Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, Nano-technology, biotechnology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
6. Compare Gene editing with that of Genetic modification. Discuss the potential benefits and risks associated with Genetic modification in crops. (250 words)
Difficulty level: Easy
Reference: The Hindu
Why the question:
Scientists at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute are in the process of developing resilient and high-yield rice varieties using such gene editing techniques, which have already been approved by many countries, and they hope to have such rice varieties in the hands of the Indian farmers by 2024.
Key Demand of the question:
To understand the concept of Genetic editing and modification and associated pros and cons.
Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you must debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You must give reasons for both for and against arguments.
Structure of the answer:
Begin by defining Genetic modification (GM) and Gene Editing and highlight the difference between the two.
First, mention about the various benefits such as drought/salinity resistant, pest resistant, higher yield, better nutrition etc with few examples.
Next, mention about the anticipated threats such as expected or harmful genetic changes, inadvertent transfer of genes from one GM plant or animal to another plant or animal etc.
Conclude by stating that in the context of present Food Security needs, more research and regulations are to be brought out in order to roll out safe GM crops.