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Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee

  • IASbaba
  • October 22, 2021
  • 0
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Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee

Part of: Prelims and GS-III – Economy; Biotechnology

Context The Central government is yet to decide on a research proposal from Scientists at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) which would allow plants to be genetically modified without the need for conventional transgenic technology.

The better quality rice variety 

  • Scientists at the IARI are in the process of developing resilient and high-yield rice varieties using gene editing techniques, which have already been approved by many countries.
  • They hope to have such rice varieties in the hands of the Indian farmers by 2024. 
  • This technique is equivalent to conventional breeding methods, since it does not involve inserting any foreign DNA.
  • The proposal, however, has been pending with the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee for almost two years.
  • Benefits: 
    • They aim to bring precision and efficiency into the breeding process using gene editing tools such as CRISPR.
    • It is much faster and far more precise than natural mutation or conventional breeding methods which involve trial and error and multiple breeding cycles.

What is Genetic engineering appraisal committee?

  • Regulatory Framework for approval of GM crops is covered under  the Environment protection Act 1986  
  • Genetic engineering appraisal committee under Ministry of Environment, forest and climate change is Apex body that allows for commercial release of GM crops in India 
  • Cartagena protocol on biosafety provides well-defined mechanism of regulation of GM crops including biosafety evaluation and environmental release.

Do you know?

  • The IARI has previously worked on golden rice, a traditional GM variety which inserted genes from other organisms into the rice plant, but ended trials over five years ago due to agronomic issues.

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