Kathua is, because of its resource richness with diversity as well as its geographical location, destined to be north India’s startup destination, Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (MoS), Independent Charge (IC), Ministry of Science and Technology; MoS, IC, Ministry of Earth Science; MoS, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, said recently while inaugurating north India’s first industrial biotech park at Ghatti, Kathua, Jammu, along with Manoj Sinha, Lieutenant Governor, Union Territory (UT), J&K.
Dr Singh said that this is the historic day for Kathua as its name is now listed among those developed regions of India where biotech parks have been established, attracting innovations and research not only from the country, but from the whole world.
He also said that the biotech park would act as hub for incubation of new ideas, and will act as a robust platform to support agri-entrepreneurs, startups, progressive farmers, scientists, scholars and students not only from Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, but also from nearby states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
Dr Singh said that the biotech park at Kathua has a potential to produce 25 startups in a year which will be among its great contributions to this region. He informed that with the unlocking of space technology in India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 60 startups have been established in only one-and-a-half year.
The minister stated that the facilities like herbal extraction, fermentation, analytical lab., distillation, micro-propagation and plant tissue culture would be available in the biotech park, besides the provision of technology incubation, training and skill development.
Dr Singh also said that the work on the two industrial biotech parks, one at Ghatti, Kathua, Jammu, and other in Handwara, Kashmir, jointly funded by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Jammu and Kashmir Science, Technology and Innovation Council, was started in February 2019. The Council of Scientific and Indian Research-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (CSIR-IIIM) Jammu, has been entrusted with the responsibility of implementation of this project.
The union minister also informed that this biotech park will carry out research on biodiversity, medicinal and aromatic plants of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, and it will also promote green category businesses.