Capitulation on IP: Reaching a Point of no Return?

THE government has chosen the occasion of Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the US to articulate a vision on Intellectual Property (IP) protection that promises to radically reshape the Indian IP system (as reported in this column a couple of weeks back). What is of particular interest is the contrast between the BJP led government’s present stance on IP and the BJP’s position on the floor of Parliament when India’s Patent Act was being amended in 2005, in order to make it compatible with the TRIPS agreement.

MODI'S US VISIT: Introducing Bad Patents & Removing Liability for US Suppliers

THE US-India Joint Statement signed during Modi's visit to the US has opened the doors for two Indian laws that have been passed by the Indian Parliament. One is on patents – the Indian Patents Act – that contains some measures to keep drug prices low for the people, which the US and its pharmaceutical industries have been trying to change for the last decade. The second is on nuclear liability, again anathema to the US nuclear industry.

Mangalyaan Success: Putting it in Perspective

ON September 24, 2014 when the Mangalyaan spacecraft was inserted into Martian orbit as planned, with Prime Minister Modi present at ISRO’s Mission Control Centre in Bangalore, ISRO declared its maiden interplanetary mission, the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), a complete success. The Liquid Fuel Engine was fired at the right time as programmed, and the spacecraft was slowed down sufficiently to enable Mars to “capture” it within its orbit.

India's Mars Mission Enter its Final Phase

INDIA'S Mars Orbiter mission – the Mangalyaan – is now moving into its last and most critical phase. The Mars Orbiter is going to be transferred on September 24 from its current heliocentric or sun-centric orbit and into a Mars-centric one. This is no mean feat, as this phase has defeated many an earlier mission. If it succeeds, India's ISRO will be the fourth space agency to manage such a feat; the others are US's NASA, the Russian and the EU space agencies.

Ministry Against Environment & Forests?

DURING his election campaign, prime minister Modi repeatedly assailed the environmental regulation prevalent in the country at the time for obstructing development and damaging India’s economic growth. It was clear even then that a future Modi-led government would move swiftly to reduce hurdles arising from environmental objections to developmental projects, as long demanded by Indian corporate lobbies, a process already initiated by the UPA-II government towards the end of its tenure.

Hepatitis and the Thousand Dollar Pill

CAPITAL’S greed to maximise profits respects very few boundaries. If the pharmaceutical industry were to be used as an example, it would seem that greed that is predicated on the helplessness of the sick and the ailing knows no bounds at all. Recent evidence for this comes from the marketing of a drug, called Sovaldi, by the US based company, Gilead. Sovaldi has quickly gained notoriety for being the ‘1,000 dollar pill’.





Ebola Epidemic Exposes the Pathology of the Capitalist System

ON August 8, the World Health Organisation declared the West African Ebola outbreak a 'public health emergency of international concern'. The declaration came four months after the WHO reported a major Ebola outbreak in Guinea in Western Africa. Researchers traced the outbreak to a two-year old child who died on December 6, 2013. The epidemic, which broke in Guinea and spread to 3 of its neighbours – Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria – is known to have already affected 2,240 people and killed 1,229.

MH17 Tragedy: Missing Evidence

THE shooting down on July 17 of the Malaysian airliner MH17, killing all the 283 passengers and 15 crew members, undoubtedly is one of the most unfortunate consequences of the civil war in Ukraine. The world should have responded with an independent investigation, possibly under International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) or any international agency. Instead, the tragic incident is being used by the US and its allies in tandem with Ukraine's Poroshenko regime to launch a vicious attack on Russia and the federalists in Ukraine. What is missing in all this is a shred of evidence.