'Biotechnology' is the short form of Biological technology, often further shortened as ‘biotech’ or even as ‘BT’, which is neither a new concept nor a new application. Ancient fermented food processes, such as making bread, wine, cheese, curds, idli, dosa, etc., some of which are over 6,000 yr old and developed long before man had any knowledge of the existence of the micro-organisms involved, also genuinely constitute biotechnology. Conventional agriculture (animal husbandry included) is a well-developed biotechnological industry in its own right. However, for the sake of convenience, the traditional processes are excluded from the realm of ‘modern biotechnology’.
In simpler words, biotechnology is the industry-scale use of organisms and/or their products. The term covers the scientific, technological and commercial aspects as well as the services rendered through them, touching almost every aspect of human wellbeing, from agriculture to therapeutics to pollution control.
The hope, the hype and the vehement opposition modern biotechnology has generated in a short time are immense and unprecedented. Both the technical and non-technical literature on biotechnology is vast and diverse, often frustrating even the biologists. The students and teachers of biological sciences are also at a serious disadvantage in accessing and understanding the full measure of the implications and complications of the new technology. The diverse and often conflicting views that appear in the media leave the general public in a state of confusion. There is a clear need to disseminate factual science based information that facilitates informed decisions on the acceptance or rejection of the products and services biotechnology endlessly offers.
Against this background, this website is conceived and facilitated by Professor C Kameswara Rao, as an information portal to serve the needs of a wide range of audience. It is intended to provide analyses and views on various issues of modern biotechnology, more particularly those that involve plants, in the public interest.