April 25-26 – James Watson, a biologist from Indiana University, and Francis Crick, a physicist, were working at the Cavendish Lab in Cambridge, England on the structure of DNA. On Saturday, February 28, 1953 it is reported that Crick came into the Eagle, a Cambridge pub, and announced to everyone there that they had “found the secret of life”. In 1953 they proposed the double helix model of DNA. In April of 1953 the Watson and Crick paper appeared in the journal Nature 171: 737-738 & 964-967 (1953). US Congress declared April 25th 2003 as DNA Day to celebrate the completion of the human genome project and the 50th anniversary of the description of DNA.
In this regard Biotechnology Society of Nepal (BSN) has been celebrating “World DNA Day” every year since 2008 by organizing different talk programs, seminars, documentary shows and student awareness programs. This year also the day was celebrated under the theme “Biotech Youth Meet 2011” at White House institute of Science and Technology (WHIST), Khumlaltar. Over 250 students from biotechnology and applied biological sciences studying at Kathmandu University, Tribhuvan University, WHIST, SANN International College, LBEF College and GEMS institute of Higher education and other different colleges participated. The program was also attendant by more than 50 scientists and researchers from government institutions like NAST, NARC, NAFOL, Government delegates from Public Service Commission (PSC) and Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) and private sectors.
In the program Mr. Jivan Rijal from NAFOL stressed the need of DNA Databank for crime investigation, identification of missing individuals and wildlife management. He also sought for clear act and rules, appropriate education for judges and law students and support for scientific community for making the judgment based on scientific evidence.
Speaking at the program, Mr. Dibesh Karmacharya, Executive Director of Intrepid Nepal Pvt. Ltd. emphasized on the 3-C (Communicate, Collaborate and build the biotech Community) for the development of biotechnology in Nepal. Similarly, Dr. Sameer M. Dixit, Country Director of Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal (CMDN) highlighted the role of biotechnology in public health and biomedical research.
Speaking at the program, Dr. Kayo Devi Yami, acting chair person PSC of Nepal stressed on need of taskforce comprising researchers, scientists, biotech graduates and concerned stakeholders to pressure the concern ministries and line agencies to recruit the biotech graduates via PSC. She also clarified that PSC only cannot recognize the biotech graduates until the concerned ministries demand for the post and also assured that PSC will work at high speed in developing curriculum for recognition of those graduates.
During the program, Mr. Ganesh Shah, former minister, MoST wished for capturing first Nobel Prize for Nepal in the field of biotechnology by encouraging the scientific community and graduates and assured that he is dedicated for the development for biotechnology in Nepal. He also said about the entrepreneurial activity apart from research for contributing economic growth of the country. He added that unification in work and sharing of facilities currently available is inevitable for sustainability and growth.
Mr. Mukunda Raj Prakash Gimire, Joint Secretary of MoST and also the Coordinator of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics Technical Team said that government is working for the development of Biotechnology and also highlighted the Biotechnology policy of Nepal 2063.
Speaking at the program, Dr. Dinesh Raj Bhuju, Head of Faculty of Science, NAST focused on the facilities and opportunities available for biotechnology graduates and future works of NAST in this field.
Similarly, Dr. Mukunda Ranjit, President of Nepal Biotech Association (NBA) highlighted the need of government investment, as India has done in early 90s, for the development of Biotechnology.
Similarly, Dr. Janardan Lamichhane, Vice President of Regional Branch Office, Asian Federation of Biotechnology (AFOB) emphasized the need of technology transfer and collaboration among different international research institutions for capacity building and establishment of state-of-the- art facilities.
Speaking at the program, Mr. Rajiv Singh, Head of Institute, WHIST highlighted the need of collaborative effort among different biotech institutions for upliftment of biotechnology and development competent graduates.
In the program, Mr. Ravi Bhandari, Vice President of BSN highlighted current projects of BSN like e-bulletin, e-interview, article on demand (AOD), brain drain to brain gain and BSN journal entitled Nepal Journal of Biotechnology (NJB) which will ultimately enhance the academic knowledge of students, scientists and researchers in this field. He also added that BSN will come up with new projects and opportunities for them.
Mr. Prajwal Rajbhandari, a MS by Research (Bio-Technology) graduate from Kathmandu University focused on the unity among biotech graduates, faculty members for uplifting new born subject in Nepal and role of BSN in fulfilling this. Similarly, Mr. Hemanta Raj Mainali, Teaching Assistant and Biotech graduate from Department of Biotechnology, Kathmandu University said that involvement of youth is inevitable for development of biotechnology in Nepal and need of such program for making the awareness among the different stakeholders for collaborative effort.
The program was organized by Biotechnology Society of Nepal (BSN), sponsored by WHIST and supported by JHS Analytic Trader, Menaka Enterprizes, Intrepid Nepal, Chaudhary Group, Himalaya Distillery, GEMS/AUF and Everest Biotech.
Also, on 26th of April, Mitra Kunj/Nepal Science and Technology Development Forum/ Russia Centre of Science and Culture headed by Mr Ganesh Shah also celebrated World DNA Day on the topic “Talk program on Biotechnology”. Speaker for the program were Dr. Janardan Lamichhane, Associate Professor at Department of Biotechnology, Kathmandu University and Dr. Pramod Aryal, Chief Scientific Officer at Deurali Janata Biotech Pharma, a Biotech wing of renowned pharmaceutical company Deurali Janata Pharmaceuticals Limited (DJPL).