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Workshop on ‘GM Crops in India- Way Forward’

The workshop on ‘GM Crops in India- Way Forward’, was held on 17th May 2016 at the Conference room of the NASC Complex, ICAR, DSP Marg, New Delhi- 110012.

Dr Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary, DARE and Director General, ICAR in his address emphasized for the need of such a workshop on GM Crops. He observed that many organizations are involved for the development of transgenics with funding support from different organizations. Hence there is need to discuss issues related to GM crops together.

Dr S. K. Sopory, former Vice Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and chairman observed that there are many stakeholders in GM research in India and many products have come from the transgenic research. There is need to have a dialogue with different stakeholders including farmers and media. The status of GM crops (including field crops and horticultural crops) were presented and discussed.

The other participants included Dr B. Meenakumari, Chairperson, National Biodiversity Authority, Chennai, Dr S. K. Datta, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Visva Bharati University, Dr Deepak pental, former Vice Chancellor, Delhi University, Dr S. R. Rao from Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, Dr J. S. Sandhu, DDG (CS), ICAR, Dr Krishna Kumar, DDG (HS), ICAR, ADGs from ICAR, directors from ICAR institutes, IP experts, researchers and research managers from different parts of the country working on plant biotechnology.

The deliberations during the workshop included regulatory aspects, biosafety issues, transgenic research for academic purpose vs product oriented research, NOC from states for field trials, need of joining hands of ICAR and DBT, need of a joint taskforce, focussing on traits and crops for GM research, trait availability within germplasm and transgenic development, and pyramiding of transgenes.

Dr Trilochan Mohapatra observed that insect resistance for GM crops can be the priority area for product development. For product development, few crops and traits need to be identified. The communications with the stakeholders need to improve and a meeting may be organized by ICAR inviting the secretaries from different states.

The workshop ended with vote of thanks by Dr P. K. Agrawal, Assistant Director General, National Agricultural Science Fund, ICAR.