Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words are given in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
The wakeup call that China represents to India is not limited to its showpiece urban centres or that New Delhi hopes India will experience the benefits that the Olympic games have brought to Beijing. More pertinent is the comparison of the agricultural sectors of the two countries. Why and how has China managed to outstrip India in agriculture when 25 years ago the two countries were on par on most parameters? Both have traditionally been agrarian economies and over half their populations continue to depend on the land for their livelihood. With large populations and histories of famine, India and China share concern on issues such as food security. However, while India’s agricultural sector is projected to grow by about 2. 5 per cent this year – a slide from the previous year’s growth–, China’s has been steadily growing at between 4 per cent and 5 per cent over the last fifteen years. The widest divergence between India and China is in the profitable horticultural sector with the production of fruits and vegetables in China leaping from 60 million tonnes 1980 compared to India’s 55 million tonnes at the same time, to 450 million tonnes in 2003 ahead of India’s corresponding 135 million tonnes. China’s added advantage lies in the more diversified composition of its agricultural sector with animal husbandry and fisheries which account for close to 45 per cent of growth compared to 30 per cent for India.
According to the latest report by the Economic Advisory Council, the traditional excuses for India’s substandard performance in the farm sector are inadequate since India is placed favourably when compared to China in terms of quantity of arable land, average farm size, farm mechanisation etc. The reasons for China having outperformed India are threefold: technological improvements accruing from research and development (China has over 1,000 R&D centres devoted to agriculture), investment in rural infrastructure and an increasingly liberalised agricultural policy moving away from self-sufficiency to leveraging the competitive advantage with a focus on “efficiency as much as equity”. Investment in rural infrastructure, roads, storage facilities, marketing facilities are also crucial but government support in India has mainly been through subsidies, not investment. There has been much debate about subsidies and their utility; the opposing view being that subsidies are against the market reforms and distort the market as well as reduce resource efficiency. In contrast to the 2,046 applications for the registration of new plant varieties in China over the past few years, data reveals that despite India having the largest number of agricultural scientists in the world India’s current research track record is abysmal, equivalent to what China achieved in the 1980s. Far from developing new strains, the number of field crop varieties fell by 50 per cent between 1997 and 2001 despite the fact that there was sharp and
sustained increase in funding. One reason is that majority of the budget is eaten up by staff salaries with only 3 per cent being allotted for research. In contrast, most agricultural research centres in China must use Central government funding purely for research. Funds relating to salaries and other administrative incidentals must be generated by the centres themselves. The centres and scientists are thus encouraged to engage in joint ventures with private sector companies to form commercial signoffs from their research. In fact, research staff are now being hired on a contract basis with pay based on performance and salaries raised proportionately for those who perform well. India needs to learn from China’s example and adopt a pragmatic approach if it has to meet its targets of the Eleventh Five Year Plan.
Choose the word which is most OPPOSITE in meaning of the word printed in bold as used in the passage.