Social Scientist. v 11, no. 125 (Oct 1983) p. 8.


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DINESH ABROL*

American Involvement in Indian Agricultural Research

IN RECENT decades, there has been a considerable development of international cooperation in agricultural research. The qualitative change consists in the switchover from investment in international agricultural research centres located in developing countries to the strengthening of national research capabilities of the developing countries and the forming of better linkages with international research centres. Bilateral assistance for building national agricultural research capabilities is today the main mode of cooperation between the scientists of the developing and developed countries. International agricultural research centres have also taken steps to help the developing countries develop their indigenous research capacity. Simultaneously, the effort is on to form better linkages between the international centres and the national programmes.1

This, at first sight, may appear to be an entirely welcome development, since one normally expects scientific cooperation to be a relation of equal-rank partnership from which both sides benefit. But in the case of cooperation between the developed capitalist countries having motives of large-scale political and economic expansion and the developing countries, it is difficult to disregard tlie problem of possible dis-orientation taking place in the case of developing countries. Scientific cooperation in this context may entail a permanent influence on the scientific community of the developing country and constitute an important political weapon in view of the high authority of this community and the economic impact that science promises in the present-day world.

In this paper the experience of Indo-U S cooperation in agricultural research is reviewed with regard to the problem of "disorien-tation of the national research capacity" seen in the context of research exclusively on the high-yieding varieties (HYV) package and the neglect of important researches in a number of other fields, eg, on the pulses and oilseeds, on the non-irrigated areas and dry farming practices, on the soil and water conservation practices suited to the conditions

*Skknti§t, National Institute of Science, Technology & Development Studies, CSIR, New Delhi.



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