Dr Jitendra Singh, minister of state for science and technology, Government of India
The completion of 100 days of Modi government has been marked by few major initiatives in healthcare research by the science and technology and health ministries. However, the frequent media interactions which were common earlier seem to be no longer on the priority list. Therefore, in a first since the new government took over, BioSpectrum's Rahul Koul spoke to Dr Jitendra Singh, minister of state for science and technology on the sidelines of a press meet in New Delhi. As per the minister, the promotion of biotechnology remains high on priority of his ministry. His top priorities in the next few years are to strengthen the biotech infrastructure, indigenous research, and promote scientific talent.
Q: The issue of genetically modified crops is yet to be sorted. What is your ministry going to do about it?
Dr Jitendra Singh: Science is too serious to be left to scientists alone as there are issues that have social implications. This issue of GM crops is not essentially only our area of concern as there are other ministries that are involved. The policy and implementation rests with the agriculture and environment ministries. Mr Prakash Javadekar's environment ministry is the final authority to give a go ahead. I will try to synergise it with his ministry.
Q: But your ministry is an important stakeholder?
Yes, that is true but it is a collective decision and the final go ahead rests with the ministry of environment and forests ministry.