In the interview “GM crops can help India meet its food security needs” (FE, July 16), Ram Kaundinya puts forth a strong argument on why India needs GM technology and what the government has to do to get policy right. It is timely and encouraging, for the benefit of the farmer, the consumer and the country. Of course, the final decision has to be taken by the government if only findings from scientific experiments favour the use of the technology for farming and relaying the findings convincingly to all stakeholders. What it can immediately do is to return to the pre-2010 position of giving permission to the commercial introduction of Bt brinjal. The Bt technology has proven to be safe and benefitting cotton farmers—by offering immunity against boll worm, the tcehnology has helped increase the cotton yield. If lab and field tests prove the that the consumption of Bt brinjal is safe for humans then there would be no reason for the activists to protest its introduction.
The real job guarantee
Apropos of the column “Good to see a Budget presenting solutions for unemployment” (FE, July 14), merging the higher education sector and vocational training is a positive step as we really need to add credibility to such trainings, which currently fail to attract the youth. And apart from helping the youth in acquiring necessary skills, job-creation also remains the most challenging aspect for the government. Employability, as the columnist has rightly pointed out, remains a huge crisis in our country as only 34% of the graduates are employable. Therefore, vocational training needs to be made a part of the higher education system to bridge this gap effectively. The Apprentice Act and NSDC programmes can help in this respect. But, above all, it is not the measures announced in the Budget that will help, but the steps undertaken in the near future. It remains to be seen is how well these measures can be executed at a grass-root level.