Model Question and Answers for APSC | How is the Government of India protecting traditional knowledge of medicine from patenting by pharmaceutical companies?
How is the Government of India protecting traditional knowledge of medicine from patenting by pharmaceutical companies?
Ans: The Neem patent controversy of 1995 brought the issue of biopiracy to the forefront. Another incident which highlighted the misappropriation of Indian traditional knowledge by foreign entities was the grant of a US patent on the method of using a wound-healing agent consisting of turmeric.
Steps taken to stop Biopiracy:
- Learning a lesson from these incidents, the Indian government felt that documentation of existing traditional knowledge was imperative to prevent its exploitation. In furtherance of this endeavour, Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), a digital knowledge library for the protection of traditional knowledge, was created
- Due to this, many patent claims world over have been ” He also predicts that many other patent claims would also be rejected as the Indian government has given access to TKDL to all patent offices of other countries. This will also ensure that no frivolous patent claims are made.
- India is far ahead of all countries of the world have introduced the Biodiversity Act to protect India’s natural resources
- Also, India had to fight many cases in the international courts to get back what originally belongs to the country.
- Under patent act section 3(p) Traditional Knowledge is not patentable
- India was the first to raise the fundamental issue at the World Intellectual Property Rights Organisation (WIPO) as to why the TK based system should not be treated at par with the industry-based system.
Until and unless our TK is protected, the country would have to fight for patents claimed by other countries as in the case of Haldi, Neem and Basmati. Unfortunately, public awareness about protecting our TK is very low. Indigenous people are all too often unaware of the value of their knowledge.