Institutional Biosafety Committee

Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBSC)

Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBSC)

All the laboratories in RGCB work with nucleic acids and carry out recombinant DNA experiments on hazardous and non-hazardous microorganisms as well as higher eukaryotic organisms. As mandated in the Rules 1989 of Environment (Protection) Act 1986, RGCB has constituted an institutional biosafety committee (BT/BS/17/37/2001-PID) as per the guidelines of DBT, Government of India, to facilitate the implementation of biosafety procedures to ensure safety from the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and products thereof to the users as well as to the environment.


IBSC Categories

The rDNA Safety Guidelines of DBT stipulate three categories of research activities i.e. Category I, II and III with increasing level of containment requirements.

Category I experiments involving self cloning, using strains and also inter species cloning belonging to organism in the same exchanger group etc. and are exempt for the purpose of intimation and approval.

Category II experiments falling under containment levels II, III and IV, large scale use of recombinants made of self cloning in systems belonging to exempt category etc. require prior intimation to IBSC.

Category III experiments involving toxin gene cloning, cloning of genes for vaccine production, use of infectious animals and plant viruses, self fusion experiments, field testing and release etc. require review and approval of IBSC before commencement.

The categories of genetic engineering experiments on plants have been notified specifically under the “Revised Guidelines for Research in Transgenic Plant, 1998” by DBT. In this categorization, routine recombinant DNA experiments fall in Category I and need only intimation to the IBSC in the prescribed performa. 

Category II include lab and greenhouse/nethouse experiments in contained environment where defined DNA fragments that are non pathogenic to human and animals are used for genetic transformation of plants.  Permission for performing Category II experiments is provided by IBSC but the decision of the IBSC needs to be intimated to the Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation (RCGM) before execution of the experiment and RCGM would put this information on record. 

Category III pertains to high risk experiments where the escape of transgenic traits into the open environment could cause significant alterations in the biosphere, the ecosystem, the plants and animals by dispersing new genetic traits, the effects of which cannot be judged precisely.  All experiments conducted in greenhouse and open field conditions not belonging to the above Category II types, would fall under Category III risks. Such experiments could be conducted only after clearance from RCGM and notified by the Department of Biotechnology.

(Source: DBT Biosafety Handbook).