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

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Power without Accountability-Draft Bill on Plant Breeders Rights

Draft Bill on Plant Breeders' Rights K Ravi Srinivas THE draft bill on Plant Varieties Protection is an attempt to define and operationalise the concept of Plant Breeders' Rights and to ensure the sovereign right over access to and utilisation of plant genetic resources. The bill has many nice words and rhetorical declarations, while in practice, it is an attempt to deny the rights of communities and farmers on various crucial issues. The very objective of the act, as defined in .clause 5, makes it clear that the act is primarily an act to protect the right of plant breeders and developers and to foster competitiveness and investment, in plant breeding in both private and public sectors. Although the bill talks of the innovations of farmers, the objective of the bill makes no mention of that nor considers that as a factor in developing new varieties and defines research and development as if they could be done only in private and public sectors. The act is built on a premise that, "the proposed protection will enable the country to realise the full benefits of its genetic resources by ensuring proper returns on the investment in research in public and private sectors".

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