Bangalore to have a bio-cluster

Bangalore can soon boast of having the country’s first stem cell research institute — inStem. It will work in coordination with National Centre for Biological Sciences and the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP), forming the Bangalore bio-cluster. Union science minister Prithviraj Chavan unveiled the foundation stone for the institute on Saturday and stressed on the need of attracting students to science streams. “Good brains are either taking up engineering or moving to the West. Engineering has up over 9,00,000 bright minds. This is due to parental pressure and opportunities associated with engineering. Studies in chemistry, physics and biology are being ignored,” he said, adding that US and China have reputed science institutions. The idea of a bio-cluster is unique to India. The three institutions will interact, share knowledge and resources on a regular basis and enrich research. The new institute, a collaborative effort of the ministries of biotechnology and atomic energy, has initial funding of Rs 200 crore. It will be set up at 20-acre site on the GKVK campus and will conduct basic research in stem cells and applicability in treatment. Chavan said: “The world is looking at India. There is a scramble because is felt that if they don’t connect with India on research, they will miss the boat.”

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