|QA->A cyclist goes 40 km towards East and then turning to right he goes 40 km. Again he turn to his left and goes 20 km. After this he turns to his left and goes 40 km, then again turns right and goes 10km. How far is he from his starting point?....|
|QA->Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a new scheme on April 27, 2017 to boost air travel between smaller cities by making flights far more affordable for "tier 2" and smaller towns. What is the name of that scheme?....|
|QA->Allbanks have now moved to a new lending rate regime—the marginal cost offunds-based lending rate (MCLR) starting....|
|QA->Direct Labour cost is Rs.20,000, Factory overheads expense is Rs.10,000, opening and closing work-in-progress are Rs.15,000 and Rs.18,000 respectively, then works cost will be…….....|
|QA->In a club 70% members read English news papers and 75% members read Malayalam news papers, while 20% do not read both papers. If 325 members read both the news papers, then the total numbers in the club is .........?....|
Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given at the end.Passage 4Public sector banks (PSBs) are pulling back on credit disbursement to lower rated companies, as they keep a closer watch on using their own scarce capital and the banking regulator heightens its scrutiny on loans being sanctioned. Bankers say the Reserve Bank of India has started strictly monitoring how banks are utilizing their capital. Any big-ticket loan to lower rated companies is being questioned. Almost all large public sector banks that reported their first quarter results so far have showed a contraction in credit disbursal on a year-to-date basis, as most banks have shifted to a strategy of lending largely to government-owned "Navratna" companies and highly rated private sector companies. On a sequential basis too, banks have grown their loan book at an anaemic rate.To be sure, in the first quarter, loan demand is not quite robust. However, in the first quarter last year, banks had healthier loan growth on a sequential basis than this year. The country's largest lender State Bank of India grew its loan book at only 1.21% quarter-on-quarter. Meanwhile, Bank of Baroda and Punjab National Bank shrank their loan book by 1.97% and 0.66% respectively in the first quarter on a sequential basis.Last year, State Bank of India had seen sequential loan growth of 3.37%, while Bank of Baroda had seen a smaller contraction of 0.22%. Punjab National Bank had seen a growth of 0.46% in loan book between the January-March and April-June quarters last year. On a year-to-date basis, SBI's credit growth fell more than 2%, Bank of Baroda's credit growth contracted 4.71% and Bank of India's credit growth shrank about 3%. SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya said the bank's year-to-date credit growth fell as the bank focused on ‘A’ rated customers. About 90% of the loans in the quarter were given to high-rated companies. "Part of this was a conscious decision and part of it is because we actually did not get good fresh proposals in the quarter," Bhattacharya said.According to bankers, while part of the credit contraction is due to the economic slowdown, capital constraints and reluctance to take on excessive risk has also played a role. "Most of the PSU banks are facing pressure on capital adequacy. It is challenging to maintain 9% core capital adequacy. The pressure on monitoring capital adequacy and maintaining capital buffer is so strict that you cannot grow aggressively," said Rupa Rege Nitsure, chief economist at Bank of Baroda.Nitsure said capital conservation pressures will substantially cut down "irrational expansion of loans" in some smaller banks, which used to grow at a rate much higher than the industry average. The companies coming to banks, in turn, will have to make themselves more creditworthy for banks to lend. "The conservation of capital is going to inculcate a lot of discipline in both banks and borrowers," she said.For every loan that a bank disburses, some amount of money is required to be set aside as provision. Lower the credit rating of the company, riskier the loan is perceived to be. Thus, the bank is required to set aside more capital for a lower rated company than what it otherwise would do for a higher rated client. New international accounting norms, known as Basel III norms, require banks to maintain higher capital and higher liquidity. They also require a bank to set aside "buffer" capital to meet contingencies. As per the norms, a bank's total capital adequacy ratio should be 12% at any time, in which tier-I, or the core capital, should be at 9%. Capital adequacy is calculated by dividing total capital by risk-weighted assets. If the loans have been given to lower rated companies, risk weight goes up and capital adequacy falls.According to bankers, all loan decisions are now being assessed on the basis of the capital that needs to be set aside as provision against the loan and as a result, loans to lower rated companies are being avoided. According to a senior banker with a public sector bank, the capital adequacy situation is so precarious in some banks that if the risk weight increases a few basis points, the proposal gets cancelled. The banker did not wish to be named. One basis point is one hundredth of a percentage point. Bankers add that the Reserve Bank of India has also started strictly monitoring how banks are utilising their capital. Any big-ticket loan to lower rated companies is being questioned.In this scenario, banks are looking for safe bets, even if it means that profitability is being compromised. "About 25% of our loans this quarter was given to Navratna companies, who pay at base rate. This resulted in contraction of our net interest margin (NIM)," said Bank of India chairperson V.R. Iyer, while discussing the bank's first quarter results with the media. Bank of India's NIM, or the difference between yields on advances and cost of deposits, a key gauge of profitability, fell in the first quarter to 2.45% from 3.07% a year ago, as the bank focused on lending to highly rated customers.Analysts, however, say the strategy being followed by banks is short-sighted. "A high rated client will take loans at base rate and will not give any fee income to a bank. A bank will never be profitable that way. Besides, there are only so many PSU companies to chase. All banks cannot be chasing them all at a time. Fact is, the banks are badly hit by NPA and are afraid to lend now to big projects. They need capital, true, but they have become risk-averse," said a senior analyst with a local brokerage who did not wish to be named.Various estimates suggest that Indian banks would require more than Rs. 2 trillion of additional capital to have this kind of capital adequacy ratio by 2019. The central government, which owns the majority share of these banks, has been cutting down on its commitment to recapitalize the banks. In 2013-14, the government infused Rs. 14,000 crore in its banks. However, in 2014-15, the government will infuse just Rs. 11,200 crore.Which of the following statements is correct according to the passage?|
|MCQ-> Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words/phrases have been printed in bold tohelp you locate them while answering some of the questions. During the last few years, a lot of hype has been heaped on the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). With their large populations and rapid growth, these countries, so the argument goes, will soon become some of the largest economies in the world and, in the case of China, the largest of all by as early as 2020. But the BRICS, as well as many other emerging-market economieshave recently experienced a sharp economic slowdown. So, is the honeymoon over? Brazil’s GDP grew by only 1% last year, and may not grow by more than 2% this year, with its potential growth barely above 3%. Russia’s economy may grow by barely 2% this year, with potential growth also at around 3%, despite oil prices being around $100 a barrel. India had a couple of years of strong growth recently (11.2% in 2010 and 7.7% in 2011) but slowed to 4% in 2012. China’s economy grew by 10% a year for the last three decades, but slowed to 7.8% last year and risks a hard landing. And South Africa grew by only 2.5% last year and may not grow faster than 2% this year. Many other previously fast-growing emerging-market economies – for example, Turkey, Argentina, Poland, Hungary, and many in Central and Eastern Europe are experiencing a similar slowdown. So, what is ailing the BRICS and other emerging markets? First, most emerging-market economies were overheating in 2010-2011, with growth above potential and inflation rising and exceeding targets. Many of them thus tightened monetary policy in 2011, with consequences for growth in 2012 that have carried over into this year. Second, the idea that emerging-market economies could fully decouple from economic weakness in advanced economies was farfetched : recession in the eurozone, near-recession in the United Kingdom and Japan in 2011-2012, and slow economic growth in the United States were always likely to affect emerging market performance negatively – via trade, financial links, and investor confidence. For example, the ongoing euro zone downturn has hurt Turkey and emergingmarket economies in Central and Eastern Europe, owing to trade links. Third, most BRICS and a few other emerging markets have moved toward a variant of state capitalism. This implies a slowdown in reforms that increase the private sector’s productivity and economic share, together with a greater economic role for state-owned enterprises (and for state-owned banks in the allocation of credit and savings), as well as resource nationalism, trade protectionism, import substitution industrialization policies, and imposition of capital controls. This approach may have worked at earlier stages of development and when the global financial crisis caused private spending to fall; but it is now distorting economic activity and depressing potential growth. Indeed, China’s slowdown reflects an economic model that is, as former Premier Wen Jiabao put it, “unstable, unbalanced, uncoordinated, and unsustainable,” and that now is adversely affecting growth in emerging Asia and in commodity-exporting emerging markets from Asia to Latin America and Africa. The risk that China will experience a hard landing in the next two years may further hurt many emerging economies. Fourth, the commodity super-cycle that helped Brazil, Russia, South Africa, and many other commodity-exporting emerging markets may be over. Indeed, a boom would be difficult to sustain, given China’s slowdown, higher investment in energysaving technologies, less emphasis on capital-and resource-oriented growth models around the world, and the delayed increase in supply that high prices induced. The fifth, and most recent, factor is the US Federal Reserve’s signals that it might end its policy of quantitative easing earlier than expected, and its hints of an even tual exit from zero interest rates. both of which have caused turbulence in emerging economies’ financial markets. Even before the Fed’s signals, emergingmarket equities and commodities had underperformed this year, owing to China’s slowdown. Since then, emerging-market currencies and fixed-income securities (government and corporate bonds) have taken a hit. The era of cheap or zerointerest money that led to a wall of liquidity chasing high yields and assets equities, bonds, currencies, and commodities – in emerging markets is drawing to a close. Finally, while many emerging-market economies tend to run current-account surpluses, a growing number of them – including Turkey, South Africa, Brazil, and India – are running deficits. And these deficits are now being financed in riskier ways: more debt than equity; more short-term debt than longterm debt; more foreign-currency debt than local-currency debt; and more financing from fickle cross-border interbank flows. These countries share other weaknesses as well: excessive fiscal deficits, abovetarget inflation, and stability risk (reflected not only in the recent political turmoil in Brazil and Turkey, but also in South Africa’s labour strife and India’s political and electoral uncertainties). The need to finance the external deficit and to avoid excessive depreciation (and even higher inflation) calls for raising policy rates or keeping them on hold at high levels. But monetary tightening would weaken already-slow growth. Thus, emerging economies with large twin deficits and other macroeconomic fragilities may experience further downward pressure on their financial markets and growth rates. These factors explain why growth in most BRICS and many other emerging markets has slowed sharply. Some factors are cyclical, but others – state capitalism, the risk of a hard landing in China, the end of the commodity supercycle -are more structural. Thus, many emerging markets’ growth rates in the next decade may be lower than in the last – as may the outsize returns that investors realised from these economies’ financial assets (currencies, equities. bonds, and commodities). Of course, some of the better-managed emerging-market economies will continue to experitnce rapid growth and asset outperformance. But many of the BRICS, along with some other emerging economies, may hit a thick wall, with growth and financial markets taking a serious beating.Which of the following statement(s) is/are true as per the given information in the passage ? A. Brazil’s GDP grew by only 1% last year, and is expected to grow by approximately 2% this year. B. China’s economy grew by 10% a year for the last three decades but slowed to 7.8% last year. C. BRICS is a group of nations — Barzil, Russia, India China and South Africa.....|
|MCQ-> Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions based on it. Some words have been printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.Notwithstanding the fact that the share of household savings to GDS is showing decline, still this segment is the significant contributor to GDS with 70% share. Indian households are among the most frugal in the world However, commensurate capital formation has not been taking place as a lion's share of household savings are being parked in physical assets compared to financial assets. The pattern of disposition of saving is an important factor in determining how the saved amount is utilized for productive purposes. The proportion of household saving in financial assets determines the channelisation of saving for investment in other sectors of the economy. However, the volume of investment of saving in physical assets determines the productivity and generation of income in that sector itself. Post-Independence era has witnessed a significant shift in deployment of household savings especially the share of financial assets increased from 26.39% in 1950 to 54.05% in 1990 may be on account of increased bank branch network across the country coupled with improved awareness of investors on various financial / banking products. However, contrast to common expectations, the share of financial assets in total household savings has come down from 54.05% to 50.21% especially in post reform period i.e. 1990 to 2010 despite providing easy access and availability of banking facilities compared to earlier years. The increased share of physical assets over financial assets (around 4%) during the last two decades is a cause of concern requires focused attention to arrest the trend. Traditionally, the Indians are risk-averse and prefer to invest surplus funds in physical assets such as Gold, Silver and lands. Nevertheless, considerable share of savings also owing to financial assets, which includes, Currency, Bank Deposits, Claims on Government, Contractual Savings, Equities The composition of household financial savings shows that the bank deposits (44%) continue to remain the major contributor along with the rise in the Contractual Savings, Claims on Government and Currency. Though there was gradual decline in currency holdings by the households i.e. 13.79% in 1970s to 9.30% in 2007, still the present currency holding level with households appears to be on high side compared to other countries. The primary reasons for higher currency holdings could be absence of banking facilities in majority villages (5.70 lakh villages)as well as hoarding of unaccounted money in the form of cash to circumvent tax laws. Though, cash is treated as financial asset, in reality, a major portion of currency is blocked and become unproductive. Bank deposits seemed to be the preferred choice mainly on account of its inbuilt features such as Safety, Security and Liquidity. Traditionally, the Household sector has been playing a leading role in the landscape of bank deposits followed by the Government sector. However, the last two decades has witnessed significant shift in ownership of Bank deposits. While there was improvement in Corporate and Government sectors' share by 8.30% and 7.20% respectively during the period 1999 to 2009, household sector lost a share of 13.30% in the post reform period. In the post independence era, Indian financial system was characterized by poor infrastructure and low level of financial deepening. Savings in physical assets constituted the largest portion of the savings compared to the financial assets in the initial years of the planning periods. While rural households were keen on acquiring farm assets, the portfolio of urban households constituted consumer durables, gold, jewellery and house property.Despite the fact that the household savings have been gradually moving from physical assets to financial assets over the years, still 49.79% of household savings are wrapped in unproductive physical assets, which is a cause of concern as the share of physical assets to total savings are very high in the recent years compared to emerging economies. This trend needs to be arrested as scarce funds are being diverted into unproductive segments. Of course, investment in Real estate sector can be treated as productive provided construction activity is commenced within reasonable time, but it is regrettably note that many investors just buy and hold it for speculation leading to unproductive investments. India has probably the largest fascination with gold than any other country in the world with a share of 9.50% of the world's total gold holdings. The World Gold Council believes that they are over 18000 tonnes of gold holding in the country. More impressive is the fact that current demand from India alone consumes 25% of the world's annual gold output. Large amount of capital is blocked in gold which resides in bank lockers and remain unproductive. Indian economy would grow faster if the capital markets could attract more of the nation's savings and channel them into more productive areas, especially infrastructure. If the Indian market can develop and evolve into a more mature financial system, which persuades the middle class to put more of its money into equities, the potential is mind-boggling.Which of the following statement (s) is/are correct in the context of the given passage? I. The GDS percentage to GDP has shown considerable improvement from 10% in 1950 to 33.7% in 2010, which is one of the highest globally. II. The saving rate however shows an increasing trend, marginal decline is observed under tic use hold sector. III. The share of financial assets in total household savings have come down from 54.05% to 21% especially in post reform era.....|
|MCQ-> Read carefully the four passages that follow and answer the questions given at the end of each passage:PASSAGE I The most important task is revitalizing the institution of independent directors. The independent directors of a company should be faithful fiduciaries protecting, the long-term interests of shareholders while ensuring fairness to employees, investor, customer, regulators, the government of the land and society. Unfortunately, very often, directors are chosen based of friendship and, sadly, pliability. Today, unfortunately, in the majority of cases, independence is only true on paper.The need of the hour is to strengthen the independence of the board. We have to put in place stringent standards for the independence of directors. The board should adopt global standards for director-independence, and should disclose how each independent director meets these standards. It is desirable to have a comprehensive report showing the names of the company employees of fellow board members who are related to each director on the board. This report should accompany the annual report of all listed companies. Another important step is to regularly assess the board members for performance. The assessment should focus on issues like competence, preparation, participation and contribution. Ideally, this evaluation should be performed by a third party. Underperforming directors should be allowed to leave at the end of their term in a gentle manner so that they do not lose face. Rather than being the rubber stamp of a company’s management policies, the board should become a true active partner of the management. For this, independent directors should be trained in their in their in roles and responsibilities. Independent directors should be trained on the business model and risk model of the company, on the governance practices, and the responsibilities of various committees of the board of the company. The board members should interact frequently with executives to understand operational issues. As part of the board meeting agenda, the independent directors should have a meeting among themselves without the management being present. The independent board members should periodically review the performance of the company’s CEO, the internal directors and the senior management. This has to be based on clearly defined objective criteria, and these criteria should be known to the CEO and other executive directors well before the start of the evolution period. Moreover, there should be a clearly laid down procedure for communicating the board’s review to the CEO and his/her team of executive directors. Managerial remuneration should be based on such reviews. Additionally, senior management compensation should be determined by the board in a manner that is fair to all stakeholders. We have to look at three important criteria in deciding managerial remuneration-fairness accountability and transparency. Fairness of compensation is determined by how employees and investors react to the compensation of the CEO. Accountability is enhanced by splitting the total compensation into a small fixed component and a large variable component. In other words, the CEO, other executive directors and the senior management should rise or fall with the fortunes of the company. The variable component should be linked to achieving the long-term objectives of the firm. Senior management compensation should be reviewed by the compensation committee of the board consisting of only the independent directors. This should be approved by the shareholders. It is important that no member of the internal management has a say in the compensation of the CEO, the internal board members or the senior management. The SEBI regulations and the CII code of conduct have been very helpful in enhancing the level of accountability of independent directors. The independent directors should decide voluntarily how they want to contribute to the company. Their performance should decide voluntarily how they want to contribute to the company. Their performance should be appraised through a peer evaluation process. Ideally, the compensation committee should decide on the compensation of each independent director based on such a performance appraisal. Auditing is another major area that needs reforms for effective corporate governance. An audit is the Independent examination of financial transactions of any entity to provide assurance to shareholder and other stakeholders that the financial statements are free of material misstatement. Auditors are qualified professionals appointed by the shareholders to report on the reliability of financial statements prepared by the management. Financial markets look to the auditor’s report for an independent opinion on the financial and risk situation of a company. We have to separate such auditing form other services. For a truly independent opinion, the auditing firm should not provide services that are perceived to be materially in conflict with the role of the auditor. These include investigations, consulting advice, sub contraction of operational activities normally undertaken by the management, due diligence on potential acquisitions or investments, advice on deal structuring, designing/implementing IT systems, bookkeeping, valuations and executive recruitment. Any departure from this practice should be approved by the audit committee in advance. Further, information on any such exceptions must be disclosed in the company’s quarterly and annual reports. To ensure the integrity of the audit team, it is desirable to rotate auditor partners. The lead audit partner and the audit partner responsible for reviewing a company’s audit must be rotated at least once every three to five years. This eliminates the possibility of the lead auditor and the company management getting into the kind of close, cozy relationship that results in lower objectivity in audit opinions. Further, a registered auditor should not audit a chief accounting office was associated with the auditing firm. It is best that members of the audit teams are prohibited from taking up employment in the audited corporations for at least a year after they have stopped being members of the audit team.A competent audit committee is essential to effectively oversee the financial accounting and reporting process. Hence, each member of the audit committee must be ‘financially literate’, further, at least one member of the audit committee, preferably the chairman, should be a financial expert-a person who has an understanding of financial statements and accounting rules, and has experience in auditing. The audit committee should establish procedures for the treatment of complaints received through anonymous submission by employees and whistleblowers. These complaints may be regarding questionable accounting or auditing issues, any harassment to an employee or any unethical practice in the company. The whistleblowers must be protected. Any related-party transaction should require prior approval by the audit committee, the full board and the shareholders if it is material. Related parties are those that are able to control or exercise significant influence. These include; parent- subsidiary relationships; entities under common control; individuals who, through ownership, have significant influence over the enterprise and close members of their families; and dey management personnel.Accounting standards provide a framework for preparation and presentation of financial statements and assist auditors in forming an opinion on the financial statements. However, today, accounting standards are issued by bodies comprising primarily of accountants. Therefore, accounting standards do not always keep pace with changes in the business environment. Hence, the accounting standards-setting body should include members drawn from the industry, the profession and regulatory bodies. This body should be independently funded. Currently, an independent oversight of the accounting profession does not exist. Hence, an independent body should be constituted to oversee the functioning of auditors for Independence, the quality of audit and professional competence. This body should comprise a "majority of non- practicing accountants to ensure independent oversight. To avoid any bias, the chairman of this body should not have practiced as an accountant during the preceding five years. Auditors of all public companies must register with this body. It should enforce compliance with the laws by auditors and should mandate that auditors must maintain audit working papers for at least seven years.To ensure the materiality of information, the CEO and CFO of the company should certify annual and quarterly reports. They should certify that the information in the reports fairly presents the financial condition and results of operations of the company, and that all material facts have been disclosed. Further, CEOs and CFOs should certify that they have established internal controls to ensure that all information relating to the operations of the company is freely available to the auditors and the audit committee. They should also certify that they have evaluated the effectiveness of these controls within ninety days prior to the report. False certifications by the CEO and CFO should be subject to significant criminal penalties (fines and imprisonment, if willful and knowing). If a company is required to restate its reports due to material non-compliance with the laws, the CEO and CFO must face severe punishment including loss of job and forfeiting bonuses or equity-based compensation received during the twelve months following the filing.The problem with the independent directors has been that: I. Their selection has been based upon their compatibility with the company management II. There has been lack of proper training and development to improve their skill set III. Their independent views have often come in conflict with the views of company management. This has hindered the company’s decision-making process IV. Stringent standards for independent directors have been lacking....|
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?|