ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Patent (Amendment) Act 2002 and Technological Innovation

The changes incorporated in the Patents Act, 1970 in 2002 undoubtedly crossed the t?s and dotted the i?s of the TRIPS agreement. A wonderful opportunity, however, was lost to garner the practical knowledge base of the vast technical human resource base of a billion plus country. In this respect the?utility model? type of industrial property protection requires to be given a serious thought to accelerate manufacturing sector growth.

Liability and Policy Options in Biotechnology

Options in Biotechnology J GEORGE The contemporary discourse on biotechnology appears to be highly polarised, thereby causing it to lose touch with domestic ground realities. The fundamentals of science and the construct of policy space are the unfortunate casualties. Several questions are raised, such as what is the spectrum of biotechnology available for commercial use, given the extremely rich and diverse bioresources in the country; is it in the short or mediumterm interest of the producers in the current agriculture landscape; who benefits and who suffers from the introduction of biotechnology in India and other developing countries; are scientists confident of handling the imponderables, including food safety issues, in the days to come; do we have a policy to chart out a path that needs to be treaded cautiously, and do we have checks and balances either in related policy domains or a risk evaluation protocol to explore this evolving subject.

Livestock Economy and Foodgrain Demand

J George G S BHALLA and Peter Hazell (1997, henceforth BH) need to be congratulated for bringing the livestock feeding regimen into the mainstream of discussion in agriculture and allied sectors. The article also breaks new ground by highlighting the importance of the symbiotic relationship existing in the natural resource economy. However, a caution needs to be sounded here on the prescriptions advocated by BR It is essential because the symbiotic relationship is very complex due to interactions between biological, economic and socio-cultural entities. The one-way approach of BH is too pedantic to capture some of these complexities. The Indian livestock economy is characterised by multi- product and multi-biological sources as also the input-use matrix. The two suggested Asian models fundamentally differ from the Indian model on account of 'weeding' practices and also on the animal power front. The earlier preoccupations of commentators and scholars with the supply side of animal husbandry have already provoked strident discussion [George 1983, 1986a and 1988].

Political Economy of Health in Third World

Development of Tertiary Sector B N Ghosh B BHATTACHARYA and Arup Mitra (EPW, November 3, 1990), have tried to clear up certain issues involving the hypertrophy of our tertiary sector. However, in spite of their analytical acumen, some of the conceptual characteristics of the tertiary sector in a developing country like ours have escaped their attention. I believe a couple of points by way of discussion can be accommodated in their analytic umbrella to make the perspective clearer.

Concurrent Evaluation of IRDP

Studies, Jaipur, for their helpful comments in the preparation of the draft report mentioned at [3] below.] [I] V M Rao and S Erappa (198?) 'JRDP and Rural Diversification: A Study in Karna- Vol XXII, No 52, December 26, pp A-151 to A-160. AH page numbers in the text refer to this article.

White Revolution in India Myth or Reality

White Revolution in India: Myth or Reality? J George ALTHOUGH the debate on the White Revolution is now a decade old, a new impetus has been provided by the recent recommendations of the Jha Committee Report which however have to be viewed with caution. It is therefore commendable that the EPW has been providing a nonpartisan and active platform to the contributors (Nair June 22-29, 1985; George, Shanti December 7, 1985; May 31 and June 7, 1986; Achaya and Huria September 13, 1986; and finally Baviskar and George, Shanti November 1-8, 1986) at regular intervals. George, Shanti (1985, 1986) and Baviskar and George (1986) have among a host of issues, repeatedly drawn attention towards methodological flaws in most of the studies on Operation Hood (OF). But they have been silent on Nair' article (1985) which has several methodological flaws is not surprising. I would like to examine afresh, in this rejoinder to Nair, the complex facts and issues of both the phases of OK I would like to begin by pointing out that Melloi's article (1964), referred to by Nair, is almost two decades old and does not discuss trie major developments in the methodology of milk production estimation. Inasmuch as Mellor discusses only two attempts made at estimating milk production in the fifties, one has to look for more material on the subject for better comprehension.1 As rightly pointed out by Nair, the estimates of milk production made by the Ministry of Agriculture (MOAg), following the Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute (IASRI) methodology since 1977-78, are in fact an overestimate in order to present a better picture of the sector's performance. He is merely echoing what Whyte (1968; 108) had to say nearly two decades ago, 'The official claim, namely, that sufficient milk is produced. . . does not bear detailed examination an J is only for prestige presentation at international conferences". In a similar indictment recently the Parliamentary Committee on Public Undertakings in its 11th report las expressed grave doubts about the reliability of available statistics in regard to increase in milk production. Further, the figures used are for total bovine milk production. The absence of categorisation into cow and buffalo milk with relevant statistics in the estimates of MOAg since 1977-78 makes them incomparable with the MOAg's earlier estimates and to that extent analytically less useful (George 1985b). On the other hand, there is more than one estimate of milk production for 1972 released by the MOAg (George 1983). As a result, doubts arise regarding the validity and precision of the criteria adopted by Nair to (i) choose a typical estimate for 1972 out of many official estimates, and (ii) disaggregate the bovine production into contributions by cows and buffaloes separately from 1977-78 onwards. In such instances, the 1982 figures have been clearly extrapolated based on the 1972-77 growth rates in the variables making milk production estimates. Such being the constraints with data on milk production, the use of MOAg estimates for further analysis would compound the subjectivity inherent in the estimates in the first place. Secondly, it tantamounts to providing sanction and perpetuating the practice of guess- estimates by informed researchers. At this point, Minnas' warning is apposite: "working with crude data (without caring to discuss the merits) which is bound to have very large margins of errors, one can never overemphasise the virtues of caution.. . all kinds of generalisations [are made] without as much as a murmur about the inadequacy of data base" (1966: 171).

Operation Flood and Social Scientists

Operation Flood and Social Scientists J George BEING a social scientist endeavouring to study dairy development and dairy in- vestment planning in India, I have been closely following the debate going on in EPW and elsewhere on this topic. The latest piece by B S Baviskar (July 2) rightly points our the difficulties faced by a social science research worker as a result of effectively blocking of dissemination of basic information on dairying in India and specially on the Operation. Flood (OF) project Bavis- kar has been championing the cause of social science research for a long time now and anybody would envy his contribution on dissemination of knowledge on milk co-operatives, EPW too had rightly raised a pertinent query troubling, many minds in its editorial note of January 22, Kurien in his rejoinder (April 2) conveniently avoided touching on the live question of incremental procurement as a result of project implementation.
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