India's environment minister died Thursday, marking a significant blow to the government's ability to deal with the first genetically modified food crop.
Anil Madhav Dave died at age 60 in a New Delhi hospital following complaints of not feeling well.This comes a day after having attended a cabinet meeting.
He served two terms as a lawmaker from the Bharatiya Janata Party—the same party from which Prime Minister Narenda Modi hails.
Last year, Dave was named minister for the environment, forest, and climate change.
The world is looking to India to lead by example in reducing greenhouse gas emissions among a host of other environmental concerns that threaten crises in the future for the entire world.Dave had the pedigree for the post as a long-time member of the Hindu-nationalist umbrella group, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Dave was set to make the final decision regarding an application for the indigenous development of a GMO mustard crop, not dissimilar from rapeseed.The strain had recently been recommended for commercial cultivation.
"I was with Anil Madhav Daveji till late last evening, discussing key policy issues.This demise is a personal loss," tweeted Prime Minister Modi, bestowing upon Dave's name an honorific suffix commonly used in India.