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

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Bogus Debate on Bioethics

Suman Sahai The debate on biotechnology and bioethics on Indian platforms thrives on rhetoric and metaphors directly lifted from the west India cannot evaluate genetics or any other science in such a manner. It will have to create its own oaradipm. answering its social needs.

Importance of Indigenous Knowledge in IPR System

Importance of Indigenous Knowledge in IPR System Suman Sahai Now that bioresources are becoming a highly sought after raw material in the era of biotechnology, we must create a framework, for the just and proper use of and appropriate payment for indigenous technology. We need to address ourselves to a few important aspects in order to lay down a comprehensive national policy in this regard.

Protecting Plant Varieties UPOV Should Not be Our Model

Protecting Plant Varieties: UPOV Should Not be Our Model Suman Sahai As a matter of strategy, it makes sense for India to draft a wide-bodied law for protection of plant varieties without accepting the restrictions of UPOV. In this way, when TRIPS comes up for review in 1999 and the pressure mounts to tighten our intellectual property regime further, we will have more space to negotiate.

How Do We Protect Our Genetic Resources

creditors and their political backers to bend the Deve Gowda government lo their will. Foreign investment, direct and portfolio, on a scale for outstripping anything that the Narasimha Rao government could achieve, is indeed portentous for the Indian economy and polity. Ironically, however, the Communist Party leader, Inderjeet Gupta, recently noted, as he waited to be inducted as a union minister, it India did not get "this amount of funds [$ 10 bn a year, the target for DFl set in the MCP], where will you find resources lor development". This mindset of helpless dependence on foreign capital for development, side-tracking domestic resource mobilisation and domestic agents of growth, mocks at the protestations of self- reliance and mass welfare.

Of Basmati and Champagne-Protection under TRIPS

Protection under TRIPS Suman Sahai The marketing of rice grown in America as Basmati rice contravenes the 'geographical indication' clause under TRIPS which offers proprietary rights to a specific geographical area over the products associated with it. 'Champagne' wine and 'Scotch' whisky are two products so protected.

American Pressure to Open Up Indian Agriculture

American Pressure to Open Up Indian Agriculture Suman Sahai India has a strong public sector in agriculture. A vast network of scientists working in agriculture universities and government institutions such as the ICAR have time and again responded to the challenges of agriculture with innovative solutions and sophisticated technology. Instead of marginalising our institutions, now exactly is the time to give them the extra support needed to compete in the global market and to show the door to the likes of the US agriculture secretary who was in India recently to push his case that India open up its agriculture sector and promote the entry of multinational corporations.

Hawala Politics A Congress Legacy

Suman Sahai The 'hawala' case indicting three central ministers and the leader of the opposition, among others, underscores the fact that unless we introduce transparency in the electoral process through some system like state funding, the democratic process itself could be seriously threatened.

Biotechnology, New Global Money-Spinner

Biotechnology has come of age today and spells mega-bucks. The state of the art technology in the field is in developed countries which possess little or no germplasm. Developing countries, rich in genetic materials, have a poor technology base. Hence the attempt by developed countries to create instruments and institutions to control the genetic wealth of the world.

WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION-Appropriating Environmental Concerns

Appropriating Environmental Concerns Suman Sahai Environmental issues have been included in the agenda of the World Trade Organisation despite the near unanimous opinion among environmental groups that liberalisation of global trade would itself be ecologically damaging. Environmental issues are already being misused to set up protectionist trade regimes that will selectively benefit developing countries.

Government Legislation on Plant Breeders Rights

Breeders' Rights Suman Sahai The government of India's draft of the Plant Varieties Act modelled on the international UPOV system seeks to embody the rationale of the industrial countries where the primary goal is to protect the interests of corporate biotechnology and the powerful seed companies.

Intellectual Property Rights for Life Forms-What Should Guide India s Position

for Life Forms What Should Guide India's Position Suman Sahai The kind of intellectual property regimes being imposed on the developing countries will thwart India's tremendous potential in biotechnology. Since it will have to deal with this subject in several trade and environment fora, it is important that the government evolves a cohesive policy vis-a-vis patents on genetic resources.

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