Suman Sahai


Food Security Bill: Is it well thought out?

The efforts of the government to tackle growing hunger with food support schemes like the Public Distribution System (PDS), the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) and the mid-day meal scheme for schoolchildren has a mixed record. The most recent in this line of efforts to improve the hunger situation is the National Food Security Bill (NFSB).

From Arab Spring to Asian Autumn?

The Arab Spring has rocked the region with its bold if chaotic revolt. Peoples’ power has vanquished the political dynasties in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen, forcing the political potentates to flee for their lives. Libyan ruler Col. Muammar Gaddafi is fighting a last ditch battle, facing an almost certain unfavourable outcome.

Solitary reapers

Some years ago the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) reported after its study on agriculture that roughly half the farmers in the country did not wish to continue with farming. They would quit if they had an alternative. This shameful fact reflects the despair that farmers feel and is based on the fact that agriculture is a loss-making enterprise and the farmers are unable to either feed themselves or turn a profit.

Sowing the seeds of destruction

Here is yet another Mahyco-Monsanto tale, one of defiance and breaking the law even as the scientific community looks on. Monsanto is the world’s largest investor in seed and biotechnology research investing $1 billion/`5,000 crores and is also the leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed. It provides the technology in 90 per cent of the world’s genetically engineered seeds.

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I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.