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BW Most Influential Woman Of India: Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology

Renu Swarup has taken over charge as Secretary, Department of Biotechnology (DBT). She has served in Department of Biotechnology for nearly 29 years and was holding the position of Senior Advisor/Scientist ‘H’ till she was appointed a Secretary to Government of India on 10th April, 2018.

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She also holds position of Chairperson, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a Public Sector Company incorporated by the Government to nurture and promote innovation research in the Biotech Enterprise with special focus on Start-ups and SMEs. As an avid supporter of genetic engineering she has worked day for the genetic mark-up based innovations. As a scientist by profession and having a deep understanding of highly complicated and scientific issues in her current role, she can is a perfect fit.  

A PhD in Genetics and Plant Breeding, Swarup completed her Post-Doctoral at The John Innes Centre, Norwich UK, under Commonwealth Scholarship and returned to India to take up the assignment of a Science Manager in the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, GoI, in 1989. As a Science Manager, Issues related to policy planning and implementation are a part of her assignment. She was actively engaged in formulation of the Biotechnology Vision in 2001, National Biotechnology Development Strategy in 2007 and Strategy II, 2015-20 as the Member Secretary of the Expert Committee.

Swarup has also been closely involved in Programmes and activities related to Women and Science. She was responsible for getting implemented the DBT Scheme on Biotechnology Career Advancement for Women Scientists – Bio CARE. She was also a member of the Task Force on Women in Science constituted by the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Prime Minister.


Swarup also held charge of Managing Director, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a Public Sector Company incorporated by the Government of India to nurture and promote innovation research in the Biotech Enterprise with special focus on Start-ups and SMEs till she took over the charge of Chairperson. Through Biotechnology translational research and industry academia partnerships she has supported more than 1000 Start-ups and Entrepreneurs, and nearly 500 small companies for innovation research and product development. She is also the

A Member of the National Academy of Sciences (NASI) India. She is also a Member of Governing Body of National Institutes, Universities and Centres. She was awarded the “BioSpectrum Person of the Year Award” in 2012. She also received the “National Entrepreneurship Awards 2017”. This is a Special Jury recognition Award for Government Mentor.


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