Weekly Current Affairs

GM seeds key to food security: Javadekar [Agriculture]

  • Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has said the use of genetically modified (GM) technology for seeds is important for improving agricultural productivity and food security.
  • 18 field trials, testing various kinds of GM seeds, were under way but govt. would take a considered view on releasing genetically modified mustard.
  • GM mustard, likely to be first food-related transgenic crop, sits at an inflexion point with critics alleging that such technologies are unfit for human consumption and proponents arguing that such technology is critical for India’s future.
  • India’s agricultural productivity is among the lowest [among nations].
  • The Environment Ministry had constituted a Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee comprising biotechnologists, ecologists and sociologists to take a call on GM mustard.
  • The government was mooting a new Bill to impose strict fines and even jail terms for those violating industrial pollution norms. It sued five municipalities in UP in National Green Tribunal for not implementing sewage treatment measures.
  • The Civil Penalties Bill is in the process. Bill would have a provision to impose heavy penalties on government agencies, local bodies and state-run institutions.