Crop Biotech Update

India Draft Plan to Establish National Biotech Regulatory Authority

May 30, 2008

India's Department of Biotechnology (DBT), a department under the Ministry of Science and Technology, announced a draft plan to set up the National Biotechnology Regulatory Authority (NBRA). In addition, a draft National Biotechnology Regulatory Bill 2008 has been made available for public comment and feedback. The draft establishment plan for NBRA and draft National Biotechnology Regulatory Bill 2008 were prepared by a consultative committee of experts.

The NBRA will be set up as an independent and autonomous body to provide a single window mechanism for biosafety clearance of genetically modified products and processes. Setting up the NBRA will require the promulgation of new legislation, namely the “National Biotechnology Regulatory Act” or the NBR Act in the form of the National Biotechnology Regulatory Bill 2008 by the Parliament of India. The Department has initiated a process of seeking feedback on both the documents from various stakeholders at the central and state levels. 

Feedback may be sent to Dr SR Rao, Advisor, Department of Biotechnology (DBT) at nbra.dbt@nic.in with a copy to Dr. Vibha Ahuja of BCIL at vibhaahuja.bcil@nic.in.  Copies of  the draft documents are available at http://www.igmoris.nic.in/ and http://dbtbiosafety.nic.in/ For more details about biotech developments in India contact  b.choudhary@isaaa.org.