with 48 farmers, who use mail and video conferencing to not only share inputs but also sell abroad as a consortium.

Rural Revolution

Tawde's isn't an isolated success story. The Internet revolution is no more merely a hep topic for discussion at seminars held at swank five-star hotels. It has become something more wondrous-it is now the stuff of mundane life in rural India. The digital revolution, mostly in the form of Internet kiosks, has come home to where the majority of India's people live.

Take Mohan Tambe's story. Tambe is a tomato farmer in Pimple-Jagtap, a sleepy hamlet about 100 km from Pune. Last year, most of his tomato crops were damaged, and despite running from pillar to post, Tambe couldn't find any solution to his problem. Finally, he walked into the Internet kiosk run by the Grameen Information Center (GIC) in association with Krishi Vikas Kendra (KVK) in Baramati. Not only did he post his queries but he also showed photos of his damaged crops online to the KVK experts.

"The response I got helped me save crops worth Rs 10-12,000. Also, the medicine the KVK experts at Baramati recommended cost me only Rs 450, while what other sources hereabouts were recommending would have cost me three times as much," says Tambe.

You need to thank the telecom revolution for this, because other vital basic infrastructure is still entirely lacking in many of these villages. There is no motorable road to Tawde's farm: in Pimple-Jagtap this correspondent had to walk through knee-deep slush. And the Net was not working then, since there was no electricity. The radical potentials this virtual revolution embodies can hardly be harnessed without the contiguous development of real infrastructure-power, road and water supply-to support the virtual one already in place.

It's not only agricultural farmers who are reaping the benefits of Internet kiosks. During my journeys through vast expanses of this real India, I met different sections of people who were effectively employing IT for various businesses. Here's a list, culled at random: it includes milkmen, fishermen and even traders in the village mandis. Dattatreya Jagtap, Dattu Bhosale, Prabhakar Bhosale and Dhansingh Bhosale, all milkmen in Pandare, a village near Maligaon, have become digitally empowered thanks to smartcards. Each of them now carries the smartcard when they go to the milk co-operative center to sell their produce. An attendant at this center carries a PoS terminal through which these cards are passed, recording every commercial detail of these transactions. The earlier nightmarish hassles with middlemen or about the quantity of milk sold seem to have fled with the dawning of the IT-empowered day.

IT helps offshore too. For instance, Muthumaran, a fisherman in Perikalapet village near Pondicherry can drag his boat into the blue waters of Bay of Bengal without the fear of encountering an unexpected storm. He can also sail to the exact spot where he would get a large catch of sardines. All this is possible only because Muthumaran now gets information about how high or low the waves will be, whether there will be any tricky currents and most important of all, the potential zones of fish aggregation from the local phone in his village panchayat office.

Interactive Educational Tool

The amazing thing about this whole endeavor is how far IT has come from being an ivory-tower luxury to an almost commonplace, but nevertheless, vital everyday component of life even in impoverished rural Indian villages. One does not know what to be more amazed at: the ease with which these often illiterate villagers were taking to what was for them a technology unlike any other they might have heard of, or the dogged persistence of those who pioneered the introduction of the technology as well as ways of using it. The wholehearted participation of the Tawdes, Tambes and Bhosales in making IT a grand success story in our villages was indeed an eye-opener.

Huge strides are being made in the imparting of IT eduction and training. I myself came upon three such instances during my Bharat Gram Darshan. One was in the Urdu Medium Baramati Nagar Parishad Primary School No. 1. There I met sixth standard students Bushra Aslam Baghban and Aliya Sayeed who were learning the basics of computers at sleek LCD monitors inside a bus in front of their school. They do this one hour every week when the bus comes to their school. One should not miss the social significance of this particular instance: here it is Muslim girls from families below the poverty line that are being provided with this most modern education. Then there's also Khadija Bibi of Kolmanna, a remote village in Malappuram, one of Kerala's most backward districts. Every evening after working in the paddy fields, she comes to the newly-opened eKendra in her village, where she learns how to email, in Malayalam, her uncle Rashid Baig in Muscat.

While Baramati has its bus, Bithoor near Lucknow has its thela. Five days a week fourteen-year-old Kanhaiya and his friends, who do not even go to the local school, attend the computer education classes, conducted with a computer on a reddle-cart, which teach them the basic applications of word processing, Internet, Excel and PowerPoint, all in Hindi. His elder brother Jeevlal, who has completed these courses, is now learning accounting packages and web designing.

IT also affords "lifestyle luxuries", once livelihood, education and healthcare in these villagers have been taken care of-that is, the relative luxury, in Indian terms, of not queuing up to pay frequent, hassle-prone utility bills. Many villagers in Kolmanna and other Malappuram villages use their eKendras to pay these bills, perform Netbanking, make revenue remittances and so on. While Malappuram is part of the Kerala government's Akshaya project, which offers these financial services routed through an SBI online ePayment gateway, even private players like ICICI are not lagging behind. Says Sharad Rambhau Bhosale, who runs an Internet kiosk in Pandare, "ICICI Bank has started an Internet banking access center in my kiosk, and within 15 days of its opening, I sold 15 ICICI Prudential insurance policies online."

The Pioneers

One thing that surprised me was that most of the endeavors I encountered were not part of the standard e-governance projects all states showcase. Critics complain that not only are most such projects irrelevant, they mostly never make it beyond the pilot phase. In many instances, it was private organizations and NGOs initiating them in collaboration with the government or some philanthropist. However, funding becomes a problem in many of these cases after the initial hoopla. Corporate support is a solution, especially since it implies a wider publicity blitz. Perhaps, in future, a more balanced public-private association will be the order of the day.

Some beginnings in this direction have already been made. The now defunct Media Lab Asia's association with the various IITs was one such effort. In Maharashtra, the Vidya Pratishthan Institute of Information Technology (VIIT), the Krishi Vigyan Kendra in Baramati and the Pune-based Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) have been in the vanguard of similar cooperative projects, with Uday Borwake, chairman, MCCIA and Dr Amol Goje, director, VIIT, being the driving force behind one of these initiatives.

Not only is VIIT running the Pandare smartcard application, it is maintaining 30 Internet kiosks connected through WLL in different gram panchayats within a 40 km radius from Baramati. It provides consultancy on agriculture to farmers through videoconferencing and is now setting up an FM community radio station at an investment of Rs 2 lakh to disseminate agricultural infomation eight hours everyday. VIIT has also started a mobile computer classroom project with an investment of Rs 70 lakh. It has developed content in both Marathi and English for classes V-VIII using SCORM technology that enables the teacher to add his own content. Currently, this is being done for 54 schools, with a total of 6,700 students, 60% of them being girls living below the poverty line. This project also covers 870 Adivasi students in Ambergaon too.

MCCIA, for its part, has launched the GIC running on a wireless operation model across 172 kiosks with a subsidy of Rs 1 crore from the Maharashtra government. Following the success of its pilot project at Chale village, this one now runs from a Wi-Fi campus at Vigyan Ashram in Pabal village. While exemplary successes have been recorded from the seven villages of Pimple-Jagtap, Kendur, Uralikanchan, Karoos, Rajgurunagar, Retawdi and Khed, this effort also covers farmers in 110 villages in the three talukas of Shirur, Rajgurunagar and Handoli. 34 of these villages have Internet connectivity while the rest are connected by VPTs.

Telecom has a stellar role in each of these cases. While both Pabal and Baramati use wireless technology, the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) uses CorDect technology in its initiatives in Perikalapet, Veerampattinam and Nallavadu, all coastal villages in Pondicherry. This is part of the Info Village project started by MSSRF, which connects 10 villages near Pondicherry through a hybrid wired and wireless network consisting of PCs, telephones, VHF duplex radio devices and email through dial-up telephone lines, facilitating, thus, both voice and data transfer. The Info Villages, which provide life-changing information, use two technologies, VHF and Spread Spectrum, to establish connections between the Knowledge Centers, which are small hubs housing computers fitted with wireless sets.

Silent Revolutionaries

We must not let the legionnaires who actually make possible this silent coup remain nameless. Since it is hardly possible to name everyone, we shall have to remain content with a couple. There's Prashant Tambe, who operates the Pimple-Jagtap kiosk. There's Shantanu Inamdar, the IIT Powai-Media Lab Asia representative who has worked for three years in the Pabal Vigyan Ashram. While Tambe gave up a Rs 10,000 job at Tata Motors and now earns half of that, Inamdar initially had to visit villages by cycle, get all the agricultural queries that villagers had, get the answers from KVK, and finally, go back with the answers. There's Sharad Rambhau Bhosale, who conducted a guidance camp for 60 farmers in Pandare to provide information on fertilizers and seeds through videoconferencing. There's Chandrakant Dikshit, the teacher in the bus at the Baramati school.

The digital divide is a myth. The dreams of the digital empowerment of rural India aren't dreams any more. They are slowly taking real shapes in the hands of our rural poor, who, with luck and IT on their side, will not remain impoverished much longer.

Rajneesh De With inputs from Nanda Kasabe in Pune, Jasmine Kaur in Delhi and Nisha Kurian in Chennai
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Old November 18th, 2004, 07:26 AM   #2
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Thumbs up

Sun, if you want, we can turn this thread into a thread where we can collect and discuss all the technology that is changing India for the better. For example the computerization of land records in many states, online tax filing etc.
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Old November 18th, 2004, 07:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronik
Sun, if you want, we can turn this thread into a thread where we can collect and discuss all the technology that is changing India for the better. For example the computerization of land records in many states, online tax filing etc.
Nice idea.

We need a suitable name for the thread..
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Old November 18th, 2004, 07:52 AM   #4
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something like the "India Technology Development thread" .

Hey members, you heard the man. we need a name.
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Old November 18th, 2004, 10:02 AM   #5
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India Technology Thread sounds good to me
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Old November 18th, 2004, 12:39 PM   #6
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go for it
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Old November 18th, 2004, 06:01 PM   #7
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Good for Rural India
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Old November 19th, 2004, 03:15 AM   #8
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India Science and Technology Thread

Check out these pictures..

I am sure you will not dislike them

http://www.pbase.com/sciencephoto/india_page_layouts
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Old November 19th, 2004, 03:44 AM   #9
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That's was cool. But I am confused in one thing. We are always called the largest democracy. Aren't we the greatest as well. India, so many contrasts, different religions, castes, races, languages and so much divrsity. It differs state by state. Ok, I don't need to tell how diverse we are. We are many nations in one nation.But we are still a democracy and we are doing(at least starting to) well. We go to polls in an orderly fashion without any major hiccups, and life seems to go on well.So many other countries which have unifrom race/religion aren't democracies or are pseudo-democracies.Despite all our woes and our babus and netas, we are so great. Why don't they call us the greatest democracy. If we are not the greates democracy who is, if any?
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Old November 19th, 2004, 05:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mainhoonna
That's was cool. But I am confused in one thing. We are always called the largest democracy. Aren't we the greatest as well. India, so many contrasts, different religions, castes, races, languages and so much divrsity. It differs state by state. Ok, I don't need to tell how diverse we are. We are many nations in one nation.But we are still a democracy and we are doing(at least starting to) well. We go to polls in an orderly fashion without any major hiccups, and life seems to go on well.So many other countries which have unifrom race/religion aren't democracies or are pseudo-democracies.Despite all our woes and our babus and netas, we are so great. Why don't they call us the greatest democracy. If we are not the greates democracy who is, if any?
None I guess. That's democracy. No one can be greatest. Everybody is equal.
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Old November 19th, 2004, 09:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suncity
Check out these pictures..

I am sure you will not dislike them

http://www.pbase.com/sciencephoto/india_page_layouts

Sun, truly inspiring pictures. These are the types of pictures that invoke that sense in me that despite all the negetive news that the media is full of these days, we are indeed headed for greater things.

And that is the spirit i hope this thread inherits, that when people read this thread, they fell happy. happy when they read news, discussions of how individuals, or groups or technologies are making India a better India every day.
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Old November 19th, 2004, 01:01 PM   #12
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Suncity thats nice pictures!..the other India.


true there are changes...we dont see them quickly..but there are changes every day just like kronik said.
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 03:54 AM   #13
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India Biotech Thread.

So much is going on in this field in India, though that it required a separate thread. Lets post news/views relating to that filed in this thread.

I will do the Shri Ganesh of this thread.

Biotech biz to contribute $5 bn by 2010: Shaw

http://indianexpress.com/full_story....ntent_id=68947
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Old April 24th, 2005, 12:42 AM   #14
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Bangalore biotech park work to begin in June

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/a...ow/1086014.cms
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Old April 30th, 2005, 02:14 AM   #15
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Post Biotechnology in India

The following is the Hyperlink for a report commissioned by the French Embassy in India, to study the potential of biotechnology in India. This report is based on 60 interviews realised in India with leaders from firms and institutions.

Hope you enjoy the finer details.

http://www.cerna.ensmp.fr/Documents/...techReport.pdf
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Old April 30th, 2005, 02:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
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The following is the Hyperlink for a report commissioned by the French Embassy in India, to study the potential of biotechnology in India. This report is based on 60 interviews realised in India with leaders from firms and institutions.
[/url]
Welcome to SSC India forum...

Last edited by Anniyan; April 30th, 2005 at 02:32 AM.
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Old April 30th, 2005, 02:28 AM   #17
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Thanks for your warm welcome. Hope lets work together to create something constructive.
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Old April 30th, 2005, 03:38 AM   #18
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Bio-tech parks in India

Biotech Clusters of India

Biotech industry has developed around a few clusters. The presence of research institutes, quality educational institutes and pharma industry has fuelled the start of biotech sectors in these clusters. To further fuel the biotech activity, each of these clusters has started biotech parks. Several state governments are taking positive steps in this direction. Read on the cluster activity ....

Punjab

The nucleus of the biotech research in the region is The Institute for Microbial Technology (IMTECH), which was set up in Chandigarh in 1984 to take up research in microbial bioprocessing and the Central Scientific and Industrial Organization (CSIO), which develops a number of biotech based diagnostic kits. The state is developing a biotechnology park in the suburbs of Chandigarh . Also the Department of Science & Technology, Chandigarh Administration, CSIO and IMTECH have tied up to establish incubation facilities for biotech and bioinformatic companies at the premises of these institutes.

Punjab Biotech Park
Punjab Biotech Park project is a joint effort by Beckons Industries Ltd and Punjab State Council for Science & Technology (PSCST). This park is a public- private partnership venture.

The focus is on catalyzing the SMEs to come to the cluster and join hands to set up environment friendly biotechnological enterprises. As per the agreement, Beckons Industries Ltd will make 70 percent of total investment and the state government would contribute the rest 30 percent. The total cost on creating a suitable infrastructure is estimated to be Rs 100 crore.

The inimitability of this biotech park is involvement of foreign experts in it. An MoU with the Canadian Biotech Mission has been signed. The facilities to be created in this park also include establishment of biotech incubator to meet R&D, pilot testing, and demonstration and validation facilities for the industry. Around 15 companies have evinced their interest to set shop in the park. Ranbaxy, Panacea Biotec and Dr Morepen are some of the big companies who expressed their interest in the project. PSCST will act as a single window for establishing any biotech business at this park.

Biotech Area: 13 Acre

Rajasthan

Rajasthan is another state which is concentrating on promoting the biotechnology industry. Rajasthan Industry Investment Corporation, Government of Rajasthan has initiated three biotech parks projects. These would be located in Sitapura-Jaipur; Boranada- Jodhpur; and Sotanala on NH-8 near Behror (Alwar). Necessary common facilities such as incubators and R&D centers will be set up there for encouraging the private sector.

BioTech Park at Sitapura-Jaipur
The Biotech Park project at Sitapura, Jaipur, is an initiative of RIICO. The Park is located on Jaipur, Kota national highway, just 4 km away from the airport and about 15 km from the city center. The size of the developed plots ranges from 1000 sq.mtrs to 20,000 sq.mtrs.
Area: 30 acres

Biotech Park at Boranada, Jodhpur
RIICO has developed another biotech park in an area of about 30 acres at Boranada near Jodhpur. About 22 plots have been developed in the park. The sizes of the plots range from 1500 sq.mtrs to 20,000 sq.mtrs.
Area : 30 acres

Bio Tech Park at Bhiwadi (Alwar)
The third biotech park is in an area of about 43 acres at Chopanki (Bhiwadi). About 14 plots have been developed in the park.
Area: 43 acres

Lucknow

Lucknow's biotech activity is spearheaded by National Botanical Research Center (NBRI), Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Industrial Technology Research Center (ITRC) and the Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI).

Biotech Park Lucknow
This park is being set up involving the Uttar Pradesh unit of Confederation of Indian Industries, the state government and Council of Scientific & Industrial Research. DBT is amongst the major agencies behind the development of the park and city.

The Park would focus on health care, agriculture, environment and environmental technologies. The Biotech Park would offer GLP/GMP compliant facilities. The project is surging smoothly into the second phase of development. The construction of the bio-business center and pilot plant facilities for upscaling of the lead molecules, tissue culture, distillation plant and vermicomposting are in full swing.

The project cost has been estimated at Rs 18.7 crore. Another biotech park will soon be set up in the campus of the Remote Sensing Application Center of the Department of Space. It will have industrial modules and bio-business center and training laboratories.

Area: 8 acre

WEST

Mumbai –Pune biotech highway

Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad are the three important locations for the biotech companies in Maharashtra. The work on setting up pharma Biotech Park at Hinjewadi near Pune is already under process.

International Biotech Park, Pune
International Biotech Park (IBP) is a public-private partnership project. IBP is a joint venture project between Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) and TCG Urban Infrastructure Holding Ltd (TCGUIH) (a Chatterjee Group Company). With a total investment of Rs 250 crore in the project, MIDC will hold approximately 12 percent of the paid-up capital while TCGUIH will hold the remaining 88 percent. TCGUIH will develop, promote and market the 110-acre park at Hinjewadi, near Pune. The MoU to this effect was signed on 14 November 2003.

The IBP will be developed along the lines of other international biotech parks. It will offer the finest in terms of infrastructure and other facilities such as core shared facility, medico clinical research facility, business facilitation center, common effluent treatment plant, etc. IBP also signed MoU with IBM Business Consulting Services that provides strategic inputs that are critical for the development of the park. Emcure has already commenced the formulation process while Shreya Life Sciences has taken up land at the park. TCS, a leading software company, is also considering setting up its bioinformatics unit there.


Area: 110 acre

Gujarat

The government is considering setting up a Biotech Park at Vadodara for which the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) has earmarked 90 hectares at Salvi near Vadodara. GIDC is looking at private partnership for developing, promoting and marketing the park.

International Pharma & Biotech Park, Ahmedabad
The Ganesh Housing Corporation Ltd, an ISO 9001-2000 company based in Ahmedabad is developing International Pharma & Biotech Park (IPBP) at the pharma corridor. The Corporation has already acquired 32 acres of land at the Sarkhej-Bavla highway considered as the pharma corridor of Gujarat. It is investing $3 million (Rs 15 crore) in this project, which will house about 50 SMEs. Rajasthan based Skymax Labs has taken 54,000 sq yards at the park. Discussions are on with another 10-12 companies. The first phase of the park will be completed by December 2005.

It is discussing with Reliance for providing telecommunication facility and also having a discussion with government of India to get single window clearance facilities to the companies based out of the park. The IPBP will also provide cold storage, common R&D facility, and normal quality control center hotel/training facility. The park will have common state of art R&D center would accommodate and encourage newer and efficient inventions.


Area: 32 acres

SOUTH

Andhra Pradesh

The pharma capital of South India, Hyderabad, has made its presence in biotechnology very strong in the recent years. The city is leveraging on its inherent strengths in the pharma sector and leading biotechnology research centers. Hyderabad has a Genome Valley. A Rs 30-crore incubator with all the infrastructure facilities and sophisticated instruments required for biotech research is coming up here. To facilitate cutting edge research, the Indian Council of Medical Research is setting up an Animal Test Facility as part of the National Bio Resources Research Institute. There is more. A Marine Biotech Park (218 acres) is coming up in Visakhapatnam.

ICICI Knowledge Park
ICICI Knowledge Park is located in Turkapally. The Park is adjacent to the upcoming Shaoorji Pallonji Biotech Park being developed by the Government of Andhra Pradesh to house the production units of biotech companies. This entire area is known as the genome valley.

The park is situated in a 200-acre campus and is developed jointly by ICICI, a premier financial institution, and the Andhra Pradesh government. It offers quality research facilities through modern modular lab units, customized research centers and pilot plants. It is developing a unique interactive Knowledge Network for facilitating academic, research institutions and industry partnership of which the virtual information center is a key component and is closely interacting with 20 key academic and R&D institutions. It has an integrated IPR facilitating cell.

Shapoorji Pallonji Biotech Park
This is a joint venture project between Shapoorji Pallonji Co. Pvt Ltd and Andhra Pradesh government. It is spread over 400 acres in the Genome Valley, Hyderabad and is equipped with facilities to develop a product right from the "lab to market". A biotech incubator with lab facilities for R&D is coming up and will have a pilot plant for scale-up and downstream processing. It will serve as a Business Enterprise Zone for manufacturing biotech products.

Several benefits have been on offer to the users of the park. They are charged a nominal sales tax of 1 percent for seven years for "high-end" biotech products manufactured by units in the park. Further units in the park would get priority for allocation of the funds from the Biotechnology Development Fund and park users would enjoy waiver of stamp duty and registration charges for their land and building transfers, in the first instance only.

Karnataka

The nation's largest bio-cluster is located in Bangalore. The city is the home to the country's largest biotech company, Biocon, several research centers run by multinational companies and some of the country's top biotech research institutions.

Over 32,000 students are pursuing biotech related courses in over 400 colleges affiliated to Bangalore University.

Bangalore Biotech Park
The Bangalore biotechnology park will be a reality soon as there has been a major pitch for the Bangalore biotech park in the recent few months. About 100 acres of land has been acquired in the Electronics city and initiatives are being taken to develop it as a biocluster, where inter-dependent biotech companies would be encouraged to set up operations. The state government has announced allocating Rs 10 crore towards development of incubation centers and house two leading institutes. About 10 acres of land has been earmarked for IBAB (the bioinformatics institute), Center for Human Genetics, and an incubation center, which will provide the intellectual inputs for the biotech park. These three will be under our umbrella.

Bangalore has the capacity to take nearly Rs 2,400 crore in investment in five years and the Bangalore biotech park will be developed over a period of five years. The government is calling for the expression of interest by companies to develop that. It will be a joint venture. The biotechnology park will be operational within a year.

Kerala

The God's Own Country, buoyed by the global attention as a tourist hot spot, is making a splash into the biotech arena on the back of its strengths in the traditional medicine system Ayurveda and its rich biodiversity. Kerala is one of the 12 designated global biodiversity hotspots. Over 700 species of flora and fauna can be found per sq km, and a wide variety of aquatic species can be found in the State's territorial waters.

KINFRA
Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA) is a statutory body that facilitates the development of industrial infrastructure. So far 16 theme-based industrial parks have been started in Kerala.

Amongst its new initiatives is a biotechnology park. KINFRA is in the process of setting up biotechnology parks. The biotech parks are scheduled to come up at two locations-Thiruvanathapuram and Kochi. KINFRA has in possession about 240 acres of land at Kalamassery and a master plan would be prepared to accommodate this as biotech zone. At Kalamassery, 50 acres of land will be developed for a business enterprises zone for housing industrial units. The Park would be a combination of a technology incubation center, providing modules for R&D in biotechnology, pilot plant and a business enterprise zone comprising developed plots to be utilized for setting up of industrial units. Ernst & Young has been selected as the consultant for assisting KINFRA in finding Joint Venture Partner for developing biotechnology parks at Thiruvanathapuram and Kochi and market the parks.

Tamil Nadu

Chennai has been an early adopter of biotechnology. Chennai's biotech showpiece, the $13 million (Rs 62.5 crore) TIDCO Center for Life Sciences (TICEL Bio Park). The government would also set up a Marine Biotechnology Park at Mamallapuram with an investment of Rs 50 crore to offer unique incubating facilities for commercial exploitation in pharmaceuticals, food supplements and cosmetics. Besides, the Golden Jubilee Biotech Park for Women Society set up on the outskirts of Chennai is the first Park in India exclusively for women entrepreneurs in biotechnology.

TICEL Bio Park Ltd
TIDCO Center for Life Sciences (TICEL Bio Park), set up in 5 acres of land in Chennai at a capital outlay of Rs 62.5 crore, has become operational.

TICEL Bio Park is located at about 14 km from the international airport and 16 km from Chennai seaport.

The biotech park has two major facilities, the bio-resource center and a common tenancy area. The bio-resource center has wet labs that are equipped with the latest equipment to facilitate high quality research in fermentation and microbiology, molecular biology, plant tissue culture, downstream processing and analysis. Besides the park also features customized lab facility, greenhouse facility and training center. Then there is the bioinformatics infrastructure with remote access to supercomputer at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore for high performance computing.

The tenancy area has 72 modules of 915 sq.ft each for clients to develop their own customized R&D labs of BSL2 standards, upgradeable to BSL3, in accordance with GLP standards.

Mahindra Industrial Park
Promoted by the Mahindra Group and the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO), Mahindra Biotech Park is located within a larger entity of 1400 acres business city, Mahindra City, compares with the best business parks in the world. Mahindra City, which is India's first business city has been masterminded by Ascendas and landscaped by Belt Collins of Singapore from concept to strategy implementation. The park is a blend of industry and lifestyle.

The Biotech Zone offers large tracts of land set in a scenic surround of hills, lakes and lush green. The lay out provides for 45 meter (6-lane carriageway), 31 meter (4-lane carriageway) and 24 meter (3-lane carriageway) with sufficient provision to accommodate footpaths and service lines. The "Plug and Play" cluster within the park is a cluster of mix use with facilities from service providers, healthcare, educational institutions and housing arrangements in various configurations.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 03:30 PM   #19
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Pharma exports to grow to $6 b

http://www.hindu.com/2005/05/05/stor...0505091900.htm
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Old May 8th, 2005, 10:50 PM   #20
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India's strengths to be a world player in pharmaceuticals

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