B.Sc. in Biotechnology is the course that we will be analyzing in this article. As usual, we will take a closer look at this course and check out basic course details, course duration, career prospects and advantages of pursuing this course. Without wasting time, let us get started with basic details regarding B.Sc. in Biotechnology.
Article Overview and Contents
Basic details about B.Sc. Biotechnology course
Biotechnology is a combination of two subjects- Biology and Technology. Broadly speaking, it brings together concepts of Biology and Engineering and aims at putting concepts of both these subjects together, in a bid to enrich our lives and make innovative developments.
Biotechnology is well known by the short name of biotech. In simple terms, biotechnology deals with the modification or enhancement of living organisms according to human purposes. The main aim of this branch of science is the creation of useful products (from living organisms) or enhancement of living organisms which will result in increase in their value.
Biotechnology consists of elements of molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, embryology, genetics, microbiology and technology. Do you want to see examples of biotechnology at work? Here are some such examples – tissue culture, genetic engineering and cell culture.
Let us talk about the areas of application now. Biotechnology has applications in different areas/domains. Broadly speaking, it has applications in areas such as – healthcare, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, recycling, food processing and production.
Let us consider some real life applications of biotechnology now. Let us start –
Biotechnology is used to genetically modify plants and improve their resistance towards diseases and harmful microorganisms. In short, this will help improve agricultural productivity. Similarly, biotechnology is used to develop organic fertilizers.
Biotechnology is also used for recycling waste material. Directly and indirectly, this branch of science contributes towards environmental conservation and sustainable development.
Biotechnology sector is growing at a steady pace in India. Not just India, this sector is growing at a decent pace across the world! In short, this sector is set to create ample amount of job opportunities in the future.
At present, this sector offers limited amount of job opportunities (well rewarding ones) in India. But this scenario will change in the near future. The R&D sector associated with biotechnology sector is well rewarding (both financially and career growth-wise).
Biotechnology course material can be classified into two sections- theory section and practical section. In theory section, students will have to deal with subjects related to biology as well as basic technology concepts.
Practical section is also very important. Students will have to spend good amount of time in laboratory, performing practical lessons as well as lab training.
At the end of the course, research project is also held. Lab activities form a major part of project.
12th Science stream students are eligible to apply for this course. Both PCM (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics) as well as PCB (Physics, Chemistry and Biology) group students are eligible for this course.
Students have to appear for State wide as well as National level admission entrance tests to get admission in Government approved Institutes.
B.Sc. Biotechnology course is a 3 years long course. Theory, practical and research project- all these parts have to be dealt with in these 3 years duration.
Science colleges across India are known to offer B.Sc. Biotechnology course. Colleges offering this academic program can be broadly classified into two types – Government colleges and private colleges.
Government colleges, as the name suggests, are operated by the State or Central Government. These colleges provide subsidized education to students. This is the main reason why students prefer Govt institutes over private ones.
Private colleges are also known as self-financing institutes. These colleges are operated by private educational or charitable trusts. And like other private professional colleges, these self-financing colleges are also known to charge relatively higher tuition fees.
Here are some of the popular colleges offering B.Sc. Biotechnology course in India –
- University of Hyderabad
- NDRI, Karnal
- University of Mysore
- Punjab University
- Jamia Milia Islamia
- University of Calcutta
- University of Pune
- Bangalore University
- MSU, Vadodara
- Gulbarga University
- IIT Delhi
- IIT Kanpur
- University of Mumbai
- University of Lucknow
- Anna University
- Government Science College, Bengaluru
- Karnataka University
- Rajiv Gandhi Center for Biotechnology
- Madras Veterinary College
- University of Calicut
- Amity University
- SRM University
- PES Institute of Technology
Tuition fees depends upon the following factors – type of college (Government or self-financing), scholarship status of the student, rating of the college etc. On an average, tuition fees could be anywhere between 50-100K INR per year.
Reputed institutes rely on merit based admission process. Under this system of admission, seats are distributed among deserving candidates on the basis of their performance in relevant entrance exam/interview/selection test.
If you want to secure admission into a good college, you must score well in relevant selection test. These exams are conducted at State, College and National levels. The main aim of such a selection test is to facilitate merit based admission process.
Some colleges are also known to carry out direct admission process. Under this system, seats are allotted to eligible candidates on the basis of first come, first served basis. Some colleges are also known to carry out donation based admission process (management quota).
Here are some of the important subjects present in B.Sc. Biotechnology curriculum –
- Molecular structure and analysis: Carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acid, chemical kinetics, enzymatic kinetics, genes, DNA etc.
- Biophysics and instrumentation: biophysical methods, identification of materials, separation of materials, microscopy, centrifugation, spectroscopy, X-Ray Crystallography.
- Cell structure and dynamics: cell biology, cellular organs, origin of life, different types of cells, structure of cells, membrane structure, cell cycle.
- Calculus: Integration, differentiation, limit, continuity, mean value theorem, trigonometric function.
- Organic mechanisms: Biomolecules, lipid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, amino acid metabolism, nucleotide metabolism.
- Transmission genetics: Basics of genetics, mandelism, chromosome theory, linkage and crossing over, extension of Mandelism, Non-Mandelian inheritance, gene function, Allelic variation, chromosomal variation, chromosome mapping, pedigree analysis, genetic hypothesis.
- Microbiology: Classification of microbes, sterilization, staining techniques, pathogenic microorganisms, virology.
- Biomathematics: Algebra, geometry and series.
- Microbial genetics: Prokaryotic genomes, genetic exchange, gene regulation, bacteriophages, bacteriophage genetics.
- Immunology: Immune response, immunoglobulin gene expression, histocompatibility complexes, immuno techniques, vaccination, autoimmune diseases.
- Tissue culture: tissue culture techniques, cell culture, vitro culture, tissue nutrition, tissue culture methodologies, cloning, organ culture.
- Plant biotechnology: Plant tissue culture, plant genetic engineering, genetic modification in agriculture, genetically modified food.
- Bioinformatics: Genomics, functional proteomics, computational genomics, sequence alignment, data base search, structural data bases.
- Biodiversity and taxonomy: Global patterns of biodiversity, biodiversity and conservation, exotic species, endangered species, basics of taxonomy.
- Animal biotechnology: Gene transfer, transgenic animals, animal diseases, animal propagation, conservation biology, genetic modification.
- Molecural biology techniques: DNA isolation, plasmid DNA isolation, gel electrophoresis, polymerase chain reaction, gel documentation and photography.
- Environmental Biotechnology: environmental problems, environmental management, environmental pollution, bioremediation.
- Industrial biotechnology: commercial production of microorganisms, bioconversions, products from microorganisms, bioremediation, microbial growth, fermenter, enzyme technology, biological fuel generation,
- Medical biotechnology: Gene therapy, vaccines, synthetic therapy, tissue culture, drug delivery.
Advantages of doing B.Sc. Biotechnology
The major advantage of doing a B.Sc. course in this subject is that the course duration is short, when compared to a B.E./B.Tech. program. B.Sc. course takes 3 years to complete. Whereas B.E./B.Tech. program takes 4 years.
Another advantage is the relatively low saturation level in this field. From facts and figures, it is quite evident that B.Sc. Biotechnology is not a very popular professional course among 12th Science students. Students prefer courses like B.E./B.Tech., MBBS, BDS etc. On seeing the ‘B.Sc.’ label, they tend to ignore Biotechnology course. This has resulted in relatively less number of takers for this course. Ultimately, this has resulted in low job market saturation too! So, it is safe to say that finding a good job after graduation won’t be a tough task, when compared to heavily saturated courses!
Then comes the attractive prospect of availability of lucrative scholarships. Many State Governments are offering all studies expense covering scholarships to meritorious students, who choose to pursue B.Sc. course. Such scholarships are provided to students scoring above 85% merit marks only.
Biotechnology is a rapidly developing sector. Advancements are being made at good pace in this sector. Big firms are pouring in big money into it and new business opportunities are developing in this sector. These things have led to huge increase in job openings in this sector. In short, Biotechnology graduates are in huge demand these days.
PG courses that can be done after B.Sc. Biotechnology
After B.Sc. Biotechnology, one may go for M.Sc. Biotechnology, the Masters course. M.Sc. course will take two years to complete. After completing B.Sc. and M.Sc. Degrees, one may venture into PhD also!
Another post graduate course that can be done after B.Sc. Biotechnology is M.B.A. It will take 2 years to get an M.B.A. Degree.
Career prospects, job opportunities, salary and scope
As I pointed out above, this is a rapidly developing field. Many private businesses are exploring this field and heavily investing in it. It is safe to say that there are ample job opportunities for Biotechnology graduates in private sector. Government sector too offers job opportunities, but not in the scale in which private sector does.
Some prominent industries where Biotechnology professionals may find jobs are- Pharmaceuticals Industry, Healthcare sector, Chemical Industry and Research sector.
Research sector in particular is quite lucrative. One may build a rewarding career in this field. To thrive in this field, one must possess B.Sc. as well as M.Sc. Degree! Average starting salary generally is between 2- 5 Lakh Rupees per year.
Also read: Courses after 12th Science Biology (PCB)
Hope I covered all important details related to Bachelor of Science Degree in Biotechnology. It is a good course and is relatively less saturated. Moreover, state Governments are offering attractive scholarships too, for top ranking students who are willing to pursue B.Sc. courses!