Plant Variety Protection

Spicy IP Tidbit: Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority appoints New Chairperson

(Image taken from here)
Many of the followers of Spicy IP will probably be familiar with the organization Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPV&FRA). The activities of PPV&FRA have been reported beforehand here and here, including an interview with the erstwhile Chairperson of the organization, Dr. S. Nagarajan. During Dr. Nagarajan’s tenure, PPV&FRA has been considerably active and successful in promoting the Plant Variety Protection regime in India, by way of hosting several National Consultative Seminars, advocacy programs, workshops, review meetings etc.

Recently, following an invitation seeking applications for the post of Chairperson, Government of India has appointed Dr. P.L. Gautam, erstwhile Chairperson of the National Biodiversity Authority under Ministry of Environment and Forests, in that capacity, as has been reported here. Dr. Gautam has also in the past served as the Deputy Director General of Crop Science Division of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, as the Vice- Chancellor, GBPU&AT, Pantnagar and as the Director, National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources.

While any official notice in the Plant Variety Journal is yet to be issued confirming the appointment, the website of PPV&FRA has already been updated with Dr. Gautam’s name as the new chairperson, while the National Biodiversity Authority has issued notification to fill the vacant post left by his departure.

One hopes that just like his predecessor, Dr. Gautam, an eminent scientist, will be able to cement the reputation of PPV&FRA as an efficient regulatory body overseeing the Plant Variety Protection regime in India and promote transparency and the growth of the seed industry too.

The Spicy IP team thanks Mr. Onkar Singh, the contributor of the blog Gen -X Ideas on IP, for bringing the news of this appointment to our notice.

Shouvik Kumar Guha

Shouvik Kumar Guha

Shouvik is at present employed as a Research Associate and a Teaching Assistant at The W.B. National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata. He has obtained his B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) degree from NUJS itself and is also currently pursuing his LL.M. degree from the same university. From his very year at law school, he had been attracted towards the discipline of Intellectual Property and that interest has been kindled further in course of time. The interface between IP and other disciplines such as Economics, Anti-trust Law, Human Rights, World Trade Law and the technological developments relating thereto, has especially caught his attention since then. He’s authored several papers on issues relating to IP and other legal disciplines for journals, books, magazines and conferences in national as well as international levels. He is also currently co-heading an organization called Lexbiosis, which is an endeavor meant to facilitate the collaboration between the legal industry and academia.

One comment.



    Two years before, Mr.Gautam, as a Chairman of Bio Diversity Authority made a comment on GM Crops as “…genetically modified crops are the only answer to increase the production and productivity and to solve malnutrition problem in the country…I am surprised to note that many non-governmental organisations are shouting from rooftops against the introduction of GM crops. They are either ignorant about the ground realities or have some ulterior motive…”.

    A group of environmental activists wrote to the NBA Chairman urging him to withdraw his comments and render an apology. They relied upon Section 36.4 (ii) of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 that acknowledges the potential hazards of genetically modified organisms.

    It was ironic that Mr.Gautam, the prime implementing Officer under the Biological Diversity Act was un-restrained in his appreciation of genetically modified crops, despite the gravity of his position and responsibility towards the conservation of biological diversity.

    Moreover, recently NBA came under the scanner for its failure in notifying regulations on access to biodiversity, transfer of results of research and IPR. This castigating report was part of audit report of the Comptroller of Auditor General.

    In the light of all these failings on the part of the NBA especially of Mr.Gautam, no one could expect the same spirit and dedication of Mr.Nagaran, the outgoing chairman or much more from Mr.Gautam.



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