PM publicly endorses GM crops, hints at corrective steps in coming days

With his remarks that are bound to bring cheer to thousands of agri-biotech scientists across the country, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has stressed on the need to reject unscientific prejudices against genetically modified crops


The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh addressing at the 101st Indian Science Congress, in Jammu on February 03, 2014.

Although there have been many instances in the past when the prime minister, Dr Manmohan Singh had subtly expressed his support for GM crops. But this time he has come out openly to bat for it.

The remarks in support of GM technology came during his address to the 101st Indian Science Congress, in Jammu on February 03, 2014. 

Dr Singh in his speech spoke about need for recognising the government the efforts of scientists and focus on creating new opportunities for our bright and socially conscious scientists. "To ensure food security and to improve land and water productivity, we have to launch a national drive for an ever-green revolution. This will test the ingenuity of our agricultural scientists. Climate-resilient agriculture and modern bio-technological tools hold great promise."

"Use of bio-technology has great potential to improve yields. While safety must be ensured, we should not succumb to unscientific prejudices against Bt. crops. Our government remains committed to promoting the use of these new technologies for agricultural development. I urge our scientific community to increase communication and engagement with society at large in explaining socially productive applications of technology alternatives and for improving the productivity of small and medium enterprises," remarked Dr Singh.

The prime minister also expressed hope that the quest for affordable healthcare would be bolstered by indigenous research on biomedical engineering and other medical devices.

Talking about funding new initiatives, he mentioned, "I am happy to announce another National Mission on High Performance Computing with an outlay of Rs. 4500 crores. We are also considering establishment of a National Geographical Information System with an outlay of about Rs. 3000 crores. A National Mission on Teaching to enhance the esteem of our teachers is also being launched."

He also announced that India would partner the international scientific community in the establishment of some of the world's major R&D projects.


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