2021 GS3 Answer

Q. What are the research and developmental achievements in applied biotechnology ? How will these achievements help to uplift the poorer sections of the society?

Question from UPSC Mains 2021 GS3 Paper

Model Answer: 

Applied biotechnology involves the use of living organisms or their products to develop new products or processes that benefit society. It has led to numerous research and developmental achievements, with potential to uplift the poorer sections of the society.

Research and Developmental Achievements in Applied Biotechnology:

  • Genetically Modified Crops: Biotechnology has enabled the development of genetically modified (GM) crops that are resistant to pests and disease, and have higher yields. This has increased agricultural productivity, reduced the use of pesticides and herbicides, and helped to address food security concerns.
  • Biopharmaceuticals: Biotechnology has enabled the production of biopharmaceuticals, which are drugs made from living cells or organisms. These drugs are used to treat a wide range of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders.
  • Gene Therapy: Biotechnology has also enabled the development of gene therapy, which involves replacing or repairing faulty genes to treat or prevent disease. This approach has the potential to cure genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia.
  • Biomaterials: Biotechnology has led to the development of biomaterials, which are materials that are compatible with living tissue. These materials are used in medical devices such as artificial joints and heart valves.
  • Biofuels: Biotechnology has enabled the development of biofuels, which are renewable fuels made from organic matter such as plants and algae. These fuels are more sustainable than fossil fuels and have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

How will these Achievements Help to Uplift the Poorer Sections of the Society?

  • Increased Agricultural Productivity: The development of GM crops has increased agricultural productivity and helped to address food security concerns. This can benefit poorer sections of society by increasing their access to nutritious and affordable food.
  • Affordable Biopharmaceuticals: The production of biopharmaceuticals using biotechnology has led to the development of affordable drugs for the treatment of diseases. This can benefit poorer sections of society by increasing their access to life-saving treatments.
  • Improved Healthcare: The development of gene therapy and biomaterials has led to improved healthcare outcomes for patients with genetic disorders and other medical conditions. This can benefit poorer sections of society by providing them with access to better healthcare services.
  • Job Creation: The development of biotechnology products and processes has led to the creation of new jobs in various sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, and energy. This can benefit poorer sections of society by providing them with new job opportunities and increasing their economic opportunities.
  • Sustainable Development: The development of biofuels using biotechnology can contribute to sustainable development by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting renewable energy sources. This can benefit poorer sections of society by promoting a cleaner environment and reducing the impact of climate change on their communities.

Conclusion:

The research and developmental achievements in applied biotechnology have the potential to benefit society in numerous ways, including improving healthcare outcomes, increasing agricultural productivity, and promoting sustainable development. These achievements can also help to uplift the poorer sections of society by providing them with access to affordable treatments, better healthcare services, and new economic opportunities. It is important to continue investing in biotechnology research and development to harness its full potential for the benefit of society.

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