Catching up on the News - Big Biotech Investment by India

Now that my book is nearing completion, I can start looking around a bit more.  I missed this last November -- according to a news brief in Nature, India is planning to seriously boost its expenditures on biotech:

For the first time, Indiahas appointed a biologist as head of its largest research agency. The announcement coincides with the unveiling of a national strategy for biotechnology, supported by a 65-billion-rupee (US$1.6-billion) commitment over the next 5 years.

Samir Brahmachari, former director of the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in Delhi, is the new chief of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The CSIR manages 41 labs with a staff of more than 18,000 scientists and has been without a permanent director since December 2006.

The strategy approved by the cabinet on 14 November calls for one-third of the government's research budget to be spent on biotechnology — a 450% increase over the previous 5 years — in partnership with private-sector funding. The plan will create 50 biotech 'centres of excellence' by 2012.