|QA->Regulators in which country have okayed the agreement between Yahoo Japan and Google Inc.), which enables the former to use Google technology to power its search services in the country?....|
|QA->Telecommunications giant who will buy Yahoo’s core web and advertising business for $.83 billion and continue to operate them under the Yahoo name?....|
|QA->Thepolitician, economist and former IAS Officer who has been awarded the Order ofthe Rising Sun, Gold and Silver by Japan for promoting economic, educationaland cultural ties between India and Japan....|
|QA->Ministryof HUPA and Common Services Centre e-Governance Services India Limited of theMinistry of Electronics and Information Technology signed an (MoU) for enablingonline submission of applications under which scheme?....|
|QA->India signed a broad-based civil nuclear agreement with a country on the 7th of December 2009 which will ensure transfer of technology and uninterrupted uranium fuel supplies to its nuclear reactors and inked three pacts in the defence sector. Which is that country?....|
Please read the three reports (newspaper articles) on ranking of different players and products in smart phones industry and answer the questions that follow.
Report 1: (Feb, 2013)
Apple nabs crown as current top US mobile phone vendor
Apple’s reign may not be long, as Samsung is poised to overtake Apple in April, 2013. For the first time since Apple entered the mobile phone market in 2007, it has been ranked the top mobile phone vendor in the US. For the latter quarter of 2012, sales of its iPhone accounted for 34 percent of all mobile phone sales in the US - including feature phones - according to the latest data from Strategy Analytics.
While the iPhone has consistently been ranked the top smartphone sold in the US, market research firm NPD noted that feature phone sales have fallen off a cliff recently, to the point where 8 out of every 10 mobile phones sold in the US are now smartphones. That ratio is up considerably from the end of 2011, when smartphones had just cracked the 50 percent mark. Given this fact it’s no surprise that Apple, which only sells smartphones, has been able to reach the top of the overall mobile phone market domestically. For the fourth quarter of 2012, Apple ranked number one with 34 percent of the US mobile market, up from 25.6 percent year over year. Samsung grew similarly, up to 32.3 percent from 26.9 percent - but not enough to keep from slipping to second place. LG dropped to 9 percent from 13.7 percent, holding its third place spot. It should be noted that Samsung and LG both sell a variety of feature phones in addition to smartphones. Looking only at smartphones, the ranking is a little different according to NPD. Apple holds the top spot with 39 percent of the US smartphone market, while Samsung again sits at number two with 30 percent. Motorola manages to rank third with 7 percent, while HTC dropped to fourth with 6 percent. In the US smartphone market, LG is fifth with 6 percent. Note how the percentages aren’t all that different from overall mobile phone market share - for all intents and purposes, the smartphone market is the mobile phone market in the US going forward. Still, Samsung was the top mobile phone vendor overall for 2012, and Strategy Analytics expects Samsung to be back on top soon. “Samsung had been the number one mobile phone vendor in the US since 2008, and it will surely be keen to recapture that title in 2013 by launching improved new models such as the rumored Galaxy S4”. And while Apple is the top vendor overall among smartphones, its iOS platform is still second to the Android platform overall. Samsung is the largest vendor selling Android-based smartphones, but Motorola, HTC, LG, and others also sell Android devices, giving the platform a clear advantage over iOS both domestically and globally.
Report 2: Reader’s Response (2013, Feb)
I don’t actually believe the numbers for Samsung. Ever since the debacle in early 2011, when Lenovo called into question the numbers Samsung was touting for tablet shipments, stating that Samsung had only sold 20,000 of the 1.5 million tablets they shipped into the US the last quarter of 2010, Samsung (who had no response to Lenovo) has refused to supply quarterly sales numbers for smartphones or tablets. That’s an indication that their sales aren’t what analysts are saying. We can look to several things to help understand why. In the lawsuit between Apple and Samsung here last year, both were required to supply real sales numbers for devices under contention. The phones listed turned out to have sales between one third and one half of what had been guessed by IDC and others. Tablet sales were even worse. Of the 1.5 million tablets supposedly shipped to the US during that time, only 38,000 were sold. Then we have the usage numbers. Samsung tablets have only a 1.5% usage rate, where the iPad has over 90%. Not as much a difference with the phones but it’s still overwhelmingly in favor of iPhone. The problem is that with Apple’s sales, we have actual numbers to go by. The companies who estimate can calibrate what they do after those numbers come out. But with Samsung and many others, they can’t ever calibrate their methods, as there are no confirming numbers released from the firms. A few quarters ago, as a result, we saw iSupply estimate Samsung’s smartphone sales for the quarter at 32 million, with estimates from others all over the place up to 50 million. Each time some other company reported a higher number for that same quarter, the press dutifully used that higher number as THE ONE. But none of them was the one. Without accurate self-reporting of actual sales to the end users, none of these market share charts are worth a damn!
Report 3: Contradictory survey (Feb, 2013)
iPhone5 Ranks Fifth In U.S. Customer Satisfaction Survey inShare. The iPhone5 ranks fifth in customer satisfaction according to the results of a recent survey from OnDevice Research, a mobile device research group. In the poll, they asked 320,000 smartphone and tablet users from six different countries, how satisfied they were with their devices. According to 93,825 people from the US, Motorola Atrix HD is the most satisfying and Motorola’s Droid Razr took second spot. HTC Corp (TPE : 2498)’s Rezound 4G and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 took third and fourth spots, while Apple’s iPhone5 landed in fifth spot. It appears that Apple may be lagging in consumer interest. OnDevice Research, Sarah Quinn explained, “Although Apple created one of the most revolutionary devices of the past decade, other manufactures have caught up, with some Android powered devices now commanding higher levels of user satisfaction.” Despite the lower rankings, things aren’t looking too bad for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) elsewhere. In the United Kingdom, they ranked second place, right after HTC One X. Interesting enough, Apple did take top spot for overall satisfaction of mobile device, whereas Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) ranked second. Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. (NYSE:NOK) took third, fourth, and fifth places respectively, while Sony Ericsson trailed behind at sixth place. The survey sampled mobile device users in the following countries: United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, and Indonesia. Although OnDevice didn’t share the full list of devices mentioned in the survey, it does show some insight to what customers want. Unfortunately, there were still many questions regarding the survey that were left unanswered. Everyone wants to know why Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) was on the list when they are not an actual smartphone maker and why was Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) on the bottom of the satisfaction list when the brand is leading elsewhere.
Source: 92.825 US mobile users, July 2012 - January 2013
Fortunately, those questions were answered by OnDevice Research’s representative. He explained that the survey was conducted on mobile web where the survey software could detect the taker’s device and since user’s rate their satisfaction levels on a 1 to 10 scale, thanks to the Nexus device, Google was included.If you analyze the three reports above, which of the following statements would be the best inference?|
|MCQ-> India is rushing headlong toward economic success and modernisation, counting on high- tech industries such as information technology and biotechnology to propel the nation toprosperity. India’s recent announcement that it would no longer produce unlicensed inexpensive generic pharmaceuticals bowed to the realities of the World TradeOrganisation while at the same time challenging the domestic drug industry to compete with the multinational firms. Unfortunately, its weak higher education sector constitutes the Achilles’ Heel of this strategy. Its systematic disinvestment in higher education inrecent years has yielded neither world-class research nor very many highly trained scholars, scientists, or managers to sustain high-tech development. India’s main competitors especially China but also Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea — are investing in large and differentiated higher education systems. They are providingaccess to large number of students at the bottom of the academic system while at the same time building some research-based universities that are able to compete with theworld’s best institutions. The recent London Times Higher Education Supplement ranking of the world’s top 200 universities included three in China, three in Hong Kong,three in South Korea, one in Taiwan, and one in India (an Indian Institute of Technology at number 41.— the specific campus was not specified). These countries are positioningthemselves for leadership in the knowledge-based economies of the coming era. There was a time when countries could achieve economic success with cheap labour andlow-tech manufacturing. Low wages still help, but contemporary large-scale development requires a sophisticated and at least partly knowledge-based economy.India has chosen that path, but will find a major stumbling block in its university system. India has significant advantages in the 21st century knowledge race. It has a large high ereducation sector — the third largest in the world in student numbers, after China andthe United States. It uses English as a primary language of higher education and research. It has a long academic tradition. Academic freedom is respected. There are asmall number of high quality institutions, departments, and centres that can form the basis of quality sector in higher education. The fact that the States, rather than the Central Government, exercise major responsibility for higher education creates a rather cumbersome structure, but the system allows for a variety of policies and approaches. Yet the weaknesses far outweigh the strengths. India educates approximately 10 per cent of its young people in higher education compared with more than half in the major industrialised countries and 15 per cent in China. Almost all of the world’s academic systems resemble a pyramid, with a small high quality tier at the top and a massive sector at the bottom. India has a tiny top tier. None of its universities occupies a solid position at the top. A few of the best universities have some excellent departments and centres, and there is a small number of outstanding undergraduate colleges. The University Grants Commission’s recent major support of five universities to build on their recognised strength is a step toward recognising a differentiated academic system and fostering excellence. At present, the world-class institutions are mainly limited to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and perhaps a few others such as the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. These institutions, combined, enroll well under 1 percent of the student population. India’s colleges and universities, with just a few exceptions, have become large, under-funded, ungovernable institutions. At many of them, politics has intruded into campus life, influencing academic appointments and decisions across levels. Under-investment in libraries, information technology, laboratories, and classrooms makes it very difficult to provide top-quality instruction or engage in cutting-edge research.The rise in the number of part-time teachers and the freeze on new full-time appointments in many places have affected morale in the academic profession. The lackof accountability means that teaching and research performance is seldom measured. The system provides few incentives to perform. Bureaucratic inertia hampers change.Student unrest and occasional faculty agitation disrupt operations. Nevertheless, with a semblance of normality, faculty administrators are. able to provide teaching, coordinate examinations, and award degrees. Even the small top tier of higher education faces serious problems. Many IIT graduates,well trained in technology, have chosen not to contribute their skills to the burgeoning technology sector in India. Perhaps half leave the country immediately upon graduation to pursue advanced study abroad — and most do not return. A stunning 86 per cent of students in science and technology fields from India who obtain degrees in the United States do not return home immediately following their study. Another significant group, of about 30 per cent, decides to earn MBAs in India because local salaries are higher.—and are lost to science and technology.A corps of dedicated and able teachers work at the IlTs and IIMs, but the lure of jobs abroad and in the private sector make it increasingly difficult to lure the best and brightest to the academic profession.Few in India are thinking creatively about higher education. There is no field of higher education research. Those in government as well as academic leaders seem content to do the “same old thing.” Academic institutions and systems have become large and complex. They need good data, careful analysis, and creative ideas. In China, more than two-dozen higher education research centers, and several government agencies are involved in higher education policy.India has survived with an increasingly mediocre higher education system for decades.Now as India strives to compete in a globalized economy in areas that require highly trained professionals, the quality of higher education becomes increasingly important.India cannot build internationally recognized research-oriented universities overnight,but the country has the key elements in place to begin and sustain the process. India will need to create a dozen or more universities that can compete internationally to fully participate in the new world economy. Without these universities, India is destined to remain a scientific backwater.Which of the following ‘statement(s) is/are correct in the context of the given passage ? I. India has the third largest higher education sector in the world in student numbers. II. India is moving rapidly toward economic success and modernisation through high tech industries such as information technology and bitechonology to make the nation to prosperity. III. India’s systematic disinvestment in higher education in recent years has yielded world class research and many world class trained scholars, scientists to sustain high-tech development....|
|MCQ-> The broad scientific understanding today is that our planet is experiencing a warming trend over and above natural and normal variations that is almost certainly due to human activities associated with large-scale manufacturing. The process began in the late 1700s with the Industrial Revolution, when manual labor, horsepower, and water power began to be replaced by or enhanced by machines. This revolution, over time, shifted Britain, Europe, and eventually North America from largely agricultural and trading societies to manufacturing ones, relying on machinery and engines rather than tools and animals.The Industrial Revolution was at heart a revolution in the use of energy and power. Its beginning is usually dated to the advent of the steam engine, which was based on the conversion of chemical energy in wood or coal to thermal energy and then to mechanical work primarily the powering of industrial machinery and steam locomotives. Coal eventually supplanted wood because, pound for pound, coal contains twice as much energy as wood (measured in BTUs, or British thermal units, per pound) and because its use helped to save what was left of the world's temperate forests. Coal was used to produce heat that went directly into industrial processes, including metallurgy, and to warm buildings, as well as to power steam engines. When crude oil came along in the mid- 1800s, still a couple of decades before electricity, it was burned, in the form of kerosene, in lamps to make light replacing whale oil. It was also used to provide heat for buildings and in manufacturing processes, and as a fuel for engines used in industry and propulsion.In short, one can say that the main forms in which humans need and use energy are for light, heat, mechanical work and motive power, and electricity which can be used to provide any of the other three, as well as to do things that none of those three can do, such as electronic communications and information processing. Since the Industrial Revolution, all these energy functions have been powered primarily, but not exclusively, by fossil fuels that emit carbon dioxide (CO2), To put it another way, the Industrial Revolution gave a whole new prominence to what Rochelle Lefkowitz, president of Pro-Media Communications and an energy buff, calls "fuels from hell" - coal, oil, and natural gas. All these fuels from hell come from underground, are exhaustible, and emit CO2 and other pollutants when they are burned for transportation, heating, and industrial use. These fuels are in contrast to what Lefkowitz calls "fuels from heaven" -wind, hydroelectric, tidal, biomass, and solar power. These all come from above ground, are endlessly renewable, and produce no harmful emissions.Meanwhile, industrialization promoted urbanization, and urbanization eventually gave birth to suburbanization. This trend, which was repeated across America, nurtured the development of the American car culture, the building of a national highway system, and a mushrooming of suburbs around American cities, which rewove the fabric of American life. Many other developed and developing countries followed the American model, with all its upsides and downsides. The result is that today we have suburbs and ribbons of highways that run in, out, and around not only America s major cities, but China's, India's, and South America's as well. And as these urban areas attract more people, the sprawl extends in every direction.All the coal, oil, and natural gas inputs for this new economic model seemed relatively cheap, relatively inexhaustible, and relatively harmless-or at least relatively easy to clean up afterward. So there wasn't much to stop the juggernaut of more people and more development and more concrete and more buildings and more cars and more coal, oil, and gas needed to build and power them. Summing it all up, Andy Karsner, the Department of Energy's assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy, once said to me: "We built a really inefficient environment with the greatest efficiency ever known to man."Beginning in the second half of the twentieth century, a scientific understanding began to emerge that an excessive accumulation of largely invisible pollutants-called greenhouse gases - was affecting the climate. The buildup of these greenhouse gases had been under way since the start of the Industrial Revolution in a place we could not see and in a form we could not touch or smell. These greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide emitted from human industrial, residential, and transportation sources, were not piling up along roadsides or in rivers, in cans or empty bottles, but, rather, above our heads, in the earth's atmosphere. If the earth's atmosphere was like a blanket that helped to regulate the planet's temperature, the CO2 buildup was having the effect of thickening that blanket and making the globe warmer.Those bags of CO2 from our cars float up and stay in the atmosphere, along with bags of CO2 from power plants burning coal, oil, and gas, and bags of CO2 released from the burning and clearing of forests, which releases all the carbon stored in trees, plants, and soil. In fact, many people don't realize that deforestation in places like Indonesia and Brazil is responsible for more CO2 than all the world's cars, trucks, planes, ships, and trains combined - that is, about 20 percent of all global emissions. And when we're not tossing bags of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, we're throwing up other greenhouse gases, like methane (CH4) released from rice farming, petroleum drilling, coal mining, animal defecation, solid waste landfill sites, and yes, even from cattle belching. Cattle belching? That's right-the striking thing about greenhouse gases is the diversity of sources that emit them. A herd of cattle belching can be worse than a highway full of Hummers. Livestock gas is very high in methane, which, like CO2, is colorless and odorless. And like CO2, methane is one of those greenhouse gases that, once released into the atmosphere, also absorb heat radiating from the earth's surface. "Molecule for molecule, methane's heat-trapping power in the atmosphere is twenty-one times stronger than carbon dioxide, the most abundant greenhouse gas.." reported Science World (January 21, 2002). “With 1.3 billion cows belching almost constantly around the world (100 million in the United States alone), it's no surprise that methane released by livestock is one of the chief global sources of the gas, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ... 'It's part of their normal digestion process,' says Tom Wirth of the EPA. 'When they chew their cud, they regurgitate [spit up] some food to rechew it, and all this gas comes out.' The average cow expels 600 liters of methane a day, climate researchers report." What is the precise scientific relationship between these expanded greenhouse gas emissions and global warming? Experts at the Pew Center on Climate Change offer a handy summary in their report "Climate Change 101. " Global average temperatures, notes the Pew study, "have experienced natural shifts throughout human history. For example; the climate of the Northern Hemisphere varied from a relatively warm period between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries to a period of cooler temperatures between the seventeenth century and the middle of the nineteenth century. However, scientists studying the rapid rise in global temperatures during the late twentieth century say that natural variability cannot account for what is happening now." The new factor is the human factor-our vastly increased emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil as well as from deforestation, large-scale cattle-grazing, agriculture, and industrialization.“Scientists refer to what has been happening in the earth’s atmosphere over the past century as the ‘enhanced greenhouse effect’”, notes the Pew study. By pumping man- made greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, humans are altering the process by which naturally occurring greenhouse gases, because of their unique molecular structure, trap the sun’s heat near the earth’s surface before that heat radiates back into space."The greenhouse effect keeps the earth warm and habitable; without it, the earth's surface would be about 60 degrees Fahrenheit colder on average. Since the average temperature of the earth is about 45 degrees Fahrenheit, the natural greenhouse effect is clearly a good thing. But the enhanced greenhouse effect means even more of the sun's heat is trapped, causing global temperatures to rise. Among the many scientific studies providing clear evidence that an enhanced greenhouse effect is under way was a 2005 report from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Using satellites, data from buoys, and computer models to study the earth's oceans, scientists concluded that more energy is being absorbed from the sun than is emitted back to space, throwing the earth's energy out of balance and warming the globe."Which of the following statements is correct? (I) Greenhouse gases are responsible for global warming. They should be eliminated to save the planet (II) CO2 is the most dangerous of the greenhouse gases. Reduction in the release of CO2 would surely bring down the temperature (III) The greenhouse effect could be traced back to the industrial revolution. But the current development and the patterns of life have enhanced their emissions (IV) Deforestation has been one of the biggest factors contributing to the emission of greenhouse gases Choose the correct option:...|
The current debate on intellectual property rights (IPRs) raises a number of important issues concerning the strategy and policies for building a more dynamic national agricultural research system, the relative roles of public and private sectors, and the role of agribusiness multinational corporations (MNCs). This debate has been stimulated by the international agreement on Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs), negotiated as part of the Uruguay Round. TRIPs, for the first time, seeks to bring innovations in agricultural technology under a new worldwide IPR regime. The agribusiness MNCs (along with pharmaceutical companies) played a leading part in lobbying for such a regime during the Uruguay Round negotiations. The argument was that incentives are necessary to stimulate innovations, and that this calls for a system of patents which gives innovators the sole right to use (or sell/lease the right to use) their innovations for a specified period and protects them against unauthorised copying or use. With strong support of their national governments, they were influential in shaping the agreement on TRIPs, which eventually emerged from the Uruguay Round.
The current debate on TRIPs in India - as indeed elsewhere - echoes wider concerns about ‘privatisation’ of research and allowing a free field for MNCs in the sphere of biotechnology and agriculture. The agribusiness corporations, and those with unbounded faith in the power of science to overcome all likely problems, point to the vast potential that new technology holds for solving the problems of hunger, malnutrition and poverty in the world. The exploitation of this potential should be encouraged and this is best done by the private sector for which patents are essential. Some, who do not necessarily accept this optimism, argue that fears of MNC domination are exaggerated and that farmers will accept their products only if they decisively outperform the available alternatives. Those who argue against agreeing to introduce an IPR regime in agriculture and encouraging private sector research are apprehensive that this will work to the disadvantage of farmers by making them more and more dependent on monopolistic MNCs. A different, though related apprehension is that extensive use of hybrids and genetically engineered new varieties might increase the vulnerability of agriculture to outbreaks of pests and diseases. The larger, longer-term consequences of reduced biodiversity that may follow from the use of specially bred varieties are also another cause for concern. Moreover, corporations, driven by the profit motive, will necessarily tend to underplay, if not ignore, potential adverse consequences, especially those which are unknown and which may manifest themselves only over a relatively long period. On the other hand, high-pressure advertising and aggressive sales campaigns by private companies can seduce farmers into accepting varieties without being aware of potential adverse effects and the possibility of disastrous consequences for their livelihood if these varieties happen to fail. There is no provision under the laws, as they now exist, for compensating users against such eventualities.
Excessive preoccupation with seeds and seed material has obscured other important issues involved in reviewing the research policy. We need to remind ourselves that improved varieties by themselves are not sufficient for sustained growth of yields. in our own experience, some of the early high yielding varieties (HYVs) of rice and wheat were found susceptible to widespread pest attacks; and some had problems of grain quality. Further research was necessary to solve these problems. This largely successful research was almost entirely done in public research institutions. Of course, it could in principle have been done by private companies, but whether they choose to do so depends crucially on the extent of the loss in market for their original introductions on account of the above factors and whether the companies are financially strong enough to absorb the ‘losses’, invest in research to correct the deficiencies and recover the lost market. Public research, which is not driven by profit, is better placed to take corrective action. Research for improving common pool resource management, maintaining ecological health and ensuring sustainability is both critical and also demanding in terms of technological challenge and resource requirements. As such research is crucial to the impact of new varieties, chemicals and equipment in the farmer’s field, private companies should be interested in such research. But their primary interest is in the sale of seed materials, chemicals, equipment and other inputs produced by them. Knowledge and techniques for resource management are not ‘marketable’ in the same way as those inputs. Their application to land, water and forests has a long gestation and their efficacy depends on resolving difficult problems such as designing institutions for proper and equitable management of common pool resources. Public or quasi-public research institutions informed by broader, long-term concerns can only do such work.
The public sector must therefore continue to play a major role in the national research system. It is both wrong and misleading to pose the problem in terms of public sector versus private sector or of privatisation of research. We need to address problems likely to arise on account of the public-private sector complementarity, and ensure that the public research system performs efficiently. Complementarity between various elements of research raises several issues in implementing an IPR regime. Private companies do not produce new varieties and inputs entirely as a result of their own research. Almost all technological improvement is based on knowledge and experience accumulated from the past, and the results of basic and applied research in public and quasi-public institutions (universities, research organisations). Moreover, as is increasingly recognised, accumulated stock of knowledge does not reside only in the scientific community and its academic publications, but is also widely diffused in traditions and folk knowledge of local communities all over.
The deciphering of the structure and functioning of DNA forms the basis of much of modern biotechnology. But this fundamental breakthrough is a ‘public good’ freely accessible in the public domain and usable free of any charge. Various techniques developed using that knowledge can however be, and are, patented for private profit. Similarly, private corporations draw extensively, and without any charge, on germplasm available in varieties of plants species (neem and turmeric are by now famous examples). Publicly funded gene banks as well as new varieties bred by public sector research stations can also be used freely by private enterprises for developing their own varieties and seek patent protection for them. Should private breeders be allowed free use of basic scientific discoveries? Should the repositories of traditional knowledge and germplasm be collected which are maintained and improved by publicly funded organisations? Or should users be made to pay for such use? If they are to pay, what should be the basis of compensation? Should the compensation be for individuals or (or communities/institutions to which they belong? Should individual institutions be given the right of patenting their innovations? These are some of the important issues that deserve more attention than they now get and need serious detailed study to evolve reasonably satisfactory, fair and workable solutions. Finally, the tendency to equate the public sector with the government is wrong. The public space is much wider than government departments and includes co- operatives, universities, public trusts and a variety of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Giving greater autonomy to research organisations from government control and giving non- government public institutions the space and resources to play a larger, more effective role in research, is therefore an issue of direct relevance in restructuring the public research system.Which one of the following statements describes an important issue, or important issues, not being raised in the context of the current debate on IPRs?|
The story begins as the European pioneers crossed the Alleghenies and started to settle in the Midwest. The land they found was covered with forests. With incredible efforts they felled the trees, pulled the stumps and planted their crops in the rich, loamy soil. When they finally reached the western edge of the place we now call Indiana, the forest stopped and ahead lay a thousand miles of the great grass prairie. The Europeans were puzzled by this new environment. Some even called it the “Great Desert”. It seemed untillable. The earth was often very wet and it was covered with centuries of tangled and matted grasses. With their cast iron plows, the settlers found that the prairie sod could not be cut and the wet earth stuck to their plowshares. Even a team of the best oxen bogged down after a few years of tugging. The iron plow was a useless tool to farm the prairie soil. The pioneers were stymied for nearly two decades. Their western march was hefted and they filled in the eastern regions of the Midwest.In 1837, a blacksmith in the town of Grand Detour, Illinois, invented a new tool. His name was John Deere and the tool was a plow made of steel. It was sharp enough to cut through matted grasses and smooth enough to cast off the mud. It was a simple too, the “sod buster” that opened the great prairies to agricultural development.Sauk Country, Wisconsin is the part of that prairie where I have a home. It is named after the Sauk Indians. In i673 Father Marquette was the first European to lay his eyes upon their land. He found a village laid out in regular patterns on a plain beside the Wisconsin River. He called the place Prairie du Sac) The village was surrounded by fields that had provided maize, beans and squash for the Sauk people for generations reaching back into the unrecorded time.When the European settlers arrived at the Sauk prairie in 1837, the government forced the native Sank people west of the Mississippi River. The settlers came with John Deere’s new invention and used the tool to open the area to a new kind of agriculture. They ignored the traditional ways of the Sank Indians and used their sod-busting tool for planting wheat. Initially, the soil was generous and the nurturing thrived. However each year the soil lost more of its nurturing power. It was only thirty years after the Europeans arrived with their new technology that the land was depleted, Wheat farming became uneconomic and tens of thousands of farmers left Wisconsin seeking new land with sod to bust.It took the Europeans and their new technology just one generation to make their homeland into a desert. The Sank Indians who knew how to sustain themselves on the Sauk prairie land were banished to another kind of desert called a reservation. And they even forgot about the techniques and tools that had sustained them on the prairie for generations unrecorded. And that is how it was that three deserts were created — Wisconsin, the reservation and the memories of a people. A century later, the land of the Sauks is now populated by the children of a second wave of European tanners who learned to replenish the soil through the regenerative powers of dairying, ground cover crops and animal manures. These third and fourth generation farmers and townspeople do not realise, however, that a new settler is coming soon with an invention as powerful as John Deere’s plow.The new technology is called ‘bereavement counselling’. It is a tool forged at the great state university, an innovative technique to meet the needs of those experiencing the death of a loved one, tool that an “process” the grief of the people who now live on the Prairie of the Sauk. As one can imagine the final days of the village of the Sauk Indians before the arrival of the settlers with John Deere’s plow, one can also imagine these final days before the arrival of the first bereavement counsellor at Prairie du Sac) In these final days, the farmers arid the townspeople mourn at the death of a mother, brother, son or friend. The bereaved is joined by neighbours and kin. They meet grief together in lamentation, prayer and song. They call upon the words of the clergy and surround themselves in community.It is in these ways that they grieve and then go on with life. Through their mourning they are assured of the bonds between them and renewed in the knowledge that this death is a part of the Prairie of the Sauk. Their grief is common property, an anguish from which the community draws strength and gives the bereaved the courage to move ahead.It is into this prairie community that the bereavement counsellor arrives with the new grief technology. The counsellor calls the invention a service and assures the prairie folk of its effectiveness and superiority by invoking the name of the great university while displaying a diploma and certificate. At first, we can imagine that the local people will be puzzled by the bereavement counsellor’s claim, However, the counsellor will tell a few of them that the new technique is merely o assist the bereaved’s community at the time of death. To some other prairie folk who are isolated or forgotten, the counsellor will approach the Country Board and advocate the right to treatment for these unfortunate souls. This right will be guaranteed by the Board’s decision to reimburse those too poor tc pay for counselling services. There will be others, schooled to believe in the innovative new tools certified by universities and medical centres, who will seek out the bereavement counsellor by force of habit. And one of these people will tell a bereaved neighbour who is unschooled that unless his grief is processed by a counsellor, he will probably have major psychological problems in later life. Several people will begin to use the bereavement counsellor because, since the Country Board now taxes them to insure access to the technology, they will feel that to fail to be counselled is to waste their money, and to be denied a benefit, or even a right.Finally, one day, the aged father of a Sauk woman will die. And the next door neighbour will not drop by because he doesn’t want to interrupt the bereavement counsellor. The woman’s kin will stay home because they will have learned that only the bereavement counsellor knows how to process grief the proper way. The local clergy will seek technical assistance from the bereavement counsellor to learn the connect form of service to deal with guilt and grief. And the grieving daughter will know that it is the bereavement counsellor who really cares for her because only the bereavement counsellor comes when death visits this family on the Prairie of the Sauk.It will be only one generation between the bereavement counsellor arrives and the community of mourners disappears. The counsellor’s new tool will cut through the social fabric, throwing aside kinship, care, neighbourly obligations and communality ways cc coming together and going on. Like John Deere’s plow, the tools of bereavement counselling will create a desert we a community once flourished, And finally, even the bereavement counsellor will see the impossibility of restoring hope in clients once they are genuinely alone with nothing but a service for consolation. In the inevitable failure of the service, the bereavement counsellor will find the deserts even in herself.Which one of the following best describes the approach of the author?|