(Dr. krishan Bir Chaudhary)
Agricultural Research in India is fast moving towards a blind alley. Indian Council of Agricultural Research (I.C.A.R.), the country's highest research policy and planning body has become a burden on the public exchequer.
It has no perceived idea, understanding and appreciation of research priorities for a predominantly agricultural country like India. What actually ails the functioning of I.C.A.R is the inherent weakness of its leadership, proneness to extraneous & alien forces and inefficient management.
And now, to make the matter even worse, there are findings of Swaminathan and Mashelkar Commission. Irrelevant and outlandish, they do no fit into our agro-system as the findings have overlooked the needs of Indian agriculture, did not care to identify the real malady and suggest constructive and realistic remedial measures. The implementation of the findings of Swaminathan's and Mashelkar's Commission will make our agro-system captive at the mercy of MNCs for all time.
The same bunch of advisors who were responsible for misguiding and misdirecting the entire system of policy planning and identifying priorities vis-a-vis the agricultural sector and agricultural research for a long time can again be held responsible for manoeuvering proximity with the U.P.A. govt. solely to speed up promotion and expansion of Biotechnology in the country.
Their advocacy for launching a Second Green Revolution is deceitful as it is nothing but a conspiratorial ploy of making way for genetic engineering and G.M.Os whereas elsewhere in the world including even developed countries, these technologies are facing stiff public resistance on Bio-ethical grounds.
In sharp contrast, what the country actually needs is not Bio-technology or Nano-technology but research based on natural resource management.
Enigmatical as I.C.A.R. has remained all these years right from its inception, one sure impression that it miserably failed to cater to the needs of Indian agriculture has gone down deeply with the peasantry of this country.
Let the bygones be bygones but now in an era of stiff global competition where survival itself is at stake, the country can no longer afford the expensive and extravagant majesty of a show piece like I.C.A.R., totally inept and nepotist, where agricultural research are manipulated and manoeuvered in proximity with extraneous interest.
Heading the I.C.A.R. is a matter of competence & commitment and having innovative ideas as per the need of the farmer centric model based on natural resource management, and must be fully committed towards perspective growth and development of agriculture.
Worst of all is the shabby treatment given by the UPA govt. to the farmer leaders and organizations by keeping them out of bounds with the decision making process. The farmers' organizations and farmer leaders must now be viewed in policy, planning and research as an absolute necessity if we must make India navigate smoothly and effectively through global competition.
(Editorial : Kisan Ki Awaaz Magazine)