Context: Union Minister of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare  gave away Students Innovations for Advancement of Research Explorations - Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (SITARE-GYTI) and Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technological Innovations-Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (SRISTI-GYTI) awards.

Gandhian Young Technological Innovation awards:

  • The awards are given every year to the most promising technologies developed by the students in life sciences, biotechnology, agriculture, medical devices etc. SRISTI-GYTI awards are given to students in other engineering disciplines.
  • These awards and appreciations are given to encourage technology students to move towards setting up Biotech and other start-ups.
  • They constitute two categories of awards, namely:
  1. SITARE–GYTI under Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), Department of Biotechnology (DBT) 
  2. SRISTI-GYTI given by SRISTI. 

Other initiatives for fostering innovation:

  • FDI in Biotech sector: The government has allowed 
    • 100 percent FDI under the automatic route for greenfield pharma, 
    • Up to 74 per cent under the automatic route for brownfield pharma and beyond that under the government approval route, 
    • 100 percent under the automatic route for medical devices manufacturing as well. 
  • BIRAC E-YUVA scheme engages a number of Universities and Technology Institutes to serve as Mentors. 
    • This will help to create a pan-India network to encourage a larger number of student entrepreneurs.
  • BIORAC (Biologically inspired resilient autonomic cloud): 
    • It aims for the development of resilient distributed systems which is essential for maintaining stable business and state-run processes due to information systems now underpinning most aspects of society. 
    • Cloud computing is now one of the most pervasive usage paradigms. 
  • BIRAC’ S Bio-Nest programme to support setting up of bio-incubators for offering incubation space to startups, enable interactions with industry, mentorship etc.
  • SRISTI (Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions), provides institutional support to the activities of the Honey Bee Network.
    • SRISTI has added the GYTI platform to encourage innovations for grassroots and other sectors of India to encourage technologies that are frugal and on verge of technological breakthrough.
  • Honey Bee Network has been scouting and supporting grassroots innovators also through SHODHYATRAS all over the country and encouraging under-graduate students to work on their innovations as well as on traditional knowledge through BIRAC supported Biotechnological Innovation Ignition Scheme. 


  • India’s bioeconomy or bio-based economy might grow to $100 billion in size by 2025 from $50 billion in 2018 on the back of innovations in biotech and efforts made by all stakeholders.
    • Bioeconomy is a progressive branch of social science that looks at integrating the disciplines of economics and biology for creating theories that could better explain economic events using a biological basis and vice versa.
  • India’s biotechnology sector holds around 3 per cent share of the global biotechnology industry and has more than 600 companies along with more than 2,600 biotech startups.
  • When India is celebrating 150 years of birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, GYTI awards are a fitting tribute to his legacy of using Science & Technology to solve societal problems.
  • These types of initiatives unleash the creative power of students even at  school stage so that interest in life sciences can be triggered right then. 
  • Scientific Social Responsibility policy with focus on how efforts of our scientists can benefit all sections of society.

Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) 

  • It is a not-for-profit Section 8, Schedule B, Public Sector Enterprise, set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), as an Interface Agency to strengthen and empower the emerging Biotech enterprise to undertake strategic research and innovation, addressing nationally relevant product development needs.
  • BIRAC’s aim is to play a transformative and catalytic role in building a US$ 100 billion Indian bioeconomy. 

Source: PIB

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