Workshop on “Biosafety and Detection of GM Crops”

Date Posted: 21-08-2014

Workshop on “Biosafety and Detection of GM Crops”

A Workshop on “Biosafety and Detection of GM Crops” organized at NBPGR, New Delhi from 11th to 16th August, 2014. Scientists and researchers from ICAR institutes and State Agricultural Universities from all over the country participated in the Workshop.

The workshop was inaugurated by Shri Hem Pande, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and Chairman, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), Government of India. In his inaugural address, Shri Hem Pande emphasized on generation of reliable scientific data and unanimous viewpoint based thereon about the importance of GM crops. He appreciated the consistent efforts of NBPGR in updating expertise in the area and its widespread dissemination for national capacity building.

Dr. K. C. Bansal, Director, NBPGR and Course Director stressed the importance and urgency of the workshop in present scenario of GM crops in the country and presented major achievements of NBPGR. Dr. Gurinderjit Randhawa, Principal Scientist and Course Coordinator presented overview of the Workshop and GM detection activities at NBPGR.

The workshop broadly covered recent national and international developments in the area of GM crops, along with evolution of regulatory regimes, risk assessment and management strategies to address biosafety issues and their post-release monitoring. Resource persons included Dr. S. R. Rao, Advisor & Member Secretary, Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation (RCGM), Department of Biotechnology, Dr. Ranjini Warrier, Director, MoEF & Member Secretary, GEAC, Dr. Vibha Ahuja, General Manager, Biotech Consortium India Limited (BCIL), Dr. A. K. Singh, Professor, Division of Genetics, Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), and experts and senior faculty from NBPGR.

Apart from structured lectures, there were two prolonged interactive sessions dealing with real and hypothetical case studies on regulatory mechanism and three hands-on-training sessions in GM detection laboratory.

Padma Bhushan Dr. R. S. Paroda, Chairman, Trust for Advancement of Agricultural Sciences, and Former Secretary, DARE and Director-General, ICAR, was the Chief Guest at the Valedictory Session, who highlighted the challenges and opportunities confronting Indian agriculture and he emphasised importance of GM crops and the utmost necessity to upgrade national capacity in terms of risk assessment, biosafety and post-release monitoring of GM crops as well as for putting in place a foolproof, transparent and dynamic national regulatory regime.

Dr. Gurinderjit Randhawa presented the wrap up report of the workshop.