A least developed country like Nepal requires innovative approaches and science-driven technologies for economic prosperity and sustainable development. Biotechnology, a rapidly growing field around the world proffers both innovation and technology. It is a biology-related science involving living systems and organisms that are used to develop or make products. It could be proved as the actual game changer for alleviating poverty, raising the living standard of people, and overall development of the country.
Biotechnology in Nepal
Students who have made up their minds to enroll in Biotechnology should understand its scenario in the context of Nepal. It was introduced in early 2000 in Nepal. In the past 15 years, it has made some significant progress. There are few academic institutions that offer Biotechnology courses. Kathmandu University provides both Bachelor's and Master's degree programs in Biotechnology whereas Tribhuvan University offers a Master’s level program. Kantipur Valley College offers B.tech in Biotechnology program which is affiliated with Purbanchal University. Other colleges that offer Biotechnology are White House College and SANN International College. The number of biotech- professionals and their activities has increased significantly in the past few years.
The demand for Biotech-graduates is also increasing day by day. Some of the government organizations hiring biotechnology graduates are ‘Nepal Academy of Science and Technology’ (NAST), ‘Nepal Agricultural Research Council’ (NARC), ‘Department of plant resources’, ‘National forensic Laboratory’, and a few others. Similarly, there is a number of private organizations performing biotech-related activities. Some visionary entrepreneurs have also started their own startups which are doing pretty well. Similarly, Non-governmental organizations like the Nepal Biotechnology Association (NBA), Biotechnology Society of Nepal (BSN) are performing various activities to uplift the status of biotechnology in Nepal.
Career Prospects in Biotechnology
The recent advance in Biotechnology has brought significant changes in the lifestyle of people in developed countries. The interdisciplinary nature of Biotechnology presents tremendous opportunities and could be an attractive career choice for outstanding students. There are numerous options and applications of biotechnology. Some of the specializing areas of Biotechnology are Molecular biology, Genetic engineering, Microbiology, Bioprocess engineering, Virology, pharmacology, Cancer Biology, Plant tissue culture, and many more. The job prospects of Biotechnology include:
Medical and Pharmaceutical Sector
Medical biotechnology mainly focuses on three main areas of health care preventing, diagnosing, and treating disease. Novel and cutting-edge techniques of biotechnology have significantly improved health science. However, the continuous emergence of new pathogens and diseases is the challenge of today’s health sector. The new pharmaceutical formulation and research are required to tackle this situation. The novel techniques including in silico drug designing, development of vaccines and monoclonal antibodies, therapeutic proteins, drug delivery system, gene therapy are a few innovations of Biotechnology. Thus the demand for medical biotechnology is booming every day.
Agriculture and Food Technology
The increasing global population and food insecurity are one of the major problems of the developing world. Biotechnology has huge potential in addressing these challenges. The development of genetically modified crops (GM) including disease and stress resistance has resolved the situation to some degree. It has improved productivity which will ultimately improve the income of farmers and reduce food prices for consumers as well.
The haphazard use of natural resources and disorganized developmental activities has already destroyed our environment to a great extent. To keep the environment safe for next-generation, today’s world demands sustainable development. Environmental biotechnologists are developing various bioremediation techniques that create a healthy and safe environment.
The number of biotechnology-based industries is growing day by day. The productions of cosmetics, value-added products, biofuels, enzymes, and other various biochemicals have increased exponentially in past few years. Sustainable economic growth can be achieved only through a bio-based economy. The research and development in these sectors require highly qualified professionals in Biotechnology.
Other sectors of Biotechnology are Animal husbandry, Marine biotechnology, Bioinformatics, Nanotechnology, biofuels, and so on.
Biotechnology, an emerging field of Science is quite new in Nepal but its future potential is broad and could be the bridge for economic prosperity and creating a knowledge-based society. Students who are interested in the research area of different sectors can have ‘Biotechnology’ as the best career option.
About the Author
Sagar Thapa is a Program Coordinator and Lecturer at Kantipur Valley College. You can reach him via email email@example.com or phone 9849807147.