'India's flora, fauna exploited by developed countries'

'India's flora, fauna exploited by developed countries'

'Bio diversity satisfys needs of man-directly, indirectly'

T Pullaiah, UGC-BSR faculty fellow, department of Studies in Botany, Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Ananthapur, Andhra Pradesh, said that Indians were being continuously exploited by other developed countries.

He was speaking at Prof Govindappa D Arekal Memorial Lecture on ‘Biodiversity and conservation’ organised by Botanical Society, department Studies in Botany, University of Mysore, here, on Friday.

He said that India had a rich biodiversity but its people knew little about it. However these resources had gained popularity in other countries.

Citing examples, he said that the gene of the BT Cotton originated from a village called Mahanandi in Andhra Pradesh. Dry gene was extracted from a cotton species of the region and was cultivated in the USA, which later named it as BT Cotton.

“The Panchayat of Mahanandi had asked USA to give just one per cent of the profit, which would be Rs four crore every year. But America refused and arrogantly replied that it had signed no agreement with the Panchayat,” he said.

Pullaiah said that there were many such incidents where other countries had claimed the researches to be their’s.

He said that India had been utilising medicinal properties of turmeric for several centuries. There is a mention of several uses of turmeric in Charaka Samhita. “My umbilical cord was cut using a knife smeared with turmeric,” he added. 

He said that an American had obtained seven patents on turmeric, which were later cancelled after India produced proof of its usage dating back several many centuries.
He said that every district of the Western Ghats had unique diversity of flora and fauna.

India is considered to be centre of origin of rice, sugarcane, minor millets, rice-bean, brinjal, banana, citrus, mango, cardamom, jasmine, betel nut, herbal drugs and several other crops, among which many species have been disappearing, he said.

Pullaiah said that biological diversity satisfied human needs directly and indirectly.
It helps in increase of agricultural productivity as well as develop disease resistant varieties.

It also helps in tapping nutrients, maintaining water cycle, soil production, protection of soil, absorption, breakdown of pollutants, provision of recreational, scientific and other aspects.

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