The Department of Biotechnology in the University was established at the College of Agriculture, Dharwad during the year 1995.  Post graduate degree progamme in Plant Biotechnology was initiated with initial few laboratories hosting minimal instrumentation basically to facilitate teaching and training students in molecular tools.  Considering the perceived needs of northern Karnataka, Government of Karnataka provided Rs.5.00 crore to the University to set up 'The Institute of Agri-Biotechnology' (IABT) with state of the art molecular biology laboratories.  This was one of several initiatives taken by the vision group on Biotechnology set up Govt. of Karnataka under its overall policy on Biotechnology and Science and Technology.

The Institute has acquired the latest equipment, tools and facilities (mostly imported) for various molecular biology labs, transgenic facilities, bioinformatics and insectary units, growth chambers, radiotracer lab and other supporting equipment and systems.  The Institute has made a significant progress in terms of technology development, quality education and training for staff and students. Ph. D.  programme in Plant Biotechnology has been started from 2002 and the intake for M.Sc (Agri) in Plant Biotechnology increased 3  to   12 per batch from 2001. Presently over 30 masters and 7 Ph. D scholars, 20 Research Fellows and Associates and 8 faculty members and use the latest equipment and facilities of  IABT.

Dr. MK Bhan who delivered 2005 convocation address of UAS, Dharwad, indeed made a mention about ‘translational centres’.  Following the convocation he visited IABT and interacted with the faculty. Upon return to New Delhi, he wrote to us and suggested about the programme support project.  We are happy that the whole programme took its genesis at UAS, Dharwad.

IABT has programmes on niche area of excellence in microbial biotechnology from ICAR and DBT programme for Master’s students besides well defined DBT programme support project with a focus on product development Most of these works are funded by DBT, DST and ICAR.  DBT has been the biggest supporter of our programmes at UAS, Dharwad.

Four well defined programmes with a clear focus and periodic reviews and mentoring, I am sure something tangible will result through this programme support project.