New Patent Policy: Surrendering to US Industry Pressure

AMONG notable hyper activities of Prime Minister Modi is his rush to change most important acts and policies of the country intended to please foreign corporate entities. One such move is to change our intellectual property rights system to make it more suitable to the US multinational giants. Several US agencies, prompted by the corporate giants, have been mounting pressure on India to amend its trade policies and even issuing threats that they would take measures against India very soon.




Who Will Benefit from Changes in Our IP Regime?

DURING Barack Obama’s visit to India, one of the important promises Prime Minister Modi made to the US President was related to the conflict between US and India on intellectual property rights (IPR). The Joint Indo-US statement is unambiguous about whose interests matter most to the BJP government. In the name of making the country’s IPR regime investor friendly, the Modi government is promising to meet the US demands that the previous governments were unwilling to accept. So far, India’s publicly stated position was that there is no need to change the intellectual property (IP) regime.

Mumbo Jumbo as Science in the Science Congress

THE 102nd Science Congress did not distinguish itself by inviting speakers, who offered mumbo jumbo as science. It was not helped by the union minister for science and technology, Harsh Vardhan talking about how India had discovered the Pythagoras “formula”, and algebra well before Greeks and Arabs but generously gave them the “credit”. The past is no longer about scientifically discovering what really happened, but a race of who did what first.

Agenda of RSS in Indian Science Congress

FOR the first time in the Indian Science Congress in its 102 years history, the organisers held a symposium on “Ancient Sciences through Sanskrit”. Seven papers presented over the five-hour session were invited by the Department of Sanskrit, Mumbai University, and Kavi Kulaguru Kalidas University, and reviewed by the Mumbai University’s Department of Sanskrit. Evidence of ancient aviation in the Rigveda was claimed in a paper co-authored by Captain Anand Bodas, retired head of a pilot training centre, and Ameya Jadhav, a teacher.

No North Korea behind the Sony Hack

THE US, based on FBI reports, has blamed North Korea for hacking the Sony, the entertainment giant. In return, Obama threatened cyber attacks or what he called “proportionate response” against North Korea; the North Korean Internet did go down after Obama's threats. North Korea denied the US allegations and has called for an international enquiry to establish who are behind the Sony attack.

Lima Climate Summit: Bad Signs for Paris 2015

ANYONE following the climate negotiations, especially since the disastrous pattern set at Copenhagen in 2009 and even more so given the tepid progress made since the wishy-washy Durban summit in 2011, could have seen it coming. There were low expectations from the Lima Conference of Parties (COP 20) to begin with and, true to form, the summit ended with a whimper of a statement, low on ambition on all fronts, emissions reduction, finance and technology, but full of statements with dark portents for the future.

The Path to Sustainable Development: Lessons from the Bhopal Disaster

THE premise of sustainable development is that it should be non-discriminatory and equitable as well. Discriminatory practices in the name of development have disastrous consequences as the people of Bhopal had experienced at the hands of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), a US Transnational Corporation (which is currently owned by the Dow Chemical Company, USA).

Arithmetic of Precision Drone Strikes: Kill 28 to Eliminate One Target

THE drone strikes have been touted by the US as “precision” weapons, taking out specific “targets” with minimum “collateral damage”, the military speak for killing innocent victims. The recent report in the Guardian (The Guardian, November 24, 2014) by Reprieve, a human rights group, shows how bogus this claim is – for killing 41 targets, drone strikes killed an estimated 1,147 others. In other words, for successfully killing one “target”, 28 people have to be killed.

Coercive Population Control Claims Thirteen Lives in Chhattisgarh

THE shocking incident in Chhattisgarh, where thirteen women died and many more fell severely ill after undergoing an operation for female sterilisation (tubectomy), shows a mirror to all that is wrong with the public health system in India. The episode is also a clear indictment of the entire population control agenda of the Indian government, which has, for decades, been characterised by targeting and coercion of poor women and gross rights violations.