The department of science and technology (DST) is to launch three missions to focus on the crucial issues of biotechnology and genetic engineering, improving prediction of natural disasters and increasing leather exports. The missions will function as part of the department but draw on expertise from the department of biotechnology (DBT), the Indian meteorological department and the National Informatics Centre.
The biotechnology mission will develop products for mass production and in the next three years, raise the current minuscule turnover from biotechnology-derived products such as raising milk yields from cattle and vaccine production to Rs 10,000 crore. On its own, DBT research to accomplish this could take up to eight years. The creation of the mission will also stem rumours that were rife that in a cost-cutting measure by the government, DBT was to be merged with DST.
The natural disaster mission will set up systems to minimise damage and improve existing procedures for disaster prediction.