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October 31, 2010 / pkdhodapkar

Is overexploitation attaining dangerous proportions?

Apart from the shopping and the excitement surrounding the festival time, a very different kind of activity is gaining momentum. The law is trying to unearth cases of food adulteration. Already, several cases of adulterated ‘mawa’ have been detected in the country. It is not that adulteration or cheating happens only during the periods of peak demand such as festivals. Fruits such as mangoes, pears or apples are harvested and marketed prematurely. 

The trend can be generalized to say that the goodwill enjoyed by certain goods has been overexploited. The nature has a limited capacity to supply food for the mankind. When certain goods such as apples from Kashmir, hilsa fish from West Bengal, Beganpalli mangoes of Andhra Pradesh become highly sought after, a tendency to supply the unripe or non-mature goods sets in. Strictly speaking, unlike adulteration, this is not a criminal act. But this should be condemned and discouraged since it destroys the long-standing goodwill enjoyed by the goods.

Even a ‘commodity’ like higher education is susceptible to overexploitation. This is evident from the mushrooming of coaching institutions that promise to help the several hundred thousands of aspirants for the IITs and NITs in India. Needless to say, majority of the aspirants are disappointed in their quest. But this does not affect the coaching institutions or publishers of ‘guides’. In a way, coaching has become an industry. It is high time that the students and parents reassess their aspirations.

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