The emergence of biotechnology in India: Collaboration, contestation and non-western perspective
Post-world-war, colonies, especially in the Indian subcontinent, were facing huge food and nutritional crisis. Hence after the independence, A first a few five-year plans were oriented to provide the necessary boost for the revival of the agriculture from its abysmal state. These efforts culminated in the form of large scale revolutions in the fields of agriculture and dairy products. They are known as a ‘Green Revolution’ and ‘Operation Flood’ respectively in the country. Such social and technological circumstances created the space for the inception of a few new engineering streams such as Fermentation Technology, Food Technology and subsequently, Biochemical Engineering. Biochemical engineering research centre (BERC henceforth) at IIT Delhi, India came into existence with Swiss and British collaboration in 1974. Within a few years of its inception, BERC emerged as a formidable force and chaired/led various committees and conferences focusing on biofuels and non-conventional energy sources worldwide. The exhibit engages with different forms of archival material such as photographs of the experiments, instruments, records of communication exchange between scientists and government institutions. Curation of archival material in the form of the digital collection will depict the trajectory of BERC, IIT Delhi from a collaborative initiative to leading institutions in biofuels and non-conventional energy resources worldwide.