Showing posts from May, 2015

Ever-green Revolution is the only pathway: Dr.MS Swaminathan : 6.

Citizens’ Consultative Councils will help to promote more enlightened and informed discussions on the issues involved.

Parliament has recently approved an Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority Bill.

The Bill provides for an autonomous and professionally credible and competent Regulatory Body.

It is obvious that a Regulatory Body should not be under the control of the persons to be regulated, which was the case until recently.
Ultimately, regulation alone will not be adequate for achieving public acceptance.

Education and social mobilisation through elected Local Bodies are equally important.

The statement Mahatma Gandhi made over eigh decades ago that “India lives in its villages” is valid even today.

The 2011 census has shown that nearly seventy per cent of our population of 120 crore live in villages.

Rural poverty is more serious than urban poverty since most of the rural women and men depend on agriculture which is a high risk profession for their livelihood.

According to the Econom…

Ever-green Revolution is the only pathway: Dr.MS Swaminathan : 5.

The Supreme Court of India has also raised several issues of public importance with reference to genetically modified crops and foods.

Several State Governments have imposed a ban on the testing of GMOs.

The Kerala Government has not allowed even the testing of genetically modified Rubber, although we need urgently rubber clones tolerant to higher temperature.

Another recent example of the need for greater interaction between scientists and local communities is the concern expressed by the public in relation to the Kudankulam and other Nuclear Power Plants.

Nuclear power is environmentally benign since it does not add to the green house gas burden.

On the other hand, there are concerns about the safety of the Nuclear Power Plants, particularly in the context of what happened at Chernobyl many years ago and Fukushima recently.

The tsunami induced Fukushima tragedy has given a big setback to the spread of nuclear power plants.

Nuclear waste disposal is another area which needs careful …

Ever-green Revolution is the only pathway: Dr.MS Swaminathan:4.

Our population is growing and is expected to reach 150 crore by 2030.

The population size would have thus increased by five times since 1947.

The Ecological Footprint as measured by the demand made by each individual on natural resources is also increasing,while the biocapacity to meet the growing needs is shrinking.

In a democratic society like ours there is greater need for public and political understanding of the scientific facts underpinning events of great significance to the future of humankind, such as biodiversity loss and climate change.

Recent examples in relation to differences in perception and apprehension are in the areas of genetic engineering and nuclear energy.

While medical biotechnology has not generated fears about biosafety and environmental safety, food and agricultural biotechnology has evoked strong opposition.

An area in medical biotechnology which is controversial is cloning.

Generally, therapeutic cloning is acceptable, while reproductive cloning is not.


Ever-green Revolution is the only pathway: Dr.MS Swaminathan:3.

Price volatility is one of the important causes of hunger.

2008 witnessed a sudden increase in the price of rice, wheat and other food grains..

India’s strategy for containing price volatility in major staple grains is to purchase adequate quantities of foodgrains from farmers at an assured minimum support price.

At present, globally prices of food commodities are tending to rise.

The situation will get worse with the increased frequency of occurrence of drought and floods, whether or not associated with climate change and global warming.

It is clear that the future belongs to nations with grains and not guns.

To be continued  ...

Note : Let our rulers  open their eyes  and  lend their  ears  to the  warning  of  our  most valued  and  respected  Scientist  world  over  our  treasure "Dr. MS Swaminathan sir! "

Ever-green Revolution is the only pathway: Dr.MS Swaminathan:2.

It is well recognized that the hunger prevailing in the world now is largely due to inadequate purchasing power.

The food security challenge can be related to the famine of jobs rather than the famine of food in the market.

One of the easy methods of overcoming malnutrition is mainstreaming nutritional considerations in farming systems research and development.

This will call for the development of a Farming system for Nutrition programme (FSN).

The other area which requires attention is anticipatory action to meet the challenges arising from global warming and climate change.

Steps will have to be taken to face the problems of drought, flood, high mean temperature and sea level rise.

In all these areas we will need an interaction between public policy and technology.

To be continued  ....

Ever-green Revolution is the only pathway: Dr. MS Swaminathan : 1.

Dr M S Swaminathan, the Father of India’s Green Revolution and currently UNESCO Chair in Ecotechnology, delivered the GITAM Foundation Endowment Lecture 2012 in Visakhapatnam on Saturday.

Following are excerpts from his speech.

The year 2012 marks a historic transition in India from a ship- to- mouth existence to conferring the legal right to food based on homegrown food grains.

This historic transition was achieved partly through what is popularly known as the green revolution.

As early as January 1968 before the term green revolution was coined by Dr William Gaud of the United States, I warned Indian farmers about the need for mainstreaming ecological principles in farming practices.

Ever-green revolution is the only pathway available to developing countries with small farms and a large malnourished population.
The smaller the farm the greater is the need for marketable surplus.

Unlike in UK, and other industrialised nations, nearly two thirds of the population of India depend on a…

Dr. Swaminathan : "Father of Green Revolution".

Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan (born 7 August 1925) is an Indian geneticist and international administrator, renowned for his leading role in India's Green Revolution a program under which high-yield varieties of wheat and rice seedlings were planted in the fields of poor farmers.

Dr. Swaminathan is known as "Indian Father of Green Revolution" for his leadership and success in introducing and further developing high-yielding varieties of wheat in India.

He is the founder and chairman of the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation.

His stated vision is to rid the world of hunger and poverty.

Swaminathan is an advocate of moving India to sustainable development, especially using environmentally sustainable agriculture, sustainable food security and the preservation of biodiversity, which he calls an "evergreen revolution."

From 1972 to 1979 he was director general of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.

He was Principal Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture f…

About Bt brinjal : 2.

Don’t hasten introduction of Bt brinjal :


Dr.M.S. Swaminathan

“Brinjal is consumed throughout one’s life. It’s a vegetable of very widespread consumption. Therefore what will be the chronic effect? Brinjal, there is so much of variability in the country. Will that variability and the biodiversity be destroyed by growing one or two varieties of brinjal in the place of numerous [varieties]? What happens if the resistance breaks down? We would have then lost our bio-diversity. Are steps being taken?” Dr. Swaminathan said.

He added that genetically modified crops should not be introduced in the biological and agricultural hotspots of the country.

Fast observed :

Meanwhile, marking Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary, a group of activists comprising farmers, environmentalists, scientists and farmers’ leaders observed a fast here to protest the introduction of Bt brinjal.

They said Bt brinjal, which was an attempt by multinational seed giants to take control over the food, agriculture an…

About Bt brinjal : 1.

Don’t hasten introduction of Bt brinjal :


Dr. M.S. Swaminathan.

The government should not be in hurry to introduce Bt brinjal until fundamental issues were addressed, agriculture scientist M.S. Swaminathan said here on Saturday.

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of a consultation on “Effective community management of biodiversity in an era of climate change,” Dr. Swaminathan said: “Every technology has its benefits and risks. But it all depends on our capacity to analyse risks and benefits. We must analyse whether risks are more or benefits are more. There should be an authority to analyse the risks and benefits in a transparent way. Unfortunately, we don’t have an authority like that.”

He added: “In my report in 2004, I had recommended an autonomous statutory body such as a bio-technology regulatory authority which is to be led by eminent professionals and has its own facilities for testing — not only going by the company or by the breeder.”

The authority should have its o…

Dr. M.S. Swaminathan : Biography


Well into senior citizen-hood, Swaminathan remained tirelessly active in fields relating to food production.

He lectured widely on such topics as farmland preservation and water conservation, and he became an advocate for organic agriculture.

The Green Revolution, he told the Hindu, had become a "greed revolution" evidenced by rampant pesticide use with little regard for the eventual consequences.

Characteristically, he suggested female literacy campaigns as a solution: his innovations were generally focused not only on scientific discoveries and public policy, but also on changing the points of view of individuals at the bottom of the social ladder.

By 2004, with world population still sharply on the rise, Swaminathan was sounding the alarm over future grain shortages.

Despite his promotion of organic agriculture, he favored the genetic modification of crops as a way to increase yields, something many proponents of organic agriculture rejected.

"Organic foods…

Dr. M.S. Swaminathan : Biography


With India essentially self-sufficient in food production by the end of the 1970s, Swaminathan began to work on a global scale.

In 1982 he moved to the Philippines to take a post as director general of the International Rice Research Institute.

He returned to India in 1989 and founded the Center for Research on Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development in Madras, having served as honorary vice president of the World Wildlife Fund from 1985 to 1987.

As of 2004 he remained the institute's director.

Among the numerous honors and prizes Swaminathan accumulated are 32 honorary degrees and, in 1987, the $200,000 World Food Prize sponsored by the U.S. General Foods conglomerate.

Receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Massachusetts, Swaminathan quoted U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt in his remarks, telling graduates that "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have too much; it is whether we provide enough…

Dr. M.S. Swaminathan : Biography


In the 1970s Swaminathan was aided in his efforts to improve Indian farming by the country's prime minister, Indira Gandhi, who gave him free rein to reform India's agricultural bureaucracy and in 1979 named him principal secretary of India's Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation.

"Gandhi was a strong nationalist," Swaminathan recalled, as quoted in Time International. "She wanted an independent foreign policy, and food was a political weapon."

During the cold war years, Indian foreign policy tilted away from the United States and toward the Soviet Union, but Swaminathan avoided political controversies.

He traveled the globe energetically, visiting the United States many times, and his top priorities were agricultural development and humane agricultural policies.

In 1974 he chaired the U.N. World Food Congress, held in Rome, Italy.

To be continued  ...

Dr. M.S. Swaminathan : Biography


Established Model Farms :

Part of Swaminathan's genius was that he was not just a brilliant scientist but a gifted and innovative communicator as well.

He could invent new seed varieties, but spreading news of his discoveries across a densely populated country with a spotty communications infrastructure was another matter.

In the 1960s, Swaminathan took steps to solve this problem by setting up a network of 2,000 model farms that showed local farmers the possibilities of the new plant varieties.

More recently, he became a leader in trying to spread Internet and computer technology into India's rural villages.

A believer in technology, Swaminathan also hoped to use technology as a social leveling agent.

"If you want an inclusive society you must go to the poorest person and ask if they will gain anything from technological development," he explained to a contributor in the London Guardian.

"Farming cannot be left to the control of a few multinational co…

Dr. M.S. Swaminathan : Biography


Became Rice Research Institute Director : 3.

Meanwhile, Asian countries were exploding in population as medical care improved.

Western press accounts of the region's problems during the 1960s were filled with dire predictions of massive food shortages, and "starving children in India" became a reference point for American parents trying to cajole their own children into cleaning their plates.

The worst-case scenarios seemed to be coming true as 30 million people died in China during a period of crop failures lasting from 1958 to 1962.

The prediction of mass starvation in India never came to pass, however.

Within two years of the introduction of Swaminathan's Japanese-Mexican wheat hybrid, Indian wheat production rose from 10 million tons a year to 18 million tons.

By 2004 it stood at 80 million tons.

Scientists under Swaminathan's direction at the IARI made similar breakthroughs with rice.

U.S. scientist William Gaud coined the term "Green Revoluti…