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India to soon announce its stand on Genetically Modified Mustard

Modi government to allow Genetically Modified Mustard to be cultivated in India

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Mustard plantations (Pixabay)

NEW DELHI, 3 September,2016: The Government of India will soon announce its decision about permitting the commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) mustard – which could be its first transgenic food crop and “ideology” will not be a factor here, said a minister.

Mustard seeds (Pixabay)
Mustard seeds (Pixabay)

Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said India would also come up with other GM food as its population increases and arable land shrinks.

He also says, India will know the decision about their view on GM Mustard pretty soon.

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He points out the fact that, Indian scientists are good researchers and will do their job well. This way Indian money will stay in the country itself.

Obstacles

Indian population and BJP who object to reliance on technology developed mainly by Western countries, stand their ground about their opposition to lab-altered food.

Mustard flower (Pixabay)
Mustard flower (Pixabay)

This could throw a spanner in the works for GM mustard, which recently got technical approval from a panel of government and independent experts after multiple reviews of crop trial data.

“You must have different parameters for what you eat and what you only come in contact with, like cotton,” Dave said. “(But) eventually it is the doctor who gives the medicine. Ideology has no connection with this.”

Dave, a river conservationist and amateur pilot, said the government’s aim is to make regulation on GM crops foolproof and that people’s views will be taken into consideration before taking any final decision.

After some farmer groups complained about high rates, the Modi government is at crossroads with Monsanto over how much the world’s biggest seed company can charge for the GM cotton seeds it supplies.

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India has also proposed that Monsanto, which dominates India’s GM cotton seed market, share its technology with local firms. Monsanto has said it is contemplating leaving India, its biggest market outside the Americas, and recently pulled an application to sell next-generation cotton seeds, Reuters found out.

Dave brushed aside concerns that Monsanto’s withdrawal of the cotton variety will hurt Indian farmers as existing seeds become vulnerable to pests.

“Indian scientists are capable enough to meet the requirement of Indian farmers, in every crop,” Dave reaffirms his faith in Indian scientists.

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Ashok Leyland Ready to Ride on Elon Musk’s India Dream

Tesla was expected to enter India with the Model 3 that sells for nearly $35,000

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Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. Wikimedia
By Nishant Arora
Tesla CEO Elon Musk who has been moving back and forth on his India dream for couple of years and unable to take the next big step now has an invitation from commercial vehicles major Ashok Leyland.
Musk wants to make India his next big market but the question lingers: Will the electric car ever run on the bumpy ‘desi’ roads?
According to Venkatesh Natarajan, Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer, Ashok Leyland, the company is open to Musk for a partnership to finally let Indians experience his path-breaking autonomous Tesla electric cars.
“We are open to Musk’s offer. I truly believe that it’s not just one partner who can contribute to the electric car dream in India. There are multiple agencies who will be involved in this.
“We will be lucky to be part of that consortium,” Natarajan told IANS on the sidelines of the just-concluded AWS India Summit here in the financial capital.
“I go back to the organisation’s philosophy and culture. Whenever we see new technology, we like to try it out, just like a small kid who sees a new toy and wants to experiment. We are open in terms of technology adoption — anything that adds value to our customers,” Natarajan noted.
The company, flagship of the Hinduja Group, reported a revenue of Rs 6,325 crore in Q3 (FY 2018-19). Year-to-Date (YTD) revenues touched Rs 20,209 crore, up 15 per cent over corresponding period last year.
Rating agency ICRA recently upgraded the long-term rating of fund-based limits of Ashok Leyland to AA+ from AA with stable outlook. The agency believes that Ashok Leyland’s financial profile will remain healthy supported by stable demand outlook for the medium and heavy commercial vehicle (M&HCV) segment and light commercial vehicle (LCV) segments.
Tesla CEO Elon musk, board
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (VOA)
Touted as India’s largest bus manufacturer and the fourth largest in the world, the company reported 10 per cent rise in the domestic vehicles sales at 13,141 units in April 2019. The commercial vehicles company had sold 11,951 vehicles in domestic market during the same month last year.
“Ultimately, we need more money. We are in the business of making money. As long as we are able to make more money and help our customers generate more money, we are game to every new technology,” Natarajan emphasised.
Ashok Leyland’s offer must be a sweet news to Musk’s ears. Breaking his silence over India plans after 10 months, Musk tweeted in March that he would love to be in India in 2019 or next year.
“Would love to be there this year. If not, definitely next! India,” Musk tweeted to a user.
Musk earlier blamed the Indian government’s policies for giving up on his India dreams. He also blamed the FDI norms for the delay in the electric car maker’s entry into the Indian market.
“Would love to be in India. Some challenging government regulations, unfortunately,” Musk tweeted in response to a Twitter user who wrote “No Tesla in India” on his Twitter handle.
Earlier this year, Tesla’s Indian-origin Chief Financial Officer Deepak Ahuja announced his retirement from the firm, bringing Musk’s India dream to a halt again.
Tesla was expected to enter India with the Model 3 that sells for nearly $35,000.
In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Tesla headquarters at Palo Alto, California and met Musk who gave Modi a tour of the company’s electric car plant.
In January this year, Musk laid the foundation of Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai — the first-ever outside the US — that is expected to produce 500,000 electric vehicles per year and double the production capacity. (IANS)