TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE – THE CHANGING SCENARIO IN INDIA
India is a party to the CBD, which came into force on 29 December 1993. It has three main objectives, namely the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. CBD envisages that the benefits accruing from commercial use of TK have to be shared with the people responsible for creating, refining and using this knowledge. Art 8(j) of the CBD provides for respecting, protecting and rewarding the Knowledge, Innovations and Practices (KIP) of local communities. Realizing the need to ensure that the holders of TK, which is not still in the public domain should be able to get the benefits arising from the use of such knowledge, an enabling provision has been made for protecting the TK in the Biodiversity Act, 2002. Indian Patents (Amendment) Act, 2005 also deals indirectly with the protection of TK. The main objective of protection would be to obtain recognition and some compensation for the commercial use of TK outside the community or the society, which generated it, either by excluding the unauthorised use by third parties or by ensuring a right to remuneration (or benefit sharing) for such use.
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