Science, agriculture and public policy : A Study of government-academia- industry networking in India

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Agriculture research in India faced a major paradigm shift in the 1990s in response to issues emanating from the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and Agreement under the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The provisions of the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement of the WTO established enforceable universal minimum standards of protection for all major forms of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), of individual or institute, for new knowledge skills, technologies and products developed by them. Also, it extended the application of the IPR regime to living things and agricultural research. This leads to the commercialization of Indian agriculture. The changing nature of research in agricultural biotechnology in developing countries like India requires expertise from diverse fields that has made collaboration among researchers from diverse fields essential. In a developing economy like India, university-industry networking has remained low. In the 1960s, the High Yielding Varieties (HYV) of seeds were adopted to increase the volume and rate of agricultural production. The HYV seed was owned by the State and there was no ownership of the private sector over the seed. However, as the agricultural sector entered in the era of genetic modification, there was a transition in the ownership of state to the multinational corporations (MNCs) over the production and use of the seed. Investments in such genotypic research cannot be fulfilled by the public sector alone and this calls for broader participation from private R&D. Owing to the corporatization of invention in agricultural biotechnology, the private sector is now playing a key role. In order to utilize the full benefit of research and innovations, it is important to understand the publicprivate networking aiming at concrete deliverables.
Supervisor: Sambit Mallick