Bioinformatics education in India
An account of bioinformatics education in India is presented along with future prospects. Establishment of BTIS network by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India in the 1980s had been a systematic effort in the development of bioinformatics infrastructure in India to provide services to scientific community. Advances in the field of bioinformatics underpinned the need for well-trained professionals with skills in information technology and biotechnology. As a result, programmes for capacity building in terms of human resource development were initiated. Educational programmes gradually evolved from the organisation of short-term workshops to the institution of formal diploma/degree programmes. A case study of the Master’s degree course offered at the Bioinformatics Centre, University of Pune is discussed. Currently, many universities and institutes are offering bioinformatics courses at different levels with variations in the course contents and degree of detailing. BioInformatics National Certification (BINC) examination initiated in 2005 by DBT provides a common yardstick to assess the knowledge and skill sets of students passing out of various institutions. The potential for broadening the scope of bioinformatics to transform it into a data intensive discovery discipline is discussed. This necessitates introduction of amendments in the existing curricula to accommodate the upcoming developments.