Deepak Pental, innovator of the transgenic mustard variety, interviewed by Sayantan Bera (Livemint.com)
All our solutions in agriculture, besides management issues, are going to come from science and technology, says Deepak Pental, innovator of GM mustard
Last week, the environment ministry’s regulator, the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), cleared the commercial release of genetically modified (GM) mustard, leaving it to the government to take a final call. If approved, it will be India’s first food crop developed using transgenic technology, 15 years after Bt cotton was released to farmers. The technology is safe and versatile, said Deepak Pental, innovator of the transgenic mustard variety and former head of Delhi University’s Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants where the research took place. Edited excerpts from an interview:
* Please explain the technology behind GM mustard. How long did it take to develop?
It is known in plant breeding that hybrids yield more (output) than pure lines. We used genetic engineering to produce hybrid seeds at a...
Sam Pitroda, regarded as the father of India's telecom revolution, interviewed by Peerzada Abrar (The Hindu)
Online media companies don’t take responsibility for their content, he says
Sam Pitroda, regarded as the father of India’s telecom revolution, says that he is deeply concerned with the way social media is being misused globally to propagate lies, hatred and false ideas. In an interview, Mr. Pitroda says that in India also, social media has not been used effectively and technology is not meant to be misapplied.
He says that media technology companies such as Facebook and Google don’t take responsibility for the truthfulness of their content and that globally there has to be a movement on social media and ethics. Edited excerpts:
* How do you see technology initiatives like Aadhaar and digital banking shaping up in the country?
We have come a long way in IT and telecom in India. When I started my work in India in telecom, we had about two million telephones, it used to take...
Bezwada Wilson, national president of the Safai Karmachari Andolan, interviewed by Akshay Deshmane (Frontline.in)
Magsaysay Award winning activist and national president of the Safai Karmachari Andolan Bezwada Wilson is a co-petitioner with Major General (Retd) S.G. Vombatkere in a Supreme Court case relating to the Aadhaar project. He raises an important concern about the impact of Aadhaar on people born into oppressed castes, particularly safai karmacharis, or manual scavengers. Excerpts from an interview he gave Frontline:
* What is your opinion on Aadhaar?
There is no necessity for Aadhaar. Common people do not understand why Aadhaar exists. Voters’ card, driving licence, passport, ration card—all of them have their own purposes. What is the purpose of Aadhaar? I am still asking why. Nobody is giving a real answer for this. I do not believe that Aadhaar was brought in to check pilferages in social-sector schemes; after all, this government waived off corporate loans worth Rs.1.14 lakh crore. For the first time, I started suspecting [the intention of]...
Krishna Byre Gowda, Karnataka Agriculture Minister, interviewed by Vishwanath Kulkarni (The Hindu Business Line)
-The Hindu Business Line
first State to formulate an organic farming policy way back in 2004, has
stepped up measures to spread the concept among farmers in recent
years. Also, it has been working on rebuilding farmers’ interest in
millets through incentives such as guaranteed buy-back and a bonus over
the minimum support price. To provide market linkages to the over 1 lakh
organic farmers in the State, the Karnataka government is organising a
three-day National Trade Fair on Organics and Millets here from April
28. The idea is to showcase the organic production capacity and create
awareness on the health benefits of millets among the public, said
Karnataka Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda in an interview with
* Why should the State intervene when organic products already attract a premium?
years ago we started Savayava Bhagya, a comprehensive organic
production oriented programme. We have developed some 566 organic
SY Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner, interviewed by Vrinda Gopinath (Scroll.in)
In this environment of majoritarianism, we must seriously consider proportional representation, adds SY Quraishi.
SY Quraishi, who was Chief Election Commissioner from July 2011 to June 2012, is known to be outspoken about several issues regarding electoral reform both when he was in the Election Commission and after he retired. He has asked for public funding of political parties, putting an expenditure cap on them, financial transparency among parties, and to bring political parties under the Right to Information Act to clean up the electoral process.
In an interview with Scroll.in, Quraishi brushed off accusations by political parties, mainly the Bahujan Samaj Party’s Mayawati and Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal that Electronic Voting Machines in the just-concluded state Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab were tampered with. However, Quraishi agreed that for greater transparency regarding Electronic Voting Machines, the Narendra Modi government at the Centre must implement the suggestions made...