India should not succumb to prejudices against Bt crops: PM

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by feathers, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. feathers

    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2014
    Messages:
    1,817
    Likes Received:
    844
    Location:
    india
    India should not succumb to prejudices against Bt crops: PM
    Jammu, Feb 3, 2014 (PTI)

    Batting for Bt crops, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said India should not succumb to unscientific prejudices against genetically modified crops.

    "While safety must be ensured, we should not succumb to unscientific prejudices against Bt crops", he said in his address at the 101st Indian Science Congress here.

    Opinion has been sharply divided in India on introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops. There have been protests against such crops with several parties opposed to it.

    "Our government remains committed to promoting the use of these new technologies for agricultural development," Singh said, adding that the "use of biotechnology has great potential to improve yield".

    The Prime Minister called upon the scientific community to increase communication and engagement with society in explaining socially productive applications of technology alternatives and for improving the productivity of small and medium enterprises.

    In order to ensure food security and to improve land and water productivity, "we have to launch a national drive for an ever-green revolution," he said.

    "This will test the ingenuity of our agricultural scientists. Climate-resilient agriculture and modern bio-technological tools hold great promise. Use of biotechnology has great potential to improve yields," he said.

    The Science Congress will conclude on February 7 and will focus on the theme of 'Innovations in Science and Technology for Inclusive Development'.
     
  2.  
  3. feathers

    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2014
    Messages:
    1,817
    Likes Received:
    844
    Location:
    india
    India must spend 2% GDP on science: Manmohan - The Hindu

    Emphasising the need to ensure food security, Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, on Monday took a strong stance in favour of genetically modified crops, urging the people of the country not to be swayed by "unscientific prejudices’’ against them.

    " Use of biotechnology has great potential to improve yields. While safety must [also] be ensured, we should not succumb to unscientific prejudices against Bt crops’’, he said.

    Inaugurating the 101st session of the Indian Science Congress, which is being held here, he urged the scientific community to engage more with society and explain socially productive applications of biotechnology and other technology alternatives.

    The Government on its part, he reiterated, remained fully committed to the use of Biotechnology and other new technologies for agricultural development.

    The Prime Minister announced that the Government would soon come out with another national mission on high performance computing with an outlay of Rs. 4,500 crore and was considering establishment of a national geographical information system with an outlay of Rs. 3,000 crore.

    Further, he announced that India would soon join as an associate member the European organisation for nuclear research, CERN, where international projects such as the research on 'god particle’ is going on and was planning to host the third detector for the global Gravitational Wave Experiment. "A national mission on teaching to enhance the esteem of our teachers is also being launched’’.

    Besides, he announced the names of five eminent scientists, who have been selected under the Government’s recently instituted Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowships. The fellowship is open exclusively to scientists who are either Nobel Laureates or Fellows of UK’s Royal Society, or members of the US or French academies of science.

    The selected scientists are entitled to a fellowship of US dollars 1,00,000 plus a research grant of Rs. 55 lakhs. They would have to conduct research in an institution in India for a period of 12 months, which can be spent in instalments spread over a three year period. The host institution would also get a grant fof Rs. 10 lakhs for providing laboratory space, other infrastructure and facility.

    The scheme provides for 25 fellowships and so far five have been selected. They are: mathematical scientist Prof Srinivasa Varadhan of New York University, computational biologist Prof. M.Vidyasagar of University of Texas, life scientist Prof. Azim Surani of University of Cambridge, astronomer Prof. Srinivas Kulkarni of Caltech, and geo-scientist Prof. Trevor Charles Platt of Bedford Institute of Oceanography. Four of the winners are Fellows of the Royal Society and one is an Abel medallist.

    Apparently with the coming Parliament elections in view, Mr. Singh sought to project the achievements of his Government over the past 10 years in the field of science and technology. In particular, he noted that the sixth pay commission had improved the conditions for the academic and scientific personnel. "International surveys have shown that India scores well in terms of salary structures for scientific personnel. Our gross expenditure per full time R&D personnel is increasingly comparable in purchasing power parity terms to some of the more developed R&D systems of the world’’.

    He also mentioned the setting up of five IISERs, and eight new IITs and development of backward linkages between Government departments such as Space, Atomic Energy and CSIR with universities to enable cross-fertilisation of ideas, and establishment of the National Science and Engineering Research Board and initiation of schemes like INSPIRE to attract youngster to science and technology.

    "[Over the past 10 years] we have worked to create a synergy of academia with research, research with industry, industry with economy, and economy with the well being of our people. All this had made our progress in science in the last ten years very substantial", he said.

    Union Science and Technology Minister, Jaipal Reddy, announced that the Government would soon launch a Rs. 250 crore scheme for scaling up innovations that would serve the needs of the common man and an overseas scholarship programme to bridge gaps in critical and frontier areas of scientific research. Further, his Ministry proposed to set up virtual institutes in areas like advanced manufacturing and climate change.
     
    Srinivas_K likes this.

Share This Page