The development of the IPR regime in India with reference to agricultural biotechnology

Published on 1 January 2003

Background paper, Biotechnology and the Policy Process in Developing Countries project

The aim of Indian agricultural policies has been to provide food for all. However, the concept of food security has undergone a shift from the emphasis on availability of food to a focus on access to food. In this regard, intellectual property rights (IPRs), which primarily determine economic accessibility of food crops, assume paramount importance.

This paper surveys debates over the evolution of the IPRs regime in India as it relates to agricultural biotechnology. It provides an overview of key pieces of legislation, institutions and policy processes for the governance of this area in India, and shows that there is a lack of coherence and coordination between them. The paper concludes with some general observations about possible options for improving the coherence of the Indian legislative and institutional framework for IPRs and agricultural biotechnology

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