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Declining Bt Cotton production and Biotechnology failure

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Declining Bt Cotton production and Biotechnology failure

Introduction You might recall the excitement that accompanied the introduction of Bt cotton to India. It was hailed as a biotechnology breakthrough that will transform cotton production and solidify India's leadership in the global cotton market. Farmers should expect greater harvests and affluence thanks to the genetic engineering of Bt cotton seeds, which make them resistant to the fatal bollworm insect. More than 90% of Indian cotton growers switched to Bt cotton in a few of years. But in north India, 15 years after its introduction, Bt cotton is failing. Reduced yields, an increase in insect infestations, and decreased earnings are being reported by farmers. Due to the bollworm's resilience, secondary pests are decimating the crop. It's possible that India will lose its status as a cotton powerhouse due to the biotechnology that was meant to preserve the country's cotton crown.  The Rise and Fall of Bt Cotton in India In 2002, Bt cotton was introduced to India with much enthusiasm. Bt cotton, which was genetically modified to cause the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis to generate an insecticidal protein, contributed to India becoming a major exporter of cotton. However, particularly in northern India, the production and quality of Bt cotton have drastically decreased recently. At initially, farmers eagerly embraced Bt cotton, and between 2002 and 2015, the acreage increased by more than ten times. The original Bt cotton hybrids increased yields and decreased the need for pesticide treatments since they were very efficient against bollworms, the main pest of cotton. However, secondary pests like mealybugs and whiteflies became dangerous as the bollworms quickly became resistant to the Bt poisons.  Farmers have suffered financial losses as a result of Bt cotton's subpar performance. In certain regions of Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan, the yields of Bt cotton have decreased by more than 50%. Farmers' revenues have decreased due to reduced market prices brought about by the poor quality of Bt cotton. To reduce losses, a lot of farmers have switched back to traditional cotton cultivars. It has been impossible for biotechnology companies to create Bt cotton hybrids that are suitable for India's varied agroclimatic conditions. They failed to test novel hybrids locally before to commercialization because they underestimated the speed at which the target pests would become resistant. Public researchers have found it challenging to create superior cotton cultivars for Indian settings because to strict laws around genetically modified organisms.  The emergence and decline of Bt cotton in India highlights the significance of sustainable biotechnology solutions that are tailored to local conditions. With the support of integrated pest control strategies and newly developed Bt cotton hybrids suited to local conditions, India might be able to take back its top spot in the world cotton output rankings.  The Biotechnology Breakdown: Bt Cotton Fails to Deliver India's cotton growers were promised increased crop yields and financial success with the introduction of Bt cotton. But biotechnology hasn't been able to produce long-term gains, which has caused a collapse that puts India's cotton dominance in jeopardy. The Flawed Foundation of Bt Cotton Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a bacterium that was designed into Bt cotton in order to increase the plant's resistance to several insects, particularly the cotton bollworm. In 2002, genetically modified cotton was brought to India and marketed as a remedy for declining agricultural productivity and rising expenses. The effectiveness of the device, meanwhile, was predicated on the false belief that the insects it was intended to kill would not become resistant. The Devastating Impact on Cotton Farmers For cotton growers in North India, Bt cotton's failure has proved disastrous. Bt cotton was created as the only genetically modified crop authorised for commercial production in India with the goal of eliminating the bollworm threat and increasing yields. But poor local adaptation and weak insect resistance have led to a sharp decline in Bt cotton output, driving many farmers into debt and desperate situations. Ineffective Pest Resistance The purpose of the toxin Cry1Ac, which is produced by Bt cotton, is to destroy the American bollworm. But in many regions of India, the bollworm has grown resistant to Cry1Ac after ten years of cultivation. Once offering 95% protection against bollworm, bt cotton now only gives 50–60% protection. Reduced yields have also resulted from the introduction of secondary pests such mealybugs, aphids, and whiteflies that are not impacted by Bt. Poor Adjustment to Local Conditions Hybrids of Bt cotton were not created with India's varied agroclimatic conditions in mind. To get optimal yields, they necessitate significant inputs like fertilisers and irrigation, which the majority of Indian farmers are unable to supply. Additionally, because of its limited genetic foundation, Bt cotton is more vulnerable to environmental challenges including salt and drought. Future: Can India Regain Its Cotton Crown? India used to be the world's biggest producer of cotton, but falling yields and quality have caused it to lose a considerable portion of the worldwide market in recent years. India has to solve the technological and policy shortcomings that caused this decrease in order to revitalise its cotton sector. Improve Bt cotton strains Early in the new millennium, India quickly embraced Bt cotton, which resulted in significant output improvements for several years. Nevertheless, the misuse of one strain of Bt cotton (Bollgard II) has decreased its efficacy by allowing pests to become resistant. To stop pest resistance, India should promote the creation of new Bt cotton hybrids with several insect-resistant features. In order to satisfy  market demand, it should also implement more recent biotech cotton cultivars with better fibre quality.  Reform restrictive policies The introduction of better cotton types has been hindered by India's stringent rules regarding genetically modified (GM) crops. The government ought to devise a coherent, scientifically grounded regulatory framework to expeditiously approve novel genetically modified cotton cultivars. Additionally, it must to provide private enterprises more latitude in creating and promoting novel cotton hybrids in order to foster innovation. Invest in research India has seen a decrease in public and commercial financing for cotton research and development, despite an increase in spending from other key producers. To raise yields, increase fibre quality, and develop cutting-edge breeding procedures to the levels required in international markets, more funding is required. Increasing research investment will be beneficial for India's recovery of its cotton leadership, particularly for public institutions. Conclusion For India's cotton farmers, the introduction of Bt cotton eventually proved devastating, despite its first seeming promise. India has lost its position as the world's top producer of cotton because to an excessive dependence on one biotechnology and a disregard for the long-term effects. As you've seen, in order to correct the mistakes of the past, the situation calls for immediate action and a renewed dedication to science-based policies. But the future is still open, and if the right actions are done, India may still win back the world's cotton crown. It is up to stakeholders and legislators to enact the modifications required to assist cotton growers, foster variety, and advance sustainability.  

CoachingSelect November 24, 2023

Biotechnology A Booming Research Career

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Biotechnology A Booming Research Career

Biotechnology: A Booming Research Career Since Biotechnology is in its nascent stages in India, many students tend to get disillusioned with the limited opportunities. However, since the past decade, the Indian government has set up numerous research institutions of national repute conducting research in Cancer Biology, Stem Cells, Genetic Engineering, and Biomedical Sciences etc. Some of the best innovations and developments that have come out of Biotechnology and allied fields are: genomic sequencing technology, natural alternatives to pesticides, production of bio-fuels and developments in stem cells technology Scope in Biotechnology There is an immense career scope of Biotechnology as you can work on creative efficient medical equipment and technologies, healthcare innovations, pharmaceutical research and much more. Building a successful career in Biotechnology, you will be working at the forefront of research in food sustainability, agriculture, medical sciences and healthcare like top cbd vape juice brands to go for CBD Genesis . Here are the most popular sectors where you can pursue a promising career in Biotechnology: Waste Management Drug and pharmaceutical research Bio-processing industries Agricultural Sciences Environment Control Public funded laboratories Energy Management Food Biotechnology Dairy Technology Scope of Biotechnology in Government Sector Just like research and development opportunities in the private sector, there are several government departments which conduct the same activities at a national level. These researches are controlled by the Ministry of Science and Technology. All the biotech developments are under the Department of Biotechnology. Vacancies are released as per the need by the government and the application process is majorly online. Keep checking the official website for the same. Popular Employment Sectors Along with the above-mentioned work sectors, here are some other popular employment sectors becoming a part of which you can kickstart your career in Biotechnology- Pharmaceutical Agriculture Medicine Environmental Conservation Animal Husbandry Ecology Cosmetics Textile Industry Genetic Engineering Soil Biology How to Start a Career in Biotechnology? To follow the career path of a Biotechnologist, you must be familiarized with the educational qualifications, skills and professional training required to become one. So, we have summarized a step-by-step guide on becoming a biotechnologist below: Pursue a Bachelor’s Degree like BTech or BSc in Biotechnology: The first step towards pursuing a career in Biotechnology is to get the foundational understanding of this field with a bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology and with interdisciplinary specialisations like Molecular Biotechnology, Chemical Biotechnology, Biotechnology Engineering, to name a few. Further, you can also pursue a bachelor’s degree in any of its related field like Biology, Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering, etc. to attain the fundamental concepts of this discipline. Explore Training and Internship Opportunities: While studying an undergraduate program in Biotechnology, it is also essential to explore training and internship opportunities at research institutes or in the medical science or technology sector. Training and internships will also add to your resume and exhibit your professional exposure in this field thus helping you fit the job role of Biotechnologist better. Scope of Biotechnology Gain a Specialisation with a Master’s Degree: It is important to gain a postgraduate qualification after graduating and you can pursue a master’s in Biotechnology or its related specialisations like Applied Biotechnology, Medical Biotechnology, Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology as it will also impart you with the necessary research opportunities and skills you need to pursue a successful career in Biotechnology. Explore Suitable Jobs in Biotechnology: Completing a master’s degree in Biotechnology, you will be ready to explore employment opportunities as a Biotechnologist. Here are the major employment areas for biotechnology graduates: Bio-processing Industries Chemical Industries Waste Management Research Institutes and Universities Drug and Pharmaceutical Research Food Processing and Technology If you are aspiring for a career in research or academia, then you can also pursue a doctorate degree like PhD in Biotechnology. Biotechnology Courses after Bachelors: There is a wide range of courses available for those interested in building a career in Biotechnology. From short-term and online courses to master’s degree programs, you can choose from diverse course offering at top universities across the globe. Here is a list of top Biotechnology courses that you must consider: PG Diploma in Biotechnology MSc Biotechnology MTech in Biotechnology Masters in Biotechnology of Environment and Health Master in Biotechnology Masters in Applied Biotechnology Masters in Medical Biotechnology Master of Science in Molecular Biology Masters in Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology MSc in Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology Masters in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Masters in Molecular Biotechnology PhD in Biotechnology PhD in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Institutes Involved in Biotechnology Research: There are several institutes in the world that are involved in Biotechnology research. Some of these institutes are autonomous bodies while the others are owned by the government. If you are planning to build a career in biotechnology, research project in these institutes will be very helpful: Institutes for Research in India Indian Council of Agriculture Research Department of Science and Technology Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Constituent Research Labs of Department of Biotechnology Defense Research and Development Organization Biotechnology Research Institutes in UK Babraham Institute Institute of Food Research Pirbright Institute John Innes Centre Roslin Institute Biotechnology Research Institutes in US John Hopkins Institute University of Pennsylvania Purdue University University of Georgia Columbia University Who Can Study Biotechnology? Though the specific eligibility requirements might vary as per the course and university, the basic eligibility criteria for Biotechnology courses are as follows: The applicant must have completed their 10+2 with PCB subjects from a recognised board of education and with the minimum percentage of marks specified by your chosen university. If you are planning to study biotechnology abroad, you will be required to provide language proficiency test scores such as IELTS, TOEFL, etc. along with an SOP and LORs. Some universities might also ask you to submit GRE scores for master’s level programmes in Biotechnology. Note: The aforementioned criteria only indicates general eligibility requirements. Actual course requirements might differ as per the programme and university. Biotechnology Colleges & Universities: For the aforementioned programmes, there are numerous universities and colleges across the globe offering immense research exposure and specialised academic course offerings in Biotechnology. Below we have compiled the list of top universities you must consider for pursuing a career in Biotechnology: Benaras Hindu University University of Allahabad Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar Kumaun University University of Pune Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla

Tanu Kapoor September 17, 2021