India was the first country in the world to establish National Bioinformatics Network. Due to personal intervention and support by the then Prime Minister Late Rajiv Gandhiji, India established a Distributed Bioinformatics Network in 1986-87. The culture of use of computers in biology and importance of quantization in biology in India was the result of this network. The BTISnet covers institutions under DST, CSIR, ICMR, ICAR, Universities and Institutes under Human Resource Ministry.
Today an extensive Bioinformatics Network, covering 120 institutions , spread geographically all over the country, has been established. The Network is creating human resource in Bioinformatics and carrying out research in different areas of Bioinformatics. Scientists of this network have published more than 1000 bioinformatics research papers in peer reviewed journals in last five years and helped in publishing more than 3000 research papers in biology/biotechnology.
The network has also helped directly or indirectly several Bioinformatics companies in India. The scientists from the network have participated in major national millennium technology initiative projects of CSIR such as Biosuite of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) or software packages for visualization of bioinformatics data by Strand Genomics. The BTISnet is the first network which established BioGrid India of large bandwidth and high speed connectivity among various institutions in the country and also high performance national computing facility. Thus, this unique network has showed that India can work in network consortium mode.The network has become a very successful vehicle for transfer and exchange of information, scientific knowledge, technology packages and references in the country involving 10-12 thousand scientific personnel. Six Centres of Excellence, Eleven Distributed Information Centres and an Apex Centre at the Department of Biotechnology, 51 Sub-Distributed Information Centres and 98 Bioinformatics Infrastructure Facilities located in Universities and Research Institutes of national importance, are fully engaged in this task