Vivian Fernandes

Merger of rail budget with main budget allows Railways avoid public scrutiny of failures

The Railways' operating ratio, or the share of expenditure in revenue, this year was 96.2%—2 ppt better than the year before, but a 3.4 ppt slip over the target of 92.8%. When this govt took over, the ratio was 94%.

indian railways News

Focus on science, not divine powers

Going by the agriculture ministry’s priorities, India will certainly need a yagya for sustainable development

science, divine powers News

Pro-GM journalist, not lobbyist – CSE gets it wrong on many fronts on GM content in food

Centre for Science and Environment deputy director-general Chandra Bhushan has, in his September 26 response ( to my article of September 10 (, said that I have “cast aspersions” on CSE’s s

Pro-GM, Pro-GM journalist, Centre for Science and Environment, Chandra Bhushan, genetically-modified News

Chrolophile: Can canola displace wheat in Punjab?

The global prices of canola do not favour domestic producers despite the high import duty of 50%

Chrolophile, canola, wheat , punjab, Gobisarson Canola-7, Mustard, MSP, Brassica juncea, GSC-7, Raya Ludhiana Canola-3 News

The truth behind genetically modified food imports in India

CSE is wrong—import of GM food is allowed, and it isn’t unregulated. The GEAC IS Empowered to regulate Such Imports.

geac, gm crops News

There is a regulatory vaccum in GM food, says CEO of FSSAI

In a study released in the last week of July, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) says it tested 65 food products and found 21 of them testing positive for material from genetically-engineered (GE) plants.

Opinion News

Oil’s well with Mission Mustard? Rapeseed-mustard holds the most promise for reducing India’s dependence on edible oil imports

Rapeseed-mustard holds the most promise for reducing India’s dependence on edible oil imports … The question is whether Mission Mustard can help achieve this. The edible oil industry has its task cut out.

agriculture, oil News

Centre cracks down on illegal HT cotton

It has advised cotton-growing states—except those that also grow tea—to ban the sale of the herbicide glyphosate, to curb unapproved herbicide-tolerant cotton.

Opinion News

Chlorophile: Towards cooking oil self-sufficiency

Sorry Ramesh Chand, protectionism cannot salvage India’s edible oil economy

SEA, import duties on edible oils, NITI Aayog, Ramesh Chand, TMO, NDDB, STC, WTO News

What ails farming – Very few people practise agriculture voluntarily

Officials see every scheme as a profit-making opportunity. Subsidised seed is sold at a mark-up to the printed price.

indian farming, agriculture, crop loss compensation, practising agriculture News

The Delhi High Court order on patenting on GM traits is confidence-shattering

In a setback to Mahyco Monsanto Biotech, a division bench of the Delhi High Court has held that it cannot patent its genetically-modified Bollgard I and Bollgard II technologies and the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act will apply

genetically-modified , high court, delhi high court News

Chlorophile: New cattle trade rules are a welcome rethink

The draft rules provide for a committee to prevent cruelty. It comprises of eight core members and three optional ones, but the owner of a cattle market is not among them. It will certify the markets and determine their maxim

new cattle trade rules, animal cruelty News

Chlorophile: No conflict between PPVFR Act & Patents Act

Kumble Vinod Prabhu, who is at the helm of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), says that, in GM tech, a trait or an expression can’t be patented, but the GM process, the resultant eve

PPVFR Act, Patents Act, Indian Agricultural Research Institute News

BT Cotton Seed Price Control: How seed companies shot themselves in the foot

The realisation may have dawned upon seed companies that they erred by inviting the government to play the referee. They should have sorted out differences with Mahyco Monsanto Biotech at their level.

BT cotton seeds, cotton seeds, cotton seed companies, Maharashtra bans co-marketing News

Forget organic, residue-free is the way to go

The conventional notion is that organic is tastier because it is been artificially boosted with chemical nutrients and other enhancers.

organic, organic vegetables, farm yard manure, green revolution, residue free vegetables News

Why GM mustard may not see the light of day

On May 11, last year, the GEAC, the apex authority for assessing the safety of genetically modified (GM) crops, declared that GM mustard had passed the prescribed tests and recommended to the environment minister that he shou

gm mustard, what is gm mustard, problems in harvesting gm mustard News

Bamboo can be more profitable than sugarcane and rice! Check out how

How about planting bamboo extensively along the banks of the Yamuna to sequester the carbon from Delhi’s vehicle emissions?

Delhi vehicle emission, World Bank, India, Yamuna, rice, bamboo News

Karnataka pushing millets as smart food for 21st century; check out the massive benefits

The state is pushing millets, or coarse cereals, as a smart food for the 21st century, with massive nutritional and ecological benefits

Karnataka, millets, benefits, smart food News

Vidarbha farmers in debt trap: Here is how to save them

Diversifying to dairy may give the farmers a way out of the debt trap. But, the larger focus has to be on developing irrigation in Marathwada & Vidarbha

Vidarbha farmers, Nitin Gadkari, Marathwada farmers, NDDB , Devendra Fadnavis, Maharashtra Bamboo Development Board , irrigation, cotton crop News

Agriculture faces headwinds from Centre; why Indian firms will be hurt more than MNCs due to this policy

Indian agriculture is facing headwinds from government policy. The dairy industry is worried about restrictions on cattle trading. The menace of stray cattle is keeping farmers awake at night.

Indian agriculture, government policy, headwinds from government policy, cattle trading, Shriram Brothers News

Rajasthan government provides tribals source of livelihood, here is how

Easing the law on trade and transport of minor forest produce has helped link tribals with wholesale market directly.

Rajasthan, Rajasthan government, Rajasthan tribals, tribals source of livelihood, transit permits for transporting, tribals in Rajasthan News

Not possible to practice traditional farming in India anymore; here is why

For most consumers, ‘organic’ is probably a code for ‘safe’ or ‘residue-free’, not necessarily produce grown without chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

Traditional farming, chemical fertilisers, pesticides, residue free News

No reason for agriculture ministry to intervene in cotton seed market; illegality thrives when ministers behave like monarchs

In 2001, when unapproved Bt cotton seeds were planted in Gujarat, the GEAC ordered the crop destroyed. But it got approval for commercial use the year after. In the HT cotton case, Mahyco has withdrawn its application for app

cotton seed market, cotton seed market in india, agriculture ministry, agriculture ministry on cotton market, herbicide-tolerant cotton, Environment Protection Act, CICR, HT cotton, agriculture News

Governance failure at environment ministry: Officials aware of illegality over planting herbicide tolerant cotton

Maharashtra’s Principal Secretary for Agriculture has asked the ministry of environment what action the state government should take against cultivators of illegal herbicide-tolerant (HT) cotton and those trading in the see

cotton, maharashtra government cotton, cotton production in india News

Time to bring pesticides under price control? Here is what the row is about

Pesticides are sold below the marked price because of competition

pesticides, Pesticides under price control, CCFI, Baba Ramdev, Madhya Pradesh, Mandsaur, MRP, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, UPL Limited, seed industry News

Rajya Sabha panel on GM crops: Why there is more fault-finding than fact-finding despite ICAR evidence

It is said that for those who believe, no proof is needed, and for those who do not, no proof is possible. Into which category should one slot a parliamentary committee, chaired by Congress MP Renuka Chowdhury, on “genetica

Monsoon in india, monsoon in Madhya Pradesh, farmers protest,  farmers unrest, rabi crop, Kharif crop News

Cattle trade: Extortion by vigilantes, police adding to cost of transaction

Raya in Mathura district and Iglas in Aligarh district are two police posts that have become extortion centres, traders say. It is hard to find any trader who has not had to pay.

Cattle trade, vigilantes, cost of transaction News
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