Social Scientist. v 10, no. 107 (April 1982) p. 51.

Graphics file for this page

The adverse impact of the adoption of HYV, sensitive to chemical fertilizer, water and pesticides, in the Third World countries in increasing inequalities is the consequence of unintelligent imitation owing to the inducement by the World Bank, Ford Foundation and the multinationals as well as of the socio-economic system in which they were adopted. HYV seeds adaptable to tropical soils, requiring less water and protectable more by biological means and less by the use of chemical pesticides are possible and they will produce different political consequences under socialism. Automation has resulted in unemployment in advanced capitalist countries whereas the worker in socialist countries does not fear retrenchment. So it would not be wrong to conclude that the distinctions made seem to bypass the real issues and result in ahistoric and unrealistic conclusions.

In the developing countries, the problem of exploitation and the environmental problem have a number of specific aspects attributable to the vestiges of colonialism, neo-colonialism, capitalist path of development, poverty, economic backwardness and the specific features of the ecological systems. The key to solving the ecological problems and eliminating exploitation lies in sweeping socio-economic changes (which Bagchi of course stands for), accelerated industrialization on the basis of self-reliance in science and advanced technology and advanced methods of using natural resources (even if they do not economize on capital and need the use of exhaustible resources and techniques like coal-mining by human beings).

The problems which we have inherited from colonialism are not confined to unemployment alone. Untying ourselves from the linkages with foreign markets developed as a result of colonialism and neocolonialism is equally important and they need the development of capital intensive technologies (petro-chemistry, metals, power, engineering including nuclear energy engineering, communications, and so on) if the effectiveness and competitiveness of these industries are to be assured at the present and in the future. Achieving self-reliance in science and technology is crucial to the industrialization of developing countries.

The achievement of self-reliance in technology and the building of independent centres of excellence and relevance in scientific research and education constitute the main tasks in directing scientific and technological change.


1. A K Bagchi, "Inventiveness in Society", Social Scientist, Vol 9, No 5-6, December 1980-January 1981.

* Research scholar at the Centre for the Study of Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Back to Social Scientist | Back to the DSAL Page

This page was last generated on Wednesday 12 July 2017 at 18:02 by
The URL of this page is: