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Union minister Jitendra Singh today laid the foundation stone for north India's second Biotech park in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district, saying it would be a "game changer".
The park is expected to benefit farmers and entrepreneurs by using biotechnology to cultivate crops and would provide facilities to startups for incubation and development of bio- businesses.
The Biotechnology Park in Lucknow, set up in 2002, is the only other such park in the northern part of the country and this would be the second, he said after laying the foundation stone for it in Ghatti belt of Kathua district.
The Union minister of state in the prime minister's office said the proposed biotech park would be a "game changer" not only for Jammu and Kashmir but for the entire north India.
The Centre last year accorded approval to the biotech park which is being built on 80 kanal of land with a budget of around Rs 100 crore in the first phase.
"The Park will be completed within a period of 18 month," he said.
The biotech park project will be run by the CSRI-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM), Jammu and it will act as the mentor institute in the development process.
The park will offer state-of-the-art facilities to startups for incubation and development of innovation led, high growth and knowledge-based bio-businesses and infrastructure facilities for setting biotech industries.
Invoking the youth to actively participate in various employment schemes of the central government, Singh said, "We all are living in a country having maximum number of young people who are catalyst of this society."
"The youth should hone their skills not only to get employment but generate employment," he said.
The park will bring biotechnology as the way of cultivating crops, living a healthy life and enriching the skills for boosting biotech industry and will benefit farmers, young entrepreneurs and budding businessman, he said.
Director, IIIM Jammu, R A Vishawakarma said this is a novel concept and first-of-its-kind in Jammu and Kashmir.
It will provide the necessary infrastructure and suitable environment for development of biotechnology sector and would focus on bio-pharma, healthcare and agri companies by tapping the natural resources of the region, he said.