India Gives Agricultural Research a Makeover

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Science  07 Feb 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5608, pp. 801
DOI: 10.1126/science.299.5608.801b

NEW DELHI—India is revamping its highly centralized agricultural research enterprise to give local and regional officials greater authority. The government says the changes, which are based on recommendations from a report delivered last week to the agriculture minister, reflect a need to improve food quality and safety now that the country is able to feed its population.

CREDIT: P. BAGLA

Some 6300 scientists work for the $375 million Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), whose 170 research entities are tightly managed by its headquarters in New Delhi. ICAR will close or merge several institutes while creating a national biotechnology institute to spread rapidly developing technology. Mangala Rai, the council's newly appointed director general, calls the changes “very positive and implementable.”

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