What is Genetic Engineering?  
Entire content of the genes of an organism is called its genome. For example, human genome is made up of 30000 genes, E.coli genome is made up of 4000, and the AIDS virus genome is made up of just 9 genes. Genetic Engineering can be defined as a process by which the genome of an organism is re-engineered using recombinant DNA technology. Organisms that are modified by genetic engineering are collectively called genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Genetically modified bacteria and viruses are called as recombinant bacteria and recombinant viruses. Genetically modified plants and animals are called transgenic plants and transgenic animals, respectively. Though there is some opposition for transgenic plants and animals (as with any new technology), recombinant bacteria and viruses are quietly accepted because they bring in huge health benefits which are otherwise impossible.

In genetic engineering, genome re-engineering should be followed by cloning (making large number of identical copies of the organism bearing the re-engineered genome). While cloning of bacteria, viruses and plants are considered normal, and cloning of animals is accepted to some extent, human cloning is unethical and totally banned. Therefore, genetic engineering in human is used at the level of gene therapy wherein a defective gene is replaced with normal gene as a treatment option for the disease caused by that defective gene. The newly added normal gene is effective only for the patient who received it, and it is not inherited to the next generations. Today genetic engineering is primarily used in the field of medicine, but is also applied in industry and agriculture.

What is taught in genetic engineering?
In Genetic Engineering, we teach the science behind genetic engineering and the methods and techniques that are used for genetic engineering. Basic courses in biology such as cell biology, microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology, genetics are taught to help the students to understand the living organisms better. Advanced courses such as functional genomics, stem cell biology, gene therapy, genome analysis and nanobiotechnology are also taught. SRM University offers B.Tech, M.Tech, PhD and Integrated PhD in Genetic Engineering. Click for complete curriculum and syllabi for B.Tech and M.Tech

I have not studied biology in 10+2 or its equivalent, am I eligible for admission to B.Tech Genetic Engineering?
Yes, students who have NOT studied biology in 10+2 or its equivalent are eligible for admission to B.Tech Genetic Engineering. They should have passed in 10+2 or its equivalent and secured minimum 60% aggregate in physics, chemistry and mathematics. Needless to say that the students who have secured minimum 60% aggregate in physics, chemistry and biology are eligible for admission to B.Tech Genetic Engineering. These are qualifying marks only. Admission will be based on the performance in All India Engineering Entrance Examination of SRM University (SRMEEE) only.

What is the difference between Genetic Engineering and Recombinant DNA Technology?
Both are one and the same.

Do you offer B.Tech Genetic Engineering in all the campuses of SRM University? 
No. Genetic Engineering is offered only in Kattankulathur (main) campus.

What is the difference between B.Tech Biotechnology and B.Tech Genetic Engineering?
There is no difference in eligibility criteria to join in B.Tech Biotechnology or Genetic Engineering. However, there are many differences between studying B.Tech Biotechnology and B.Tech Genetic Engineering at SRM University.
1. Compared to biotechnology, Genetic Engineering is more towards biology. For example, in B.Tech Biotechnology there are 8 chemical engineering courses (or subjects) which involve mathematical derivations and engineering aspects. But in B.Tech Genetic Engineering there are only 4 chemical engineering courses. Therefore, students who are more comfortable with biology than mathematics tend to opt for B.Tech Genetic Engineering.

2. Courses related to latest advancements in biology such as Gene Therapy, Stem Cell Biology, Biosensors and Biochips, Functional Genomics and Microarray Technology are offered as compulsory course in B.Tech Genetic Engineering only.

3. Biotechnology is a general term used to describe practical uses of living organisms and it dates back to prehistoric times. The Sumarians and Babylonians used yeast to make beer from cereals in 7000 B.C, Egyptians used yeast to make bread from wheat, and Chinese used bacteria to make yogurt from milk in 4000 B.C, and winemaking dates from biblical times. Modern man expanded these applications to newer areas like biodegradation of chemical contaminants in the environment, production of industrial enzymes or even use of microorganism like Anthrax as bio-weapons. However, all these applications depended on re-discovering microorganisms with novel functions that already exist in the nature. But genetic engineering, that was developed only recently in 1970s, is about modifying the genetic makeup of the existing organisms to direct them to make the products that they have never made before in nature. For example, the genetic make of a bacterium can be manipulated so that it produces human insulin which is otherwise made only by the human that too only by the beta cells of pancreas. The human insulin is now extracted from bacteria and it is used for treating diabetes. A gene from polio virus can be inserted into the genome of banana so that eating the fruits of this genetically modified plant is equivalent to taking polio vaccine. There are many such examples. All these feats are possible because the cells of the organisms, such as bacterium, yeast, insects, plants, animals and human, are more similar to each other than the actual organisms themselves appear to be. Despite many differences in structure and function, all cells are built with proteins, lipids and carbohydrates whose synthesis is directed by remarkably similar DNAs and the genetic code is universal. Therefore, genetic engineering is considered as an advanced filed in life sciences which require understanding the biology of the organisms at molecular level, dissecting the genes and genomes, and skilful manipulation of the genetic makeup.

Where I can study Genetic Engineering?
SRM University is the only place in India where you can study B.Tech, M.Tech., PhD and integrated PhD in Genetic Engineering.

What is the difference in B.Sc. Genetics and B.Tech Genetic Engineering?
Genetics is a basic science but Genetic Engineering is an applied science wherein the principles of genetics are used. Genetics deals with heredity and variations – that is how children resemble more to the parents than to others, and how the children of the same parents differ among them. Genetic Engineering deals with modifying the genetic makeup of the organisms for our benefit. B.Sc Genetics is a three year course but B.Tech Genetic Engineering is a four year course. B.Tech curriculum and syllabi will be extensive and teaching of theory and practical will be more rigourous as it is a professional degree course offered in an Engineering College. With four year degree, you are directly eligible for MS or PhD in USA. But with 3 year B.Sc, you need to do M.Sc to become eligible for the same.

How selection or admission is made for B.Tech Genetic Engineering? 
All India Engineering Entrance Examination of SRM University (SRMEEE) is conducted every year with examination centers throughout the country. This examination may be conducted before the results of qualifying examinations are known. A merit list is prepared based on the performance in SRMEEE and candidates will be called in the order of rank for counseling at SRM University for final admission. Admission to the B.Tech and M.Tech program will be purely on merit which is based on the performance in SRMEEE only. At the time of counseling, it is a must to produce original certificate to show that the candidate for B.Tech has secured a minimum aggregate of 60% marks in Mathematics, Physics & Chemistry or Biology, Physics and Chemistry in 10+2 or its equivalent. For M.Tech, the students should have qualified and secured minimum aggregate of 60% in B.E/ B.Tech in Genetic Engineering/ Biotechnology/ Industrial (or) Medical (or) General (or) Food Biotechnology/ Biochemical Engineering/ Bioinformatics/ Bioprocess Engineering (or) B. Pharm (or) B.V.Sc. (or) B.F.Sc. (or) B.Sc. (Agri)/ B.Sc. (Forestry) (or) MBBS (or) M.Sc in any branch of life science. For more details visit www.srmuniv.ac.in

What is the scope for Genetic Engineering?
Higher Studies in India: Students after completing B.Tech may opt for M. Tech Genetic Engineering that is available only at SRM University or M.Tech in life science related courses in other engineering colleges and IITs. Direct PhD after B.Tech is offered by select institutions like Indian Institute of Science, National Center for Biological Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advance Scientific Research, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research etc. The B.Tech Genetic Engineering students are eligible to write GATE examination which will enable them to get admissions with stipend for doing M.Tech in government and government aided engineering colleges and IITs. Based on merit, SRM University provides teaching assistantship for the M. Tech students with GATE qualification. Several B.Tech Genetic Engineering students have written GATE examination while they are in III year and IV year and secured national ranks. In 2011, Swagata Sharma of III year Genetic Engineering has got national 5th rank. One can also write CSIR-UGC test for JRF. This will enable the students to do direct PhD in reputed institutions like IISc, CCMB, NCBS, NBRC, IGIB, etc., with a stipend of Rs.20800 per month (Rs.2.5 Lakhs per year). It should be noted that this is NOT the salary for the work that you do for an employer but the money paid for your studies, your research and for getting a PhD degree for you.

Higher Studies Abroad: This is the most preferred option for B.Tech and M.Tech Genetic Engineering students because it is attractive professionally and economically. It is a myth that higher studies abroad are expensive. Actually you can make a lot of money while studying abroad. To cite one example, B.Tech genetic engineering student Soumitra Ghosh has secured admission to PhD in Notre Dame University, Indiana, USA with full tuition scholarship of 38,370 US$ per year and Graduate Assistant Stipend of 24,000 US$. This translates to 28.0 Lakhs rupees per year or 2.3 Lakhs rupees per month. It should be noted that this is NOT the salary for the work that you do for an employer but the money paid for your studies, your research and for getting a PhD degree for you. Of course that will require hard work and meticulous planning. If you are prepared to work hard, the department will guide you on how to achieve that. The preparation for this should begin as early as in II year of B.Tech. Click to know more about students pursuing higher studies abroad.

Jobs: Genetic Engineering is an advanced field in life science that requires higher qualifications up to PhD in order to excel in this field. Therefore, we strongly encourage the students at least to go to the level of Master’s degree (MS/MTech) because PhD can be done as part time while working. However, due to financial or other reasons, if the students want to go for a job, there are several opportunities. The revenue from life science industry including life science education in India in the FY 2010-11 was Rs.18, 399 Crores which is an impressive growth of 21.5% over the previous financial year (Biospectrum ABLE Biotech Industry Survey 2011). Therefore, finding a job in the industry should not be difficult provided the students equip themselves with knowledge and skills required for the industry. The preparations for getting into industry will be different. If the students decided early on, the department can help them in this regard.
Jobs in Core Areas
There are 209 R & D companies, 131 national research institutions and 2 international research institutions in life science where jobs are available in different capacities. Since the requirement for each company or institution will be few they would not like to come to the campus for recruitment but the students have to apply to them and get the job. The Department will provide the students with the contact details of these companies and institutions and guide them in finding a suitable job.
Jobs in IT Companies
Many big companies like TCS, WIPRO and Cognizant recruit B.Tech students regardless of their branch of specialization. Therefore, B.Tech Genetic Engineering students can also get the jobs in these IT companies if they are interested. Though the jobs immediately assigned by these companies may not be relevant, the students may find a way to work in their life science related projects. For example, TCS Innovations Lab at Hyderabad is working on life science areas in the field of computational biology, meta-genomics and systems biology. Click here for further info.

Cognizant is offering services to life science companies in the area of clinical development, phamacovigilance, regulatory compliance, sales and marketing etc. It is claimed that 27 of the top 30 global pharmaceutical, 9 of the top 10 biotech and 12 of the top 20 medical device companies benefit from the integrated services portfolio of Cognizant. Click here for further info

Is there any research opportunity for Genetic Engineering students?
It is compulsory to do research project under the guidance of eminent faculties in the 8th semester of B.Tech and 3rd and 4th semesters of M.Tech Genetic Engineering. The projects can be done in SRM or other institutions in India and abroad. The outcome of the research projects can be published in reputed research journals. This will help to get good jobs and admission in MS or PhD abroad. Click to know about research projects done by students in SRM University, reputed institutions and companies in India and also abroad. The research articles published on genomics and biodegradation by students are listed.

Is there any scholarship for studying at SRM University? 
The most prestigious scholarship at SRM University is the SRM Founder’s Scholarship which provides full fee waiver of tuition, hostel, mess, plus stipend Rs 1,000 / month. There are many other University scholarships given for deserving students.

Is there any education loan facility for studying at SRM University?
Those who aspire to be a part of SRM University can now avail themselves of full educational loans through select banks with which the university has created links. They are: SBI, ICICI Bank, Bank of India, City Union bank, IDBI Bank, State Bank of Mysore, Corporation Bank, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Patiala, Vijaya Bank, Andhra Bank, Central Bank of India, Indian Bank, United Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank. The loan can also be availed at the university campus during the counseling and admission sessions. The process is simple and hassle free, so every student has access to financial aid. In fact, during the academic year 2008-09, spot loans sanctioned by the various banks during counseling amounted to INR 75 crores.

As parents, we are still not completely satisfied if we can let our children to study this course. What we can do?
Ask your son or daughter if he or she likes the course and have the passion for it. If the answer is ‘yes’, let him or her to study this course. Neither you or nor your children will be disappointed because we have excellent infrastructure, faculty and learning environment for the students. If the children themselves are confused even after reading the FAQs and other information, let them write to us (hod.gn@ktr.srmuniv.ac.in) or come in person so that we provide them with more information to help you to take an informed decision. If you are coming in person, it would be better to fix an appointment by calling at 044-27417817 or 044-27417857.

Since the course is dealing with latest developments in biology, do you have enough infrastructures to conduct this course?
We have world class infrastructure and faculty for conducting this course up to PhD level.

How do I get clarification if I still have some queries?
You can contact the Head of the Department or any faculty members by e-mail. For the contact details of higher officials visit www.srmuniv.ac.in

Head of the Department      hod.gene@ktr.srmuniv.ac.in
Dr. M. Ramya                      ramya.m@ktr.srmuniv.ac.in
Dr. K. Devi                          devi.a@ktr.srmuniv.ac.in
Dr. B. Usha                         usha.b@ktr.srmuniv.ac.in
Dr. N. Purushothaman        purushothaman.n@ktr.srmuniv.ac.in
Mr. Rex Arunraj                   rexarunraj.d@ktr.srmuniv.ac.in
Mr. S. Iyappan                     iyappans@ktr.srmuniv.ac.in
Mr. N. Manoj kumar             manojkumarn@ktr.srmuniv.ac.in
Mr. P. Rathinasabapathi     rathinasababathip@ktr.srmuniv.ac.in
Mr. Aruljothi                        aruljothin@ktr.srmuniv.ac.in

Can we go abroad while studying at SRM?
See under Semester Abroad Program.

What is Semester Abroad Program?
In this program the students can spend one semester abroad in a foreign university while they are still a student of SRM University. While it is common for the students to go abroad after finishing their studies in India, it is rare to go abroad while studying in India that too in undergraduate level. This would be possible only if the University has memorandum of understanding with the foreign Universities and willing to put extra effort to adjust the academic program in India to make the visit abroad possible. Under SAP, SRM University does not send students to unknown Universities but only to top ranking ones such as MIT, Harvard, Cornegie Mellon, University of California, and University of Dayton every year. Such a program does not exist even in IITs. There are student who join SRM just for the opportunities in SAP. Though money is required to undertake SAP, that is not the criteria to be selected for SAP. Only University toppers are eligible for SAP. Academically brilliant students with poor economic background have been given financial support by the SRM University. One of our students, Swagata Sharma who topped in her academics was financially supported to pursue SAP at Harvard University. Only University toppers are eligible for SAPFor more details and latest update visit http://www.srmsap.org/ and also to know more about Genetic Engineering students who have taken up SAP.

Can I do dual degree in genetic engineering at SRM University?
B.Tech Genetic Engineering is 4 year program. You can study 3 years at SRM and the final year you can spend at Warwick University in UK. After that, you will get B.Tech Genetic Engineering Degree from SRM University and M.Sc Degree from Warwick University simultaneously. Currently it is available only for those who are interested in specializing in Plant Science. Dual degree program with other Universities are being developed. For more details and latest update visit http://www.srmsap.org/