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Our Mission

The liberation of society and nature from the growth imperative is possible only when intergenerational equity is established by subjugating private interests to that of the community. We believe that indigenous ecological ethic contains the seed of subversion of the hegemony of developmentality.

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A Brief Introduction

Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies (CIS) was established in 1993 with a view to establishing a forum for public discourse across various disciplines of knowledge. For the first 4 years, CIS conducted a series of formal and informal seminars on diverse topics – ranging from film theory to pentatonic music, from sociobiology to the politics of population, from Third World medicine to conservation biology – in the city of Kolkata, involving eminent scholars and students.

Last Updated (Wednesday, 20 November 2013 19:51)

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News & Updates

  • 400 Indigenous Farmers Joining Force to Save Heirloom Seeds
    May 19, 2015
  • State Level Indigenous Farmers Meet
    May 12, 2015
  • 22 Rice Landraces Rescued from Malkangiri District
    March 26, 2015
  • Kalikapur Slow Food Festival
    February 15, 2015
  • National Rice Conservators Training Completed
    December 31, 2014
  • Deb Spoke at Scirarindi Festival in Sardinia
    November 30, 2014
  • Deb Gave Keynote on Computational Sustainability in Germany
    November 28, 2014
  • Deb spoke against GM crop release in Milan Politecnico University
    October 16, 2014
  • Deb sopke at IFOAM Conference in Korea
    October 3, 2014
  • Basudha’s Lab Opened for Conservation
    August 26, 2014
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400 Indigenous Farmers Joining Force to Save Heirloom Seeds

May 19, 2015May 19, 2015
During a period of just 5 days, from the 13th June to 18th June, Basudha's campaign to save folk rice varieties persuaded over 400 farmer households to replace all modern rice varieties with heirloom varieties, on zero-external chemical input. D. Deb and Debdulal Bhattacharya visited 8 villages of Gendabaju and Kodisuru villages of Chandrapur block, Rayagada district of Odisha to talk with them about the value of indigenous rice varieties and the means to winning freedom from seed corporations and chemicals industry. Entire communities in these 8 villages, comprising over 400 farmer households, pledged to abandon all modern rice varieties, and grow indigenous seeds instead, on their farms. They would collect seeds free of cost from Virhi in early June. Kodisuru Gendabaju

State Level Indigenous Farmers Meet

May 12, 2015May 12, 2015
On 10th and 11th May 2015, D. Deb and Debdulal Bhattacharya attended the State Level Indigenous Farmers Meet was held in Koraput, where hundreds of indigenous farmers gathered and pledged to keep their heirloom seeds on their farms. Koraput_News Koraput_Dancers KRPT-Dancers

22 Rice Landraces Rescued from Malkangiri District

March 26, 2015March 26, 2015
D. Deb surveyed 4 blocks in Odisha's Malkangiri district, and rescued 22 landraces to add to Vrihi's accession.

Kalikapur Slow Food Festival

February 15, 2015February 15, 2015
Community Revival Foundation and Basudha organized an open Slow Food Festival on the 15th February from 10 am to 8:30 pm. A dozen of heirloom rice varieties, and a plethora of varieties of eggplant, beans, millets, dioscorid tubers, etc were showcased and cooked for tasting by everyone. Small samples of rice were sold to visitors, who came from 8 districts of Bengal.

National Rice Conservators Training Completed

December 31, 2014December 31, 2014
This year's 3rd and last Phase of the National Rice Conservators Training was completed on the 19th December.  

Deb Spoke at Scirarindi Festival in Sardinia

November 30, 2014November 30, 2014
Deb attended the Scirarindi Festival on the 29 - 30 November and gave speeches to school students, journalists and activists. A report (in Italian) on Deb's participation in the Festival is here.

Deb Gave Keynote on Computational Sustainability in Germany

November 28, 2014November 28, 2014
Deb was invited to give a keynote speech in a Conference on Computational Sustainability at the University of Applied Sciences Zittau/Görlitz (26-28 November). He was introduced by Dr. Marius Kloft of Berlin University.
Gorlitz-Talk
Prior to the Conference, Deb also visited the Bruderhof community prior to the conference, on the 23rd November.

Deb spoke against GM crop release in Milan Politecnico University

October 16, 2014October 16, 2014
Deb presented, and participated in a fierce debate on GMOs, at Milan Politecnico University, on 16 October 2014. Deb explained with multitude of examples the inherent uncertainties in transgenics, and unpredictable risks from hastily resealed GM crops in agriculture.   Deb in a debate on the risks from GMOs and the relevance of the Precautionary Principle.

Deb sopke at IFOAM Conference in Korea

October 3, 2014October 3, 2014
Deb gave a presentation on Vrihi's work to conserve rice genetic diversity in Korea, on 3 October 2014. Rahul Vaswani also presented Basudha's work on community revival, pivoted on agrobiodiversity conservation. Group IFOAM-2 IFOAM-1 Rahul

Basudha’s Lab Opened for Conservation

August 26, 2014August 26, 2014
Basudha's Biotechnology Laboratory for Conservation opened in Kolkata on 12 August 2014. The lab is sponsored by Siddha Community Foundation, is established with the explicit aim to promoting conservation of the country's biological heritage. This lab is engaged in molecular biological study of folk rice varieties, and tissue culture of critically endangered plants, to promote their conservation for the benefit of the local communities. This is the only lab in the country where scientists do not receive any salary/ emoluments. This is also the country's only biotechnology lab that runs on donations from individual friends and a non-profit foundation, and is entirely aimed at biodiversity conservation. Read report in Times of India (New Delhi/Kolkata) 13 August.   [Download pdf] 

Deb’s Interview in Agriculture Today

June 21, 2014June 21, 2014
Agriculture Today June 2014 carries Deb’s interview on agriculture policy of India:
 

GM-Free India holds Anti-GMO conference at Ludhiana

June 21, 2014

GM-Free India held an anti-GMO conference in Ludhiana. Dr. Vandana Shiva of RFSTE, Dr. Debal Deb of BASUDHA and Rajesh of GM-Free India spoke on diverse aspects of GMO in agriculture.

Deb talks at Patiala Engineering University

June 21, 2014
Deb gave an invited talk on Uncertainties & Imprecisions in Genetic Engineering at University College of Engineering, Patiala. The talk was delivered before the faculty and researchers of the university.

National Seed Savers’ Meet held in New Delhi

June 21, 2014
National Seed Savers' Meet was organized by ASHA in New Delhi on March 7 and 8. Seed savers discussed on the documentation and IPR issue of folk crop varieties.