Scope of Biotechnology Integration of biological sciences with other disciplines particularly chemistry and process engineering has resulted in the emergence of novel concepts and technologies with applications in and consequences for agriculture, medicine, health care, industry, environmental pollution cleaning of oil spills in the seas, development of safe and environment-friendly bioinsecticides, energy generation and several other sectors of activity.

The common denominator which links these areas together are cells and products derived from them.

The use of bio-cellular materials in conjunction with chemical and process engineering have ushered in a new kind of revolution wherein it is possible to create transgenic animals plants and microbes which otherwise could not have come into being in the foreseeable future.

For that matter without Biotechnology it would not be possible to create bio-degradable plastics or try to replace defective genes with good ones in patients afflicted with potentially or certainly fatal hereditary diseases.

The pivotal role in the unfolding biotechnological revolution is of the recombinant DNA technology popularly known as Genetic Engineering. Major Problems facing Pakistan These are:

  • Providing adequate food, both from the agricultural and animal husbandry sectors, for a fast-growing population.
  • Low productivity.
  • Salinity.
  • Water-logging.
  • Water shortage.
  • Use of pesticides, which have injurious effect on plants, soil and ecology.
  • Shortage of energy, and unwise use of our limited gas resources as fuel.
  • Pollution (air, water and noise).
  • Use of industrial processes which are either capital-intensive or high-energy consuming or both, and in which our national resources are already over-strained.
  • Biotechnology offers processes which are less expensive, less injurious and yield speedier results. But the question of use of appropriate technology demands not only proper study and selection of the processes evolved by the developed countries but also their adaptation to suit our needs.

In addition we have to build up the requisite infrastructure and develop our human resources to create a highly trained cadre of scientists, research scholars and technicians.

While Pakistan has a couple of institutes providing facilities for postgraduate research and training, there is no department or institute which provides for organized teaching in biotechnology at all levels i.e. undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate. The newly established department will fill this gap.

The graduating students will be able to play a significant role in the national development through their services rendered to educational institutions, R&D organizations and existing and future industrial setups.

Alternatively they will be able to effectively compete for admission in foreign institutions for doctoral and post-doctoral training or for jobs in biotechnology companies.