1. Critically examine the provisions of the National IPR Policy. Mention some benefits of this policy.
- The National IPR Policy is a vision document that aims to create and exploit synergies between all forms of intellectual property (IP), concerned statutes and agencies.
- It will provide the future roadmap for intellectual property in India and is the start for the creation of innovation conducive environment.
- The Policy recognises the abundance of creative and innovative energies that flow in India, and the need to tap into and channelise these energies towards a better and brighter future for all.
- It also Reiterates India’s commitment to the Doha Development Agenda.
The Policy lays down the following seven objectives:
- IPR Awareness: Outreach and Promotion– To create public awareness about the economic, social and cultural benefits of IPRs among all sections of society.
- Generation of IPRs– To stimulate the generation of IPRs.
- Legal and Legislative Framework– To have strong and effective IPR laws, which balance the interests of rights owners with larger public interest.
- Administration and Management– To modernize and strengthen service-oriented IPR administration.
- Commercialization of IPRs– Get value for IPRs through commercialization.
- Enforcement and Adjudication– To strengthen the enforcement and adjudicatory mechanisms for combating IPR infringements
- Human Capital Development– To strengthen and expand human resources, institutions and capacities for teaching, training, research and skill building in IPRs.
- Reduce the time taken by the government to approve a trademark
- Plan will be reviewed every five years
- Making the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) the nodal agency for all IPR issues
- It sets in place an institutional mechanism for implementation, monitoring and review.
- Promote research and development
- Combating IPR infringements
- It aims to incorporate and adapt global best practices to the Indian scenario
- It also prioritises the need for better access to healthcare, food security and environmental protection.
- Help improve its ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index..
- Such a Policy will nurture the IP cultureand address all facets of the IP system including legal, administrative and enforcement infrastructure, human resources, institutional support system and international dimensions
- It lends strong words against theft and misappropriation of IP rights.
- It offers an explanation of the decisions by courts and tribunals that might be seen as detrimental to foreign interests.
- The new policy will try to safeguard the interests of rights owners with the wider public interest, while combating infringements of intellectual property rights.
- Cut the time taken on clearing the backlog of intellectual property rights (IPR)
- It also seeks to promote R&D through tax benefits available under various laws and simplification of procedures for availing of direct and indirect tax benefits.
- A host of laws will also be streamlined on semi-conductors, designs, geographical indications, trademarks and patents.
- The policy also puts a premium on enhancing access to healthcare, food security and environmental protection.
- Policy will provide both domestic and foreign investors a stable IPR framework in the country. This will promote a holistic and conducive ecosystem to catalyse the full potential of intellectual property for India’s growth and socio-cultural development while protecting public interest.
- Identifies IP as a strategic tool for furthering India’s economic goals.
- Focuses on enhancing access to multiple fields.
- Shall weave in the strengths of multiple organisations
- Lots of steps for Start-Ups had been recommended in the policy
- The IPR policy is driven by the agenda of IP maximalism, where IP owners’ rights will be maximised at the cost of public interest. This (policy) will influence courts and judges.
- The policy represents an extreme excess in terms of its one-sided view of IP as an end in itself. The policy fails to situate IP within the larger context of the innovation ecosystem.
- It advocates that publicly funded scientists and professors must compulsorily convert all of their discoveries into IP assets, much before they have even written this up and published it in reputed science journals
- The policy leans towards the superimposition of a formal IP framework on the informal economy.
- The policy recommends that the unauthorised copying of movies be criminalised but criminalising what is essentially a civil wrong is too much not to mention the potential for abuse at the hands of our police.
- India has hardly had any noticeable technological marvels in its recent history.
- Mention of Doha Declaration and flexibility would mean there would be attempts to find loopholes in TRIPS in order to favour pharmaceutical companies.
- Silence on the issue of traditional knowledge
- No evidence to show that the modern utility model and trade secret laws are useful
- Failed to address the question of whether a strong IP in itself was sufficient enough to attract foreign direct investment.
- policy does not demonstrate how a regime favouring the maximum possible incentive for IP owners and the granting of monopolies will be able to ensure the “socio-cultural development” of India.
- The policy on patenting has not only cost CSIR money to maintain the patents in India and abroad, but also has directed it away from more important directions.
What can be done?
- India must encourage a plurality of approaches when it comes to IP and innovation
- Indian scientists should be free to take this call on whether or not they wish to register IP.
2. Discuss briefly the location and significance of Mangroves in India.
- A mangroveis a shrub or small tree that grows in coastal saline or brackish water.
- Mangroves are salt tolerant trees, also called halophytes and are adapted to life in harsh coastal conditions.
- The deltas of the Ganges,Mahanadi,Godavari,Krishna and Kaveri rivers are known to contain mangrove forests.
- The following shows the presence of mangroves in the different states of India and the total area covered by them in square kilometers.
- West Bengal tops the list with the total mangrove cover,followed by Gujarat,Andaman and nicobar islands et
- Most important ones are
- Sunderbans in West Bengal
- Bhitarkanika in Odisha
- Pichavaram in Tamilnadu
- Godavari Krishna mangroves
Bartang island mangroves in Andaman and nicobar etc
- Mangroves protect shorelines from erosion
- Mangroves protect shorelines from damaging storm and hurricane winds, waves, and floods.
- Mangroves also help prevent erosion by stabilizing sediments with their tangled root systems.
- They maintain water quality and clarity, filtering pollutants and trapping sediments originating from land.
- Mangroves serve as valuable nursery areas for fish and invertebrates
- Serving as valuable nursery areas for shrimp, crustaceans, mollusks, and fishes, mangroves are a critical component of commercial and recreational fishing industries.
- These habitats provide a rich source of food while also offering refuge from predation.
- Mangroves Support Threatened and Endangered Species
- In addition to commercially important species, mangroves also support a number of threatened and endangered species.
- Mangrove forests are home to a large variety of fish, crab, shrimp, and mollusk species.
- These fisheries form an essential source of food for thousands of coastal communities around the world.
- Coastal protection:
- The dense root systems of mangrove forests trap sediments flowing down rivers and off the land. This helps stabilizes the coastline and prevents erosion from waves and storms.
- By filtering out sediments, the forests also protect coral reefs and seagrass meadows from being smothered in sediment.
- Recycles nutrients
- Mangroves protect shorelines from erosion
- Mangroves are utilized in many parts of the world as a renewable resource
- In other parts of the world, people have utilized mangrove trees as a renewable resource.
- Harvested for durable, water-resistant wood, mangroves have been used in building houses, boats, pilings, and furniture.
- Timber and plant products:
- Mangrove wood is resistant to rot and insects, making it extremely valuable. Many coastal and indigenous communities rely on this wood for construction material as well as for fuel.
- Sundari tree in Sunderbans is known for its hard timber.
- Given the diversity of life inhabiting mangrove systems, and their proximity in many cases to other tourist attractions such as coral reefs and sandy beaches,
- Mangroves are utilized in many parts of the world as a renewable resource
India witnessed the significance of mangroves during tsunami and so with government initiatives like mangroves for the future it should conserve them more.
3. Discuss the consequences of Climate Change on agriculture and food security.
- Climate change is bringing in extreme weather tendencies which affect the world especially India when it is still largely dependant on agriculture.
- Climate change affects food security in complex ways.
- It impacts crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, and can cause grave social and economic consequences in the form of reduced incomes, eroded livelihoods, trade disruption and adverse health impacts.
- Food production:-
- It may cause significant increases in inter-annual and intra-seasonal variability of monsoon rainfall.
- The impact of climate change on water availabilitywill be particularly severe for India because large parts of the country already suffer from water scarcity, to begin with, and largely depend on groundwater for irrigation.
- With increased periods of low precipitation and dry spells due to climate change, India’s groundwater resources will become even more important for irrigation, leading to greater pressure on water resources.
- Indian agriculture,and thereby India’s food production, is highly vulnerable to climate change largely because the sector continues to be highly sensitive to monsoon variability.
- After all, about 65 percent of India’s cropped area is rain-fed.
- Acute water shortage conditions, together with thermal stress, will affect rice productivity even more severely.
- Climate change can slow down, and even drastically reduce, the improvements in food security and nutrition that India has managed to achieve so far.
- Variation in the length of the crop growing seasonand higher frequency of extreme events due to climate change and the consequent growth of output adversely affect the farmer’s net income.
- Climate change will also have an adverse impact on the livelihoods of fishers and forest-dependent people.
- Landless agricultural labourerswholly dependent on agricultural wages are at the highest risk of losing their access to food.
- Urban food insecurity is also a critical issuebecause poor households from rural and coastal regions typically migrate to urban areas for livelihood options.
- Change in climatic conditions could lead to a reduction in the nutritional quality of foods(reduced concentration in proteins and minerals like zinc and iron) due to elevated carbon dioxide levels.
- In India, where legumes (pulses) rather than meat are the main source of proteins, such changes in the quality of food crops will accelerate the largely neglected epidemic known as “hidden hunger” or micronutrient deficiency.
- There are some benefits to some crops in Indian agriculture as well due to climate change like
- There might be some improvement in yields of chickpeas, rabi maize, sorghum and millets and coconut on the west coast
- Less loss in potatoes, mustard and vegetables in north-western India due to reduced frost damage.
- India needs to step up public investmentin development and dissemination of crop varieties which are more tolerant of temperature and precipitation fluctuations and are more water- and nutrient-efficient.
- Agricultural policy should focus on improving crop productivity and developing safety nets to cope with the risks of climate change.
- Better management of water resources must be a key feature of sustainable agriculture.
- India’s irrigation infrastructure needs to be upgraded; particular attention needs to be given to north-western India, the country’s food basket that is prone to climate-induced droughts.
- To improve access to healthy food, effective public distribution systems need to be put in place.
- Research efforts should be directed towards assessing and quantifying where possible the impact of climate change on undernutrition and food absorption.