NOTE: Below is a letter from many prominent individuals and organisations across India, including big farmer federations and eminent citizens like Dr Pushpa Bhargava, Dr Vandana Shiva, Dr G V Ramanjaneyulu and others, demanding the removal of Dr K C Bansal, a former GM crop developer who's currently the Director of India's National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR). The references to RTI responses are to documents obtained under India's Right To Information Act.

EXTRACTS: ...This is outright scientific fraud and if a senior technocrat can make such a false claim, how is the invaluable germplasm collection of this country being entrusted into his hands and leadership in NBPGR?

...why is [an independent investigation] not being [under]taken in the case of these allegations... if not as a payback for his extra support to GM technology, and hobnobbing with MNCs and industry associations?
To: Mr Sharad Pawar
Minister for Agriculture
Government of India

November 3 2012

Dear Shri Sharad Pawar

Sub: Demanding removal of Dr K C Bansal from the post of NBPGR Director, apropos media reports on false patent claim by Dr Bansal, based on RTI responses

There have been several media reports, apart from internal correspondence within DARE about the infractions of Dr K C Bansal, appointed to head a prestigious and important institution in DARE in India, the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR). The latest is a report in Mail Today on October 29th 2012, titled “Top GM Researcher Falsified Patent Claim to Grab National Award” (available online at

Based on previous RTI responses and its own investigations, the report clearly points out how Dr Bansal made a false claim about filing a patent application for insertion of a foreign gene in brinjal chloroplast and was given the prestigious Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award in July 2009 based on such fictitious claim. This is outright scientific fraud and if a senior technocrat can make such a false claim, how is the invaluable germplasm collection of this country being entrusted into his hands and leadership in NBPGR?

There are also reports about how the recruitment of Dr Bansal was done in violation of several guidelines that are in place for ASRB recruitments – this pertains to his Confidential Reports from 2004 to 2010 which were not handed over, despite these being essential for his promotion/selection to higher posts, in addition to questions on the selection panel apparently constituted twice over to ensure his selection.

What qualifies him to head an institution which is supposed to collect and protect germplasm wealth for the country?

There is also the unanswered letter from Dr P Anandakumar, (then superior officer of Dr Bansal and head of National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology (NRCPB)) on the fact that Dr Bansal did not hand over his research materials to NRCPB and the work on eight claimed GM events in tomato, mustard, wheat etc. This puts a big question mark on crores of rupees spent in the GM research work that he is supposed to have been involved in, and further puts a question mark on the ICAR transgenic research programme involving 20 institutes all over the country (with the budget exceeding 135 crore rupees).

We are attaching RTI replies as evidence to the allegations against Dr Bansal.

Just as the ICAR set up a 3-member committee headed by Prof Sopory for an independent investigation into the Bt Bikaneri Narma scandal (the report of which has not been made public yet, though submitted some time ago), why is a similar action not being taken in the case of these allegations? Why is the extra favour being bestowed on Dr Bansal, if not as a payback for his extra support to GM technology, and hobnobbing with MNCs and industry associations?

We demand an immediate removal of Dr Bansal from his post for the falsification of patent claim given that this is clearly unscientific and unethical. We also demand an independent investigation into all the other allegations against him urgently.

Kavitha Kuruganti
Convenor (Mob. 09393001550)


Afsar Jafri, Focus on the Global South, India
AM Raja-President CIFA, Tamil Nadu Chapter
Ananthasayanan, Safe Food Alliance, Chennai
Anuj Grover, AID India volunteer
Arun, President, Dharmapuri District.Organic Farmers’ Association
Aruna Rodrigues, Sunray Harvesters
Arunima Swain, ORRISSA
B K U, Ekta, Punjab
Babychan, (Thanal) Organic Bazaar
Balaji Shankar, Tharchaarbu Iyakkam
Bharat Mansata, EarthCare Books
C. Rathinasamy, Thamilaga Vivasayegal Sangam
C. Vayapuri, President, United Farmers Association of Tamil Nadu
Channabasappa Kombli, Desi Krushikara Balaga,Haveri
Cheran, President, Cauvery Delta Farmers Organisations Federation
Chinnasamy, Thamilaga Vivasayegal Sangam
D.V.Sreedhar, GoodNews India Foundation
Dalit Adivasi Sanghatan, Bundelkhand
Datta Patil, Hamara Beej Abhiyan
David Amalanadane, concerned citizen
Debjeet Sarangi, Living Farms
Dr Amar Singh Azad, Kheti Virasat Mission
Dr Debal Deb, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies
Dr G V Ramanjaneyulu, Centre for Sustainable Agriculture
Dr Harpal Singh Sangwan, Agricos
Dr Jeevanatham, President, Tamilnadu Green Movement
Dr K Babu Rao, scientist
Dr Krishnabir Chaudhary, President, Bharat Krishak Samaj
Dr N.S.Palanisamy,President and Ex.MLA, Tamil Nadu Vivasayegal Sangam
Dr Pushpa Bhargava, ANVESHNA
Dr Rukmini Rao, Gramya Resource Centre for Women
Dr G Shivaraman, Siddha doctor and environmentalist
Dr Ponnammal Natarajan, Retd Dean, Anna University
Dr Vandana Shiva, Navdanya
Eashwar Chand Tripathi, Bhartiya Kisan Union, MP
Gomathinayagam, President, Vivasaya Seva Sangam
Guruswamy, Kollegala Organic Growers Association
H R Prakash, ARTIC
Harish Vasudevan, Jaiva Karshaka Samithy
Jagannathan, Nalla keerai, Thiuvellore
Jasveen Jairath, SOUL
Jayakumar, Thanal
Jayaraman, CREATE
K P Ilias, One Earth One Life
K.Jagadeesan, Advisor, Federation of Tamil Nadu Rice Mill Owners Association
Kabir Arora, Indian Youth Climate Network
Kannaiyan Subramaniam, South Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers’ Movements
Kapil Shah, Jatan Trust
Karpagam, organic farmer, Point Return, Maduranthagam
Kiran Kumar Vissa, Rythu Swarajya Vedika
Kongu Kolandaisamy, President, Horticultural Farmers’ Association
Krishna Prasad, Sahaja Samrudha
Kuppusamy, President, Organic Farmers Association, Salem Dist.
L Prabakaran, Tamil Nadu Science Forum, Pudukottai Dist.
Laxman Singh, Lok Jagriti Manch (Jhabua)
Leo Saldanha, Environment Support Group (ESG)
Nagappa Nimbegondi, Millet Savers Association of Karnataka
Nallasamy, President, Federation of Tamilnadu Farmers Association
Naresh Sirohi, General Secretary, Bharatiya Kisan Morcha
Nilesh Desai, Beej Swaraj Abhiyan
Osai Managing Trustee, Coimbatore
Pamayan, Thaalanmai Uzhavar Iyakam
Pandurang Hegde, Chipko-Appiko Movement
Pankaj Bhushan, Tara Foundation
Ponnaiyan, President, Tamilnadu Tharsarbu Vivasayegal Sangam
Rachna Arora Verma, Public Awareness on GM Foods
Radha Gopalan, Rishi Valley
Radhika Rammohan, Restore, Chennai
Raghu Menon, concerned citizen
Raja Chidambaram, Perambalur President of Thamilaga Vivasayegal Sangam
Raja Dharmendar Gogu, Chetna Organic Farmers’ Association
Rajesh Krishnan, Greenpeace India
Rajkrishna Mukherjee, DRCSC
Ramasubramanian, Samanvaya Consulting, Chennai
Ramprasad S, Chetna Organic
S Jeevan Kumar, Human Rights Forum
S Narendran, concerned citizen
Sadagopan, President, Tamilnadu Vivasayegal Valvurimai Sangam
Sakthivel, SEWA President, Erode
Samir Paleja, Senior Reporter (Mumbai)
Sangeetha Sriram, Restore gardens, Chennai
Saroj Mohanty, Paschim Odisha Krushak Sanghatan
Selvam Ramaswamy, Tamil Nadu Organic Farmers’ Federation
Shivaputra, Malnad Rice Growers Association
Shivayogi Makeri, Desi Cotton Growers Association, Karnataka
Sidharth Jaiswal, Go Green Herbs Pvt Ltd
Sridhar Radhakrishnan, Coalition for a GM-Free India
Sreedevi Lakshmi Kutty, Urban Leaves
Suresh, PUCL
Surya Kanchan, Thalaanmai
Thirumalai, Nalla Sandhai, Thiruvellore
Umendra Dutt, Kheti Virasat Mission
Usha Jayakumar, Save Our Rice campaign
V Suresh, PUCL Member, Tamil Nadu Coimbatore Unit
Valukkuparai Balasubramanian, President, Thamilaga Vivasayegal Sangam
Vijay Pratap, SADED
Yudhvir Singh, Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers' Movements