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NEW DELHI-Battle for Self-Reliance in Telecommunications

NEW DELHI Battle for Self-Reliance in Telecommunications BM There are scores of hastily negotiated foreign collaboration deals and dubious import arrangements. Hence clearing the field for indigenous technology and infant production capabilities will be a difficult task.

Intellectual Property Rights-Government Buckles under US Pressure.pdf

Intellectual Property Rights Government Buckles under US Pressure THE recently appointed union commerce minister, Dinesh Singh, is known to be a strong believer in media management. Noting the extremely adverse reaction to the buckling under pressure in the GATT negotiations at Geneva last month on the issue of intellectual property rights, the minister is trying to cover his tracks. What has been done at Geneva is only a shift in the government's 'negotiating stance' rather than a change in its 'negotiating position' it is being contended. But, then, it is lamely conceded that India has to live in a harsh world and if it is to do business with the more powerful, it has to be accommodating and flexible. It had become impossible for India in the face of growing pressure on it and other developing countries to stick to its earlier stand against negotiating intellectual property rights within the GATT framework. This is not only frankly admitted but the agreement to enter into substantive negotiations on the issue in the multilateral forum is being made a virtue of on the ground that this might help somewhat to ease the direct US pressure on India on this and other trading matters. This is, of course, wishful thinking.

Into the IMF s Parlour Once Again

Into the IMF's Parlour Once Again BM What the finance minister termed 'kit-culture based consumerism' in his budget speech has led to a runaway expansion of imports leaving the government no choice but to borrow more and more heavily in the international financial markets and to initiate the process of negotiating another loan from the IMF with all the attached 'conditionalities'.. There are also fell-tale indications that its vulnerability on the external balance front is leading the government to water down its stand on the intellectual property rights question.

NEW DELHI-Assessing the Budget

NEW DELHI Assessing the Budget BM If the budget for 1989-90 takes only halting and half-hearted measures to stow down the rush into an internal debt trap, there does not seem to be even that much concern about the far greater danger of the external debt trap.

Tailoring Patents Law to Suit MNCs

Tailoring Patents Law to Suit MNCs CONCERNED scientists and technologists, legal luminaries and social workers and even some enlightened business interests have woken up to the grave and imminent danger that has emerged on the horizon to Indian R and D and the contribution that Indian scientists and technologists can and must make to socio-economic development with some measure of self-reliance. They had been watching helplessly but with considerable dismay for quite some time the unfolding of official policy which had tended more and more to strangulate Indian R and D, open the doors wide for foreign technology and capital to take up commanding positions in the Indian market and overwhelm step by step domestic production capabilities in several critical areas. What they had not still bargained for, however, was that the government led by Rajiv Gandhi was getting ready to revise the well-tested policy on patent protection and join the Paris Convention on patents which the government had so far rightly refused to do. It is being suggested that the government may take this 'bold' step by the middle of December this year. The ground for this, according to some well informed sources, is being prepared at a rather hectic pace. These apprehensions have been strengthened by the extension of the so-called Rajiv Gandhi-Reagan Science and Technology Initiative under which transfer of high technology to India from US is being regulated and managed. The seminar being organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in the last week of November this year with the active association and participation of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) is also considered ominous in this context.

NEW DELHI-From Green to Brown Revolution

NEW DELHI From Green to Brown Revolution BM It is not fortuitous that approval of the Pepsi project has been followed by the decision to allow import of crop seeds under open general licence. Both steps are symbolic of the enhanced role being assigned to multinationals in the country's farm sector.

New Policy Framework for Foreign Collaboration

The new policy framework for foreign collaboration not only ties down new investment and production in the economy to foreign sources of finance, technology and equipment in perpetuity but also strangulates all meaningful R and D in the country.

Foreign Investment The New Panacea

Foreign Investment: The New Panacea BM The prime minister's response to the Japanese and West German pressure to open the doors to foreign capital and technology indicates influences at work behind the scenes far more powerful than any of his officially-designated advisers, Sam Pitroda included.

Agricultural Policy Dictated by Rich Farmer

It is the rich farmer with his economic power enhanced by the so-called green revolution and commanding a strong social base and political clout who is going increasingly to dictate terms on the farm front under the present political dispensation.

Government s Privatisation Plans Come into Open

The government would appear to have successfully broken the strike by the workers of the Delhi Transport Corporation. The way it dealt with the strike is a signal that the government has decided on the privatisation of commercial and industrial activity in the public sector on a broad front and curtailment of the role of public enterprise. A logical concomitant is a determined drive to discipline workers and enhance the returns to private capital at, the cost of labour IT is a standard practice on the part of the government leaders, among them the prime minister himself, to affirm from time to time faith in and commitment to public enterprise. They also stoutly deny any intention to go for anything like the privatisation of public sector enterprises. All that they intend, it is averred, is improvement in the functioning and performance of public sector industrial and commercial undertakings in order to achieve the laudable objective of making them viable and derive profit from the in* vestment locked in them. Even such proposals as the outright closing down of loss-making public sector production units, dilution of the shareholding of the government in the equity of others and promotion of what are called joint ventures with big business houses with management vested in the hands of the private parties in areas of assured and high profitability such as oil refineries are justified on grounds of efficiency and are not admitted as privatisation moves.

Farmers Agitations Limits and Purposes

The essential inability of the rich and middle farmers to sustain a long drawn-out agitation has again been exposed in Meerut. They cannot go beyond a point by their very nature, character and position in the rural society The significance of their agitations lies not so much in their defiance of authority as in the assertion of the economic power and social influence of the landed interests which give them their political clout.

Anti-People Growth

Anti-People Growth BM In the wake of the sharp fall in employment and incomes of the working people, especially in rural areas, as a result of the drought, growth of industrial production must inevitably be geared even more to satisfying the effective demand of the upper and middle classes with purchasing power in the urban and rural areas. The drought will thus accentuate the anti-people orientation of the growth process, industrial growth especially, promoted by the market-oriented liberalisation policies of the government.

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