Their view | Opinion | Times Crest
Popular on Times Crest
  • In This Section
  • Entire Website
  • The Imphal Taliban
    July 13, 2013
    Manipur's police force have begun arresting young men for accessing sleazy content on their phones and in cyber cafes. Even the romantic SMS to…
  • It's time we moved mountains
    July 6, 2013
    Lamenting the tragedy of Uttarakhand isn't enough, we need to set up a commission to manage natural hazards, says KS Valdiya.
  • I wanted to create the age of innocence that was…
    July 6, 2013
    Vikramaditya Motwane is reworking O Henry's short story 'The Last Leaf' for his second film, 'Lootera'.
More in this Section
Profiles
Leaving tiger watching to raise rice Ecologist Debal Deb, who did his post-doctoral research from IISc in…
The crorepati writer He's the man who gives Big B his lines. RD Tailang, the writer of KBC.
Chennai-Toronto express Review Raja is a Canadian enthusiast whose quirky video reviews of Tamil…
Don't parrot, perform Maestro Buddhadev Dasgupta will hold a masterclass on ragas.
A man's man Shivananda Khan spent his life speaking up for men who have sex with men.
Bhowmick and the first family of Indian football At first glance, it would be the craziest set-up in professional football.
From Times Blogs
The end of Detroit
Jobs in Detroit's car factories are moving to India.
Chidanand Rajghatta
How I love the word ‘dobaara’...
Can ‘bindaas’ or ‘jhakaas’ survive transliteration?
Shobhaa De
Anand marte nahin...
India's first superstar died almost a lonely life.
Robin Roy
Conversations

Their view




WHERE ARE THE PADDY FIELDS?
Akash Kapur of The New York Times writes about how Indian farmers are sowing newer crops in tandem with changing weather conditions. "This year, I have been struck by an unmistakable sense that there are fewer rice fields. Along highways, agriculture has given way to real estate development. Even deeper in the countryside, the fields look different. There are fewer rice and other traditional crops like peanuts and sugar cane, and more casuarina, palm oil and other so-called cash crops, " he writes. The probable reasons being cited for this palpable shift include that traditional crops are labour or water intensive - drawing on two commodities increasingly in short supply. "But the shift is also an indication of hope - however incipient - for agriculture in this part of South India. It is a sign that farmers are trying to adjust, coming up with new crops and strategies to accommodate what has in many respects been a painful decade. " Old-time farmers say the best decades for agriculture in India were the '70s and '80s. "Recent years have been harder. Chemicals have depleted the soil. Cheap pumps and bore wells have lowered the water table. New opportunities in local industries and the cities have increased incomes. This last development is good for people in the villages, but it has made it almost impossible to find affordable labor for the fields. " In response to the changed agriculture scene in India, many farmers are going the organic way.

WATCH OUT FOR BIOTERROR

Jason Burke of The Guardian writes about the concerns of US diplomats that India could be the target of a biological terror attack. Confidential cables from the US embassy in New Delhi that Wikileaks exposed, he reports, reveal fears of "fatal diseases such as anthrax being released into the country before spreading around the world". The article talks of a senior Indian diplomat who told the US in 2006 that the possibility of a biological attack was "no longer academic". According to Burke, a cable sent to Washington said: "( Diplomat YK) Singh reported that Indian intelligence is picking up chatter indicating jihadi groups are interested in bioterrorism, for example seeking out like-minded PhDs in biology and biotechnology". Burke's report also talks of another cable pointing out that "advances in the biotech sector and shifting terrorist tactics that focus on disrupting India's social cohesion and economic prosperity oblige the (government of India) to look at the possibility of terror groups using biological agents as weapons of mass destruction and economic and social disruption". The US diplomats state the reason why India is more vulnerable to such attacks. "The plethora of indigenous highly pathogenic and virulent agents naturally occurring in India and the large Indian industrial base - combined with weak controls - also make India as much a source of bioterrorism material as a target. " Burke reports that this dispatch "is one of many dealing with the threat of terrorism" and was dispatched "both before and after the attacks on Mumbai".

Other Times Group news sites
The Times of India | The Economic Times
इकनॉमिक टाइम्स | ઈકોનોમિક ટાઈમ્સ
Mumbai Mirror | Times Now
Indiatimes | नवभारत टाइम्स
महाराष्ट्र टाइम्स
Living and entertainment
Timescity | iDiva | Bollywood | Zoom
| Technoholik | MensXP.com

Networking

itimes | Dating & Chat | Email
Hot on the Web
Hotklix
Services
Book print ads | Online shopping | Business solutions | Book domains | Web hosting
Business email | Free SMS | Free email | Website design | CRM | Tenders | Remit
Cheap air tickets | Matrimonial | Ringtones | Astrology | Jobs | Property | Buy car
Online Deals
About us | Advertise with us | Terms of Use and Grievance Redressal Policy | Privacy policy | Feedback
Copyright© 2010 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service