From the blurb
Emerging Consequences of Biotechnology — Biodiversity Loss and IPR Issues: Krishna Dronamraju; World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., 5, Toh Tuck Link, Singapore 596224.
The commercialisation of biotechnology has resulted in an intensive search for new biological resources for the purposes of increasing food productivity, medicinal applications, energy production, and various other applications. Although biotechnology has produced many benefits for humanity, its applications have also resulted in some undesirable consequences such as diminished species biodiversity as well as diminished agro-biodiversity, environmental contamination, and the exploitation of intellectual property rights and patents in appropriating the biodiversity of developing countries.
Biotechnology is at a critical juncture where several developing countries are poised to make large investments in genetically modified (GM) crop research and expand their cultivation nationwide. The need for risk evaluation has never been greater than it is today.
This book discusses the role of biological, ecological, environmental, ethical, and economic issues in the interaction between biotechnology and biodiversity, using different contexts. Of special interest is their impact when biotechnology is shared between developed and developing countries, and the lack of recognition of the rights of indigenous populations and traditional farmers in developing countries by large multinational corporations.
Gandhi’s Khadi—A History of Contention and Conciliation: Rahul Ramagundam; Orient Longman Private Limited, 1/24, Asaf Ali Road, New Delhi-110002. Rs.695.
This is a study of Khadi, the fabric that successfully transcended its commodity status to become a political symbol. Khadi was not just a symbol; it was a massive exercise in organisational establishment, in forging networks, brand building, and ideological investment. Using a fresh and imaginative approach, the book shows how an idea, determinedly pursued, can become a movement. It also argues that simplicity as advocated by the khadi movement can be subversive and revolutionary. Khadi acquired emblematic status during India’s freedom struggle. Gandhiji largely acknowledged as the one who pioneered the fabric and invested it with symbolism, saw khadi as heralding real freedom to the millions of poor and marginalised Indians.
The book analyses how Gandhiji’s aggressive khadi campaign was meant to clearly separate Indians across a sartorial divide between those who clung to self-interest and, by extension, loyalty to British imperialism, and those who acted for social well-being. Recreating a parallel history of the khadi movement alongside that of India’s freedom struggle, Ramagundam argues that khadi’s core semiotic lay in its being a commodity of resistance against colonial exploitation. Focusing on the khadi movement, he seeks to widen the debate on the forces leading to India’s independence.
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