- Recently, the Biological Diversity (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was tabled in the Parliament.
- The amendments seek to decriminalise certain provisions and bring more foreign investments in the chain of biological resources, including research, patent and commercial utilisation, without compromising the national interest.
- However, opposition parties have cited concerns over the bill and it is being referred to a select committee. They demanded the bill to be referred to the Parliament standing committee.
- The bill looks to relax certain rules in the Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
- The 2002 Act imposed a heavy “compliance burden” on Indian medicine practitioners, seed sector, industry & researchers and made it hard to conduct collaborative research and investments.
- The amendments also streamline the process of Patenting for Indian researchers to encourage patenting.
- For this, regional patenting centres will be opened across the country.
- It seeks to give a fillip to “Indian system of medicine”, and facilitate fast-tracking of research, patent application process, transfer of research results while utilising the biological resources available in India.
- It seeks to empower local communities to be able to utilise resources, particularly of medicinal value, such as seeds.
- The Bill looks to encourage farmers to increase cultivation of medicinal plants.
SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT