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Friday, Jan 31, 2003

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Biotech policy, board on cards

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THE Government is working on the development of a biotech policy for the State and is also in the process of setting up a biodiversity board.

Announcing this while inaugurating the 15th Kerala Science Congress, the Chief Minister, Mr A.K. Antony, said, "The formulation of a biotech policy for the State is on the anvil."

The proposed biodiversity board would be entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the State's environmental resources and counter the threat of biopiracy, he added.

In addition, it will co-ordinate the activities of the various scientific institutions in the State.

The proposed board will enable the State to overcome issues such as the absence of a reliable biodiversity register, which make it difficult to counter biopiracy, the Chief Minister said.

As part of the efforts to revitalise the science and technology scenario in the Kerala, a total revamp of the State Science, Technology and Environment Committee (STEC) is on the cards.

The STEC will re-constituted as a registered society on the lines of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

The Chairman of the STEC, Dr M.S. Valiathan, and the Vice-Chairman of the State Planning Board, Mr V. Ramachandran, also spoke on the occasion.

The theme of the 15th Kerala Science Congress, scheduled to end on January 31, is `human resources development for science and technology'.

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