Indo-US Co-operation Needed to Fight Climate Change, Food Security: Verma

Published: 25th August 2015 06:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th August 2015 06:22 AM   |  A+A-


COIMBATORE:  The United States Ambassador to India, Richard Verma, during an interaction with students at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in Coimbatore, called for better co-operation between India and the United States of America, in battling climate change and also in addressing issues on food security.

In another clear statement, calling for the Indian government to open its market to agricultural companies selling seed technology, the ambassador called for students at the university to work and ensure that “resistance to innovative food technology” is overcome.

He also said that genetically modified crops would provide materials as well as food crops which will have a very important role in feeding, clothing and sheltering people in the near future.

The ambassador spoke of the “discipline and rigor” of his upbringing, and recounted an incident when his parents, who are both teachers who migrated to the United States of America from Jalandhar, Punjab, only focused on an “A minus” rather than the 5 straight A grades he had received during an examination.

While addressing the students, who were primarily female, during the interaction, the ambassador said: “Education in this century is a great equalizer.” He said the students would be graduating at a time when India will a major global power in the world.

On the need for co-operation between the US and the developing world, in tackling climate change, and addressing food security, Verma spoke of the anticipated world population, topping out at 9.1 billion by 2050, as one of the reasons as to why food production must increase by 70 percent in the coming years.

He said there needed to be “significant funding and research” in agriculture, and also that countries must increasingly turn to sustainable use of land and water resources to mitigate the effects of climate change. He said that by working together, India and the USA would be able to address the challenges faced by the world.

He highlighted the collaborative work by American biologist, Norman Borlaug and Indian scientist, M S Swaminathan, on high-yield rice and wheat, as an example of how co-operative relationships could benefit people across the world.

Responding to questions from students, about the possibility of educational partnerships between the two countries, Verma said Indian students accounted for the second highest number of foreign students studying at American universities in 2014, and said he expected the co-operation to continue.

Insight into Ties for def officers

Coonoor: Recording Officers of the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as those from friendly countries, undergoing the 71st staff course at the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington, interacted with the US Ambassador to India, Richard Rahul Verma, on Monday evening. Verma, who holds US defence decoration of Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal, shared his perspective on ‘Emerging Indo-US Strategic Ties’ with DSSC student officers and directing staff. Officers from the US Army and Navy are also a part of the DSSC training batch. The US Consul General in Chennai, Philip Minh, and the US Air Attache Col Robert Capozella accompanied Verma.


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