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BIRAC Managing Director Dr Renu Swarup to be India’s new DBT Secretary

Dr Renu Swarup has been appointed as India’s sixth DBT Secretary. She is the second woman after Dr Manju Sharma to hold the prestigious post.

By Team ABLE

Dr Renu Swarup will be the next DBT (Department of Biotechnology) Secretary. She succeeds Prof. K VijayRaghavan, who was secretary of DBT from January 2013 handed over the charge on February 05, 2018. Prof. VijayRaghavan is now the principal scientific advisor to Government of India. Dr Ashutosh Sharma, who is the Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, was looking after the Department after Prof. VijayRaghavan’s tenure.

Commenting on Dr Renu’s appointment as DBT Secretary, Dr Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Hon. Chairman ABLE and Chairman & Managing Director, Biocon Ltd, said, \"An apt choice of someone who understands the business of Biotechnology as well as the science required to drive innovation.  I congratulate Dr Renu Swarup on this appointment as a worthy successor to Prof. VijayRaghavan and look forward to working with her in advancing Biotechnology to the next frontier.\"

Mr Shrikumar Suryanarayan, President ABLE and Chairman, Sea6 Energy, added,  \"We are delighted to hear about the appointment of Dr Renu Swarup as the next secretary of DBT.  ABLE wishes her all the best and looks forward to working with her and her team to take the  Bioeconomy of India to even greater heights.\"

Dr Renu Swarup was Senior Adviser to the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Managing Director of BIRAC before being appointed as DBT Secretary.

A PhD in Genetics and Plant Breeding, Dr Renu Swarup completed her Post-Doctoral at The John Innes Centre, Norwich UK, under Commonwealth Scholarship and returned to India to take up the assignment of a Science Manager in the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, GoI, in 1989. At DBT, she headed the National Bioresource Development Board and is involved in developing, funding and monitoring programmes in the area of Energy Biosciences, Bio resource Development and Utilization and Plant Biotechnology - Bio prospecting, Tissue Culture and other Biomass associated programmes.

She was also actively engaged in formulation of the Biotechnology Vision in 2001 and National Biotechnology Development Strategy in 2007 as the Member Secretary of the Expert Committee. She was also a member of the Task Force on Women in Science constituted by the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Prime Minister.  She was awarded the “BioSpectrum Person of the Year Award” in 2012.

DBT Secretaries of India
    1. Dr S Ramachandran, First DBT Secretary (1986-1992)
    2. Dr C R Bhatia (1993-1995)
    3. Dr Manju Sharma (1995-2004)
    4. Dr M K Bhan Secretary (2005-2012)
    5. Prof. VijayRaghavan (2012-2018)