Dr. Renu Swarup, Senior Advisor and Scientist H at the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India took over as Secretary, DBT on 10th of April 2018. She takes over the role from Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, who served as the interim Secretary, DBT. Dr. Renu Swarup’s appointment which is approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet was formally notified today for a period of two years or until attainment of 60 years or until further orders.
Dr. Swarup, who holds a PhD degree in Genetics and Plant Engineering, completed her Post Doctoral studies at The John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK. Her career at DBT started in 1989 when she joined the department as a Science Manager. Currently, Dr. Swarup is also a Managing Director of Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a public company that promotes innovative research in biotechnology with a special focus on startups and small and medium enterprises.
At DBT, Dr. Swarup was part of several initiatives. As a Science Manager, she worked on policy planning and implementation. She also heads the National Bioresource Development Board and is involved in development, funding and monitoring of programmes in the area of energy biosciences, bioresource development and utilisation and plant biotechnology, tissue culture and other biomass associated programmes. She was also instrumental in the formation of the first Biotechnology Vision in 2001, the National Biotechnology Development Strategy in 2007, and the second strategy in the year 2015, where she served as the Member Secretary of the Expert Committee.
Dr. Swarup has been a fervent supporter of women scientists and has been closely involved in several initiatives related to women and science. She is credited with initiating the Biotechnology Career Advancement for Women Scientists (BioCARe), a DBT scheme. She was also a member of the task force on Women in Science, constituted by the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Prime Minister. Over the years, she has been the winner of several awards and honours including, the ‘Bio-Spectrum Person of the Year Award’ in 2012 and National Entrepreneurship Award in 2017.
Here is wishing Dr. Swarup all the best in her new leadership role.