• 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.

Important points:

  • 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.


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