Daily Current Events by Civils360 November 14, 2017
Role of India in Indo- Pacific: Read Here
- Prime Minister of India spoke of Lord Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi’s tradition of peace and ensured members of quadrilateral meeting group that India will play a role for the welfare of humanity in the region.
- It sets the backdrop of the quadrilateral dialogue that is being interpreted as a move to counter China’s growing might, though Indian officials have strongly stated that they do not wish to target any country through this mechanism.
- India’s growing ambition to emerge as a global peacekeeping and peace-enforcing power reminds that India recognises the need for peace in the global order.
- Indian officials see the quadrilateral meeting as one of the many gropings India is part of.
Jammu & Kashmir: Read Here
- The J&K police chief said that there has been a 90% dip in incidents of stone-pelting in Kashmir valley this year as compared to last year.
- There were multiple factors at play, including demonetisation and action against top militant commanders, that have resulted in a drop in stone-pelting incidents along with works of National Investigation Agency as well.
- The legislation made under the Public Safety Act, renewed political activity are other important factors that helped to improve the mood of people.
- Tremendous success is recorded for Operation All-Out, the Army’s master plan to flush out militants from Kashmir
Brexit: Read Here
- Because of Brexit, Indian businesses based in the U.K. and looking to do business in Europe have to be prepared for additional tariffs, customs duties and product specification. This is because Britain is leaving EU, which was a common market.
- Alternate way for India to avoid these taxes are through India – EU Free Trade Agreement. It is hoped a breakthrough is reached since the high-level negotiators are now meeting to hammer out the details, and added that the policy environment in India was favourable.
- EU maintains the priority sector for India is in agriculture, and for EU it is the labour force. Also, it is willing to open up market only for highly skilled people.
- Another sensitive issue of FTA was that of investment and arbitration, he said. India-EU could model itself on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and Europe which includes an Investor-State Dispute Settlement Mechanism. Negotiations are expected to reach a deadlock because India do not prefer ISDS.
- India could benefit from a technological transfer through FTA that would enable it to fully exploit its inland waterways without having to go through the expense and effort of dredging the rivers.
Climate Meet: Read Here
Developing country negotiators lamented the fact that the United States, which has decided to pull out the Paris Agreement, was continuing to block any meaningful breakthrough on these issues and that other developed countries were not helping matters either.
One major disappointment has been over the lack of any headway on issues related to finance, particularly that meant for loss and damages and for achieving ‘pre-2020 actions’.
A demand from the developing countries, asking for the inclusion of ‘pre-2020 actions’ in the official agenda of the meeting is still not included. It shows developed countries are not committed to the cause of climate change action plans.
- On the US$ 100 billion commitment through Global Climate Fund, the demand that developed countries spell out the roadmap and enhance the proportion of public finance in their contributions has hit a roadblock as there is virtually no commitment shown by them.
Intellectual Property Rights: Read Here
- A recent report published by Medicins sans Frontieres (MSF) suggests that new generation of vaccines are prone to a high concentration of patent evergreening. That is, producers will extend their patent time period which are bound to expire. It makes vaccines expensive and out of reach for common people. Eg: Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
- However, a new report by World Intellectual Property Organization has concluded with several contestable remarks and downplayed the role of patents in hindering vaccine competition. It overlooked the role of patents in the context of vaccine access and innovation.
- The report maintains that vaccine quality and safety can be improved by a stable patent regime. it overlooks the fact that good manufacture practice standards and government regulations that can ensure quality and safety of any medical products including vaccines.
- Another problem with patents is that it is covered under all the stages of vaccine development like production and use. Therefore, a monopoly of originator companies could be extended from starting material to the actual product and the final clinical use.
- WIPO report seems to have a research problem leading to its disapproval attitude towards the use of compulsory license on vaccines. The report argues that ‘compulsory license has never been used on vaccines which itself is false as compulsory licensing is available on all products.
- Therefore, WIPO needs to retreat this report to give a more professional analysis on the concrete patent barriers facing the new vaccine market, and the legal and policy tools that countries could use in tackling evergreening practices.