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Genetically Modified Crop Technology

Biotechnology for a Second Green Revolution in India: Socioeconomic, Political, and Public Policy Issues edited by N Chandrasekhara Rao, Carl E Pray and Ronald J Herring, New Delhi: Academic Foundation, 2018; pp 434, 1,495.

Biotechnology for a Second Green Revolution in India is an edited volume of 14 papers by various authors, with an introductory chapter by the editors stringing them together. The 14 papers have been classified under three sections: (i) macro issues (five papers); (ii) new technologies on the horizon (three papers); and (iii) evidence on performance of Bt cotton (six papers). The majority of the authors are academics and researchers from India and the United States.

The title of the book can be a little misleading because the focus of the ­entire book is on genetically modified (GM) crop technology as highlighted by Nobel laureate V Ramakrishnan in his foreword to the book. It does not talk of other crop biotechnologies like genetic breeding, tissue culture and of animal biotechnology, which find mention only in the introductory chapter and one other chapter. But having “GM technology” in the title would understandably have created controversy in the current context when there is a ban on GM crops other than Bt cotton in the country. The book also has a message from Manoj Panda, the director of the Institute of Economic Growth, the parent institution of one of the editors of the book, N Chandrasekhara Rao who also holds the copyright to the book. The term “agricultural biotechno­logy” is used in the message, when actually referring to GM crop technology. The case for a second green revolution is also dealt with only in the introductory chapter.

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Updated On : 25th Nov, 2020

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