Context: The government of India recently released Biotech-PRIDE (Promotion of Research and Innovation through Data Exchange) Guidelines.

Key Points:

  • The union Ministry of Science & Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences also launched the website of Indian Biological Data Centre, IBDC.
  • The government stated that India needs its own exclusive database for Indian Research and Solutions seeing the population of over 135 crore and heterogeneous character of the country.
  • India ranks number 4 amongst the top 20 countries contributing biological databases.
  • The Government invests a large amount of public funds to generate data in various sectors, including in the biosciences for knowledge generation, to gain deep insights into intricate biological mechanisms and other processes and for translation.
    • Sharing a wide range of large scale data advances the understanding of the molecular and biological processes that will contribute to human health on: 
      • Agriculture, 
      • Animal husbandry, 
      • Fundamental research and 
      • Thus will extend to societal benefits.

About Biotech-PRIDE guidelines:

  • It is the 1st of its kind by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).
  • Initially, these Guidelines will be implemented through Indian Biological Data Centre (IBDC) at the Regional Centre for Biotechnology supported by the Department of Biotechnology.
  • Other existing datasets/ data centres will be bridged to this IBDC which will be called Bio-Grid.
  • This Bio-Grid will be a National Repository for biological knowledge, information and data.
    • It will be responsible for
      • Enabling its exchange
      • Developing measures for safety, standards and quality for datasets and 
      • Establishing detailed modalities for accessing data.
  • Benefits:
    • The Biotech PRIDE Guidelines will facilitate and enable exchange of information to promote research and innovation in different research groups across the country. 
    • The Biotech-PRIDE (Biotech Promotion of Research and Innovation through Data Exchange) guidelines aim at: 
      • Providing a well-defined framework and guiding principle; 
      • To facilitate and enable sharing and exchange of biological knowledge, information and data and is specifically applicable to high-throughput, high-volume data generated by research groups across the country. 
    • These guidelines do not deal with generation of biological data per se; 
      • But is an enabling mechanism to share and exchange information and knowledge generated as per the existing laws, rules, regulations and guidelines of the country. 
    • These guidelines will ensure data sharing benefits viz. maximizing use, avoiding duplication, maximized integration, ownership information, better decision-making and equity of access. 
    • These guidelines are the enabling mechanism for sharing the data publicly and within a reasonable period of time after data-generation, thus the utility of the data will be maximal. 
    • Resultantly, accrual of the benefit of public investment for data generation will not be compromised.
    • These guidelines will also be advantageous in avoiding duplication and wasteful expenditure of resources on research.