Bt cotton in India : Boon or bane?

Genetically modified organisms are living entities whose genetic material has been altered to selective add or eliminate characteristics to improve their performance. In 1973, Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen successfully created the first genetically engineered (GE) organism wherein they successfully transferred a gene coding for antibiotic resistance from one bacteria to another . This paved the way for scientists to try and find solutions to the world’s most pertinent questions by tailor made innovations involving alteration of genetic material. This may have led to an plethora of benefits but also has opened an ethical Pandora’s box. One such example is Bt cotton.

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Locals spotted several blue dogs in the Taloja industrial area. The dismal story of the pollution of the Kasadi river by industries in the area is the causal heart rending eye-opener. The life of animals, both aquatic and terrestrial is under high risk. The once lively river is now full of untreated harmful waste that has depleted the aquatic life of the river. The number of crabs and fish has drastically fallen down. The major contributors to the raging pollution levels are the dye and chemical industries that are in the proximity of the water body. This is a clear impact of effluents from industries affecting innocent and helpless animals. Social workers and activists striving to save the river since a decade hold the irresponsible behaviour of the industries and the neglect shown by the waste water treatment body as the major cause, and rightly so.

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India comprises around 17.86% of world population with an average land resource of 2.4%. The major occupation of two third of this population is agriculture. Though the Indian agricultural sector has always been glorified in the past for undergoing a major transformation during the Green Revolution and inclusion of modern farming practices, the current scenario is however not so pleasing for certain sections. The plight of the farmers in the Marathwada and Vidarbha region of Maharashtra is a matter of great concern for the entire nation. It is disturbing to know that in an agricultural country like India, there are regions where the farmers are in such a pitiful condition.

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On the eve of India’s 70th independence day, we all are grateful to our ancestors for the freedom we enjoy today. During the struggle for freedom, it was patriotism that burnt in the hearts of every Indian. Today as we are raising slogans of patriotic sentiments and agitating against various issues, I found we lost those flames that made 15th August 1947 happen. Its not a date or an event it is a message, that the country we live in is our “Motherland” and she belongs to us and us alone. Does this feeling resonates among all of us today? Are we still so loving towards our Motherland? I don’t think the answer to all is a “Yes”. India is leading its march to make its mark all across the globe. But that is not the big picture, India with a a rural population of 68.84 % and sections of people still don’t have the access to basic amenities like food, clothing, shelter and basic hygiene.

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A breakthrough move has occurred in the well arrived and beneficial Biotoilet revolution in India. The centre has recently decided to set up Bio toilets at Ganga ghats in Kanpur. Six ghats would be put up under the centre’s Namami Ganga project. The biggest beneficiaries would be the farmers living at the banks in temporary settlements. This is one of the key benefits of bio toilets-they are highly economical and become a boon to the poor even in the inaccessible areas. They have a per day minimum use requirement of 200. This is easily possible keeping in view the commendable population of the city and the masses that visit these ghats. The aim of the project in the long run is the cleaning up of the Ganga river and its tributaries in a comprehensive way.

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With a penetrating experience of 17 years in the wastewater treatment industry we have redressed the grievances of over 3000 industries globally. Key issues worrying the wastewater treatment industry are high COD and BOD levels, MLSS development, sustaining the treatment mechanism at high TDS levels in the treated water and thus the difficulty in keeping up with PCB norms. We have catered to industries in the textile and die industry alongside pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, tanneries and numerous other sectors.

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The word plastic comes from the Greek word “plastikos”, which means ‘able to be molded into different shapes’. Plastics are made up of linking of monomers together by chemical bonds. Polythene comprises of 64% of total plastic, which is a linear hydrocarbon polymers consisting of long chains of the ethylene monomers. General formula of polyethylene is CnH2n, where ‘n’ is the number of carbon atoms. The plastics we use today are made from inorganic and organic raw materials, such as carbon, silicon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and chloride. The basic materials used for making plastics are extracted from oil, coal and natural gas. Plastics include polythene, propylene, polystyrene, polyurethane, nylon etc. Polyethylene either LDPE (low density polyethylene) or HDPE (high density polyethylene) is a thermoplastic polymer made by monomers of ethylene, used mostly as thin films and packaging sheets.

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Our microbial technology Bioclean BD is now accredited By “Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India”. We believe it is the only sustainable microbial technology addressing sanitation woes under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Use of Bioclean BD creates a massive positive impact on communities, institutions and society at large. The social impact of this technology was assessed by ‘TATA INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES’ as well.

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The sanitation department in Delhi did something unprecedented- it punished its sanitation chief and six officials for not doing their job properly in containing dengue. Their salaries have been withheld and punitive action has been initiated. An online complaint system is being installed, which will have details of each Domestic Breeder Checker. To address gaps in the domestic breeding system, all heads of departments have been asked to submit selfies of homes visited. The seven punished officials were pulled up for ignoring their responsibilities regarding monitoring of mosquito- born infections and anti-mosquito drive. The online system will be now taking complaints from citizens, who can upload photos of mosquito breeding sites, and the officials will visit and inspect them.

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