Department of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering

Mission, Vision, Objectives of the Department of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering

Department of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (BGE) started operating both its Bachelor (Honours) and Masterprogramme from September 2002. The Bachelor’s program was of four years duration with each semester being of four months. The Master’s programme was of one year duration, each semester being of six months. Both the Bachelor and Masterprogrammes were approved by the UGC with Professor Hasina Khan from the then Department of Biochemistry, Dhaka University as the expert. The modern era has been defined as the era of biotechnology. The whole human race is facing numerous problems on an unprecedented scale. Global climate change is threatening melt down of polar ice resulting in increase in sea levels and submersion of vast areas of human habitation. Rise in surface temperature of earth due to continuous emission of greenhouse gases (leading to rise in global temperature) is bringing on massive climate disruptions and mass extinctions of species, which in turn is creating ecological imbalances. The natural food chain supply is thus disrupted; the world is facing scarcity of food, increases in natural disasters, increases in drought and soil salinity, and emergence of new or drug-resistant diseases. Bangladesh is in a very trying position under the multiple threats of global climate changes, decreasing food cultivation area, and increases in human habitat, new diseases, environmental pollutions (both man-made and natural). Also suffering from the extinction of species of fish, plants, animals and birds. If this is not trouble enough we have now practically decimated our wild gene pool through introduction of exotic and non-indigenous fish and plants. Under the circumstances, the mission, vision and objectives of the BGE Department are clear cut. The mission is to apply biotechnological and genetic engineering solutions wherever applicable to solve the food, industrial, environmental, and pharmaceutical problems of the country. The vision is to create conditions where the country and the population will be better able to adapt and take remedial measures against global climate changes and local problems through the utilization of biotechnological and genetic engineering techniques. The objective is to train and prepare students as well as to make aware the people of the country about what needs to be done, what can be done and how can we do it to survive and prosper.

Research in BGE is mandatory in both Bachelor’s and Master’s programme. Students are encouraged to choose their research topic after consulting with prospective supervisors and also encouraged to publish their research in reputed international scientific Journals. In turn, supervisors are encouraged to do research on the various problems facing the country and how they can be solved through biotechnology and genetic engineering. The teaching strategy of the Department reflects the research strategy. It can readily be seen that the courses taught in the MSc program are in tune with the development of the country. Courses like aquaculture, applied plant biotechnology, pharmaceutical biotechnology and environmental biotechnology has direct influences on the food and health sectors of the country. This can be on several fronts like finding new, affordable, readily available and nutritive food crops; saving plants, animals and the environment from destruction through establishment of data bank, wild gene pool and active conservation of species through awareness, breeding programs, and establishment of sanctuaries in every district; and through scientific validation of the therapeutic properties of indigenous medicinal plants and saving these plants from endangerment or extinction through clonal propagation.