Plants that have undergone modifications to its DNA using genetic engineering methods are referred to as genetically modified crops. DNA is altered through introduction of specific traits or deletion of undesired traits in such a manner that does not occur naturally.
Science behind it
Recombinant DNA technology: isolating and cutting specific DNA segments from one organism and inserting them into another organism
Somatic Cell Nuclear Technology: transfer of nucleus of a somatic cell into an egg cell from which nucleus has been removed. Also referred to as cloning
Viral vectors are modified virus which carry specific genes to target cells while CRISPR Cas9 and TALENs are gene editing tool that allows precise editing of specific DNA sequences.
BENEFITS OF GENETIC ENGINEERING
- It is expected to lower the prices while increasing its benefits such as durability and nutritional value.
- They are expected to increase the returns for farmers through increasing resistance to insects and herbicide tolerance.
- A number of microorganisms are being considered as future clean fuel producers and bio degraders.
- Genetically modified plants may be used to produce recombinant vaccines. It would greatly reduce the costs associated with conducting large-scale vaccination campaigns.
- Production of commercially valuable proteins in plants, such as spider silk protein and polymers that are used in surgery or tissue replacement.
- Genetically modified animals have even been used to grow transplant tissues and human transplant organs, a concept called xenotransplantation.
DRAWBACKS OF GENETIC ENGINEERING
- unknown consequences to altering the natural state of an organism through foreign gene expression.
- the capability of the GMO to escape and potentially introduce the engineered genes into wild populations
- the susceptibility of non-target organisms to the gene product
- reduction in the spectrum of other plants
- private production of GM crops can hurt the economy and environment through misuse of patents and monoculture farming
- debate over our right to “play God”, tampering with nature and its balance
Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC)
- Under the aegis of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
- Appraisal of activities such as large-scale use of microorganisms in research and industries from environmental view, release of genetically engineered organisms and products into environment
India, that is Bharath
An official invitation sent out by Rashtrapati Bhavan in connection with the G-20 summit in New Delhi under India’s presidency which carried the nomenclature of the President of India as ‘President of Bharat’ set off a controversy.
Parliamentary power and Constitutional provision:
- Before the whole issue of changing the name of the country and the manner in which it is being handled are considered, it is necessary to make it clear that Parliament has the absolute power to change the name of the country at any time by amending the Constitution.
- Article 368 of the Constitution empowers Parliament to amend any provision of the Constitution which includes the name of the country, as mentioned in Article 1.
- Article 1 “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.”
- Article 52 says that there shall be a President of India.
- This is the official nomenclature of the head of the state which cannot be changed into anything else unless Article 52 is amended suitably.
- India is not only the name of the country, but also a brand which we all build together
- The word ‘Bharat’ is not used in any of the articles of the Constitution except in the Hindi version, which was published under the authority of the President under Article 394 A.
- Article 394A (2) says “the translation of this Constitution…shall be construed to have the same meaning as the original thereof…”; this clause reinforces the point that the word Bharat is a translation of the word ‘India’
- Article 1 in the Hindi translation of the Constitution says “Bharat means India”, which shows that Bharat is treated as the translation of India.
Amending Problems and Procedure:
- Countries have changed their names but those were countries that broke up. You cannot change the name of the country without support of all states
- If the constitution itself provides for Bharat, there is no change. It is just a change in nomenclature
- If you want to efface India from the constitution, you will have to go through the process of a constitutional amendment
- It’s not unusual to amend the constitution. There have been 105 amendments to the constitution, as of 2021.
- But it’s a longer that requires that a bill be presented in the Parliament and at least two thirds of the members, in both the houses i.e. Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, must approve of the change.
- Majority of the States concern is required.
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