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Contents
Corporate Governance in India and New Corporate Governance Norms....................................... 1
Mukul Mudgal Panel Report & Sporting Fraud Bill 2013 .............................................................. 7
Recent Issue on Article 371(D) and Bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh ............................................ 10
Sam Pitroda Report on Prasar Bharti.......................................................................................... 11
Street Vendors Act 2014 ............................................................................................................ 14
Pam Rajput Committee on Status of Women in India ................................................................ 18
Fundamentals of El Nio and La Nia ....................................................................................... 18
Fundamentals & Legal Framework around GM Crops .................................................................21

List of Model Questions


1. What do you mean by corporate governance? Explain the benefits of good corporate governance throwing light on major
'characteristics' of good corporate governance.
2. Company management has responsibility only towards its shareholders and the responsibility of the corporate management
lies towards shareholders only. Discuss.
3. Critically discuss the recent steps taken by SEBI towards Corporate Governance in India.
4. Do you think that the recent amendments to Clause 49 of the Listing Agreement will have any impact on market
confidence towards Indian companies? Discuss.
5. Critically discuss the salient recommendations of Mukul Mudgal Panel report. Do you think that legalizing betting would
reduce the element of black money and reduce the influence of underworld on Indian sports?
6. Discuss the salient features of Prevention of Sporting Fraud Bill 2013.
7. Critically discuss the problems of Prasar Bharti and failure of successive governments to address these problems.
8. Critically discuss the salient recommendations of the Sam Pitroda Committee report on Prasar Bharti, suggesting
broadcasting reforms India should contemplate.
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9. "The recently passed act can change a lot in the lives of Street Vendors, but mere enactment of a law does not bring changes
by itself." Critically discuss throwing light on salient features of the act.
10. What is Town Vending Committee? Discuss its organization and functions.
11. Discuss the process of El Nino and La Nina throwing light on their importance for Indias climate.
12. Write short notes on Mutational Breeding and Backcrossing.
13. Differentiate between the Horizontal Transfer and Vertical Transfer of Genes citing their importance in Genetic
Engineering.
14. Differentiate between Transgenesis and Cisgenesis citing their importance in Genetic Engineering.
15. Differentiate between GMO and LMO.
16. What do you mean by Terminator seeds? Discuss their impact on farm economy.
17. Critically discuss various issues raised against the GM crops.
18. Discuss the salient provisions of Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.
19. The intention of Nagoya protocol is to create greater legal certainty and transparency for both providers and users of
genetic resources. Amplify.
20. Discuss the legal framework around GM Crops in India throwing light on procedure of commercial release of GM crops.
21. India's capacity to deal with GM crops is limited mainly due to shortcomings in the laws, constraints of financial and
institutional nature and vastness of India's primary economy. Amplify.

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Corporate Governance in India and New Corporate Governance Norms


In February 2014, SEBI has issued new regulations on corporate governance. Some of them are very good and path breaking. The
whole idea is to tighten the norms for corporate governance and make the life of crooks difficult. In this fundamental, we try to
understand the subject matter from its very fundamentals. This topic is related to General Studies Paper III & also Paper IV for your
Mains examination.
What is Governance?
Governance refers to all processes of governing via various laws, norms, power or language. This term is very
broad and includes all formal and informal organizations. The word can be used as suffix to a wide array of
processes of governing such as Public governance, Private
governance, Global governance, corporate governance, Non-
profit governance, Project governance, Environmental
Governance, Internet Governance and so on.
What is Corporate Governance?
Corporate governance is about promoting corporate fairness,
transparency and accountability. Corporate Governance deals
with how a corporate is governed.
In other words, corporate governance influences how the
objectives of an organisation are set and achieved, the risk is
monitored and assessed and the performance is optimized.
What are the Stakeholders versus Shareholders concepts?
The traditional governance concept puts management as
accountable to only investors. The purpose of the corporate as
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per this model is to maximise the shareholder value.
However, in the modern concept, corporate governance encompasses all the processes, relationships, customs,
policies, laws and institutions, which affect the direction, administration and control of a corporate. Company
management is responsible not only to the shareholders, but also to other stakeholders i.e. people who have an
interest in the conduct of the business of the company. The stakeholders include shareholders, management,
board of directors, employees, suppliers, customers, lenders, regulators (government), the environment and the
community at large. These relationships involve various rules, regulations, incentives which help to set objectives
of the corporate and through light on means of attaining these objectives as well as monitoring performance are
determined.
What are Objectives of Corporate Governance?
The objectives of the corporate governance inter alia include:
Attaining disclosure and transparency in corporate structures as well as organizations. This is the
central objective of Corporate Governance.
Fixing accountability of the controllers and managers towards the shareholders and others. This also
includes bringing the interests of investors and manager into line and ensuring that firms are run for
the benefit of investors.
Fixing the corporate responsibility towards various stakeholders
Create a framework for long term trust between the corporate and external providers of capital
Rationalize the management and risk monitoring
Efficient decision making
Integrity and probity in the financial reports.

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The term corporate governance and corporate ethics are intertwined. Principled goal setting, effective decision-
making and appropriate monitoring of compliance and performance across the organization - these are the global
standards of corporate ethics, which come into the organization run in an open and honest manner.
The overall objectives of corporate governance are to maintain overall market confidence, avoid corporate
frauds; bring efficiency of capital allocation and use and economic growth and development that leads to a
nations overall wealth and welfare. While objective of the corporation is to maximise the shareholder value; the
corporate governance makes sure that share holder primacy is not at the cost of stake holder primacy. It
encourages the corporate to foster long-term relationships with stakeholders by taking their interests into
account.
What are features of Good Corporate Governance?
Good corporate governance has the following major characteristics:
It is participatory, consensus oriented and accountable to all stakeholders
it is transparent, responsive, effective and efficient
It is equitable and inclusive
It follows the rule of law
Select Historical Bits
United States
The Watergate scandal of 1970s in United States exposed various control failures which allowed several
corporations to make illegal political contributions and to bribe government officials. In 1977, the government
over there enacted the Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act embodying specific provisions regarding the
establishment, maintenance andName:
Member review
Anand of systems
Mohan of address:
Member's Email internal control. In 1979,
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Exchange Commission are proposed mandatory reporting on internal financial controls. In 1980s, United States
saw a series of failures of some high profile businesses. This was followed by creation of Tradway Commission
to identify the causes. The report of this commission was published in 1987 and it highlighted the need for set of
proper control environment and internal audit.
United Kingdom
Similarly, in United Kingdom, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) Scandal and some other
corporate failures led to birth of modern corporate governance. The 1992 report of the Committee of
Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) suggested a control framework. This was endorsed a refined in four
subsequent UK reports viz. Cadbury Report, Ruthman Report, Hampel Report and Turbull report.
World Bank and OECD
World Bank is one of the earliest economic organizations to study the issue of corporate governance and bring
out some guidelines. These include focussing on the principles such as transparency, accountability, fairness and
responsibility that are universal in their applications. Similarly, the OECD spelled out the principles and practices
that should govern corporate. These principles called Code of Best practices are associated with Cadbury
report of UK and are considered to be the trendsetters in the global Corporate Governance. The OCED principles
are:
B The rights of shareholders
B Equitable treatment of shareholders
B Role of stakeholders in corporate governance
B Disclosure and Transparency
B Responsibilities of the board

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Sarbanes- Oxley Act, 2002


The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) is one of the landmark legislations enacted by US government. This act attempted
to address all the issues associated with corporate failure to achieve quality governance and to restore investors
confidence. One of the major provisions of this act was to establish a Public Company Accounting Oversight
Board (PCAOB) to regulate the auditing profession, which had been self-regulated prior to the law. This act made
it clear that the companys senior officers are accountable and responsible for the corporate culture they create
and must be faithful to the same rules they set out for other employees.
Framework around Corporate Governance in India
The corporate governance in India is not very old. In 1995, the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) had set up
a task force under Rahul Bajaj, which is probably one of the first task forces of its kind in India. The CII came up
with a voluntary code called Desirable Corporate Governance in 1998. The second was by the SEBI. The SEBI
principles were enshrined in the Clause 49 of the listing agreement. SEBI had set up a Commission under
Kumarmanlagam Birla, whose report came up in 2000 covering issues such as protection of investor interest,
promotion of transparency, building international standards in terms of disclosure of information. This clause
was amended as per recommendations of the Naresh Chandra Committee (2002) and Narayana Murthy
Committee (2002).
Out of them, the Naresh Chandra committee extensively covered the statuary auditor-company
relationship, rotation of statutory audit firms/partners, procedure for appointment of auditors and
determination of audit fees, true and fair statement of financial affairs of companies.
The Narayan Murthy Committee focussed on responsibilities of audit committee, quality of financial
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disclosure, requiring boards to assess and disclose business risks in the companys annual reports.
Clause 49
In our country, the Corporate Governance Principles of the SEBI were enshrined in the Clause 49 of the listing
agreement. This agreement was so far required by the all listed (in stock exchanges) companies. It has been
amended from time to time and is in action since 2005. It has both mandatory and non-mandatory provisions.
Mandatory provisions include those which are absolutely essential for corporate governance, can be defined
with precision and which can be enforced without any legislative amendments. The Non-mandatory provisions
are those which are either desirable or which may require change of laws. The non-mandatory requirements
may be implemented at the discretion of the company.
The Mandatory provisions inter alia include the following:
C Composition of Board and its procedure - frequency of meeting, number of independent directors,
code of conduct for Board of directors and senior management;
C Audit Committee, its composition, and role
C Provision relating to Subsidiary Companies
C Disclosure to Audit committee, Board and the Shareholders
C CEO/CFO certification
C Quarterly report on corporate governance
C Annual compliance certificate
The Non-mandatory provisions inter alia include the following:
C Constitution of Remuneration Committee
C Training of Board members
C Peer evaluation of Board members

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C Whistle Blower policy


One of the major changes in the recently released (2014) norms is that the Whistleblower policy is no more a Non-
mandatory provision but is among the mandatory provisions. Apart from the Clause 49, the Companies Act 2013,
which has replaced the 1956 act, has also such provisions.
Why Corporate Governance reforms are needed?
A corporation includes various stakeholders viz. investors, share holders, customers, employees, vendor
partners, government and society. Its objective should not be confined to maximizing the shareholder value but
should be responsible to all stakeholders. Its governance should be fair and transparent to its stakeholders in all
its transactions. Thus, corporate governance becomes imperative in todays globalized world where corporations
need to access global pools of capital, need to attract and retain the best human capital from various parts of
the world, need to partner with vendors on mega collaborations and need to live in harmony with the
community.
On the other hand, the Liberalization and related developments such as deregulation, privatization and
extensive financial liberalization render the Corporate Governance very crucial. All the fruits of capital market
reforms can be lost to corporate frauds, malpractices etc. Thus, Independent and effective corporate
governance reforms are necessary to maintain the market credibility confidence.
Why Reforms were needed in Indias Corporate Governance Regime?
In 2000, the SEBI had amended its Equity Listing Agreement to add a new clause to specify certain corporate
governance standards for listed companies. This is known as Clause 49 and with this was born the requirement
that half the directors on a listed companys board must be Independent Directors. In the same clause, the SEBI
had put forward the responsibilities of the Audit Committee, which was to have a majority Independent
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Directors.
Despite of all the mandatory and non-mandatory requirements as per Clause 49, India is still not in a position to
project itself having highest standards of corporate governance. However, this reflected SEBIs first moves
towards a new era of accountability in corporate. After the newly enacted Companies Act, 2013, the Clause 49
needed to be amended so that new safeguards such as independent director rotation and audit firm rotation, as
mandated in the new Companies Act can be incorporated in Corporate Governance principles. The recent
changes in Clause 49 were focussing towards achieving the following objectives:
G To align the provisions of the listing agreement with the provisions of the newly enacted Companies
Act, 2013
G To provide additional requirements to strengthen the Corporate Governance framework for the listed
companies in India.
Some of the other major reasons are as follows:
The trust in political and business institutions in India has seen a sharp decline in the last few years
because of a series of corruption scandals and the global financial doldrums. One such loss of trust is
seen in the retail investors segment. Since 2008, these investors have been heavy sellers mainly
because of lack of trust in India's volatile markets. Thus, the crisis of confidence has been the major
challenges for SEBI as well as the government.
There was an urgent need to make the Corporate Governance regime tough, which should be able to
take punitive action on erring firms. As per an statement of U K Sinha (SEBI head), nearly one-fifth of
listed companies in India do not even comply with basic shareholding reporting norms set by the
regulator. Further, the quality of filings companies make is extremely poor.

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Poor corporate governance standards in India have been a major grievance of domestic as well as
foreign investors. In its recent financial sector assessment report on India, IMF also highlighted the lack
of compliance with listing obligations as a key weakness.
What are the new norms as per amended Clause 49?
The new norms are based on recommendations made by Adi Godrej Committee (2012). The objective of the
amended clause 49 aka new corporate governance code is to improve transparency and disclosure standards of
listed companies in India.
G They aim to protect small investors as well as to reduce the power held by so-called "promoters" of a
company, or key stakeholders who have a disproportionate say on management appointments and
day-to-day operations.
G The new rules will require listed companies to expand the role of their audit committees, seek
shareholder approval for all material related-party transactions (RPTs) and adopt a whistleblower policy
as mandatory provision.
G They will have to follow more stringent rules related to the presence of independent directors on their
boards.
This has been brought in by the following:
New Norms on Independent Directors
Conduct a performance evaluation of all directors, including independent directors. Independent
directors will be required to hold separate meetings. Till now, the independent directors were not
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required to hold independent meetings and this often results in approval for board decisions that may
be serving only the promoters interests. We note here that independent directors are primarily meant
to oversee the functioning of the board and ensure that the decisions it makes do not hurt the
interests of minority shareholders. The new norms also make sure that two third members of the Audit
Committee and the Chairman shall be Independent.
Maximum number of listed companies in which a person can serve as an independent director at
seven. If a person serves as a whole-time director, he cannot be an independent director in more than
three listed firms. An Independent Director who has already served on a companys board for 5 years
can serve only one more term of 5 years. Companies will be now required to disseminate Independent
Directors resignation letter to Stock Exchanges & on company website.
New Norms on Risk Management Committee
Every listed company must have a Risk Management Committee.
New Norms on Related Party Transactions (RPTs)
There are changes in rules for RPTs (Relative Party Transactions) to enhance transparency in all
material dealings by company promoters and to ensure that business decisions are not against the
interests of small and minority shareholders. We note here that an RPT is a business deal between two
parties who are joined by a special relationship prior to a transaction being carried out. In simple
words, it refers to transactions within group firms. The new norms say that a prior audit committee
approval is now mandatory for all material RPTs. Moreover, all such transactions will need shareholder
approval through a special resolution, with related parties abstaining from voting. SEBI has also

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widened the scope of definition of RPT, bringing transactions involving key management personnel
within its scope.
New norms on Top Level remuneration
To check the tendency of fixing unreasonably high compensations for promoters and top-level
executives, the new norms have mandatory constitution of a nomination and remuneration committee
with an independent chairman. Moreover, all companies will need to follow enhanced disclosures
norms on remuneration. These disclosure norms mandate the company to disclose the ratio of
remuneration of top executives to median remuneration.
Audit Committee and whistleblower mechanism
The new norms expand the role of audit committee in listed firms and direct them to adopt a
compulsory whistleblower mechanism to curb unfair business practices and protect the interest of
minority stakeholders.
Conclusion
The above description makes it clear that SEBI has taken a welcome and much needed step to bring corporate
governance in India at part with best norms globally. The norms such as separate meeting of independent
directors, the establishment of a whistle blower mechanism, and greater scrutiny and disclosure of related-party
transactions are on the right track. These will not only increase the confidence of shareholders but also make
possible increased financing from the public. These norms will be easy to comply with for honest and ethical
companies. The new norms make the life of the crooked companies difficult.
Links for Further studies
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Sebi overhauls corporate governance norms for listed companies


Pratip Kar: A new corporate governance
Halfway Right: Indian Express
Questions:
Q 1. What do you mean by corporate governance? Explain the benefits of good corporate governance throwing light on major
'characteristics' of good corporate governance.
Q 2. Company management has responsibility only towards its shareholders and the responsibility of the corporate management
lies towards shareholders only. Discuss.
Q 3. Critically discuss the recent steps taken by SEBI towards Corporate Governance in India.
Q 4. Do you think that the recent amendments to Clause 49 of the Listing Agreement will have any impact on market
confidence towards Indian companies? Discuss.
Mukul Mudgal Panel Report & Sporting Fraud Bill 2013
In recent years, sports in India have been beset with controversy and sports administration has been getting murkier. The corruption
tainted Commonwealth Games 2010 led to growing support for regulating and overhauling sports governance and administration in
India. Recently, we faced huge embarrassment when our winter Olympic participants were denied of using their own country's flag
because the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) could not elect non-tainted officials to run the show. Even this embarrassment had
not faded away; the Mukul Mudgal panel hit the country. In this study, we deal with the major recommendations of the Mukul
Mudgal Panel report and salient features of the Prevention of Sporting Fraud Bill 2013.

Mukul Mudgal Panel Report


The Mukul Mudgal Panel was set up by the Supreme Court after the IPL spot-fixing and
betting scandal came to light last year. It is a multi-member panel, headed by retired Chief
Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court. It recently submitted its inquiry report about the
spot-fixing and betting scandal to Supreme Court.
We note here that Justice Mukul Mudgal has been associated with important judgements in
sports, written a book on sports law, and helped draft the Sports Development Bill and Sporting
Fraud Bill.

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Background
The 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL) spot fixing and betting case arose when the Delhi Police arrested three
cricketers, Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan on May 15, 2013 on the charges of spot-fixing. The three
represented Rajasthan Royals in the 2013 Indian Premier League. In a separate case, Mumbai Police arrested
Vindu Dara Singh and Gurunath Meiyappan, the CSK team official and son-in-law of BCCI President N. Srinivasan,
for betting and having links with bookies.
Subsequently, BCCI banned all the three players for life from playing any form of cricket. Later in October, the
Mukul Mudgal panel was set up by the Supreme Court to conduct an independent inquiry into the allegations of
corruption against Gurunath, and Rajasthan Royals team owner Raj Kundra, soon after a two-member BCCI-
appointed panel comprising a pair of retired judges had found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of
Gurunath and Kundra.
The Supreme Court took cognizance of the matter after the Cricket Association of Bihar raised charges of conflict
of interest in the formation of BCCI's two-member inquiry panel. A Bombay high court ruling later termed the
probe panel "illegal".
Key points from the report
The committee found Meiyappan guilty of both betting and passing on inside information. It said Meiyappan was
betting through Vindu Dara Singh, who was in direct touch with the bookies. The panel also reported that
Meiyappan had placed bets both in favour of and against his own team CSK. However, the allegations of match-
fixing against him need further investigation.
The committee further concluded that Meiyappan was not a mere 'enthusiast' as claimed by BCCI President
Srinivasan and that he was indeed a part of the Chennai franchise with accreditations suggesting Meiyappan a
team official.
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The report also states that there are materials on record to justify an appropriate investigation to ascertain the
culpability of Mr. Raj Kundra and his wife Ms Shilpa Shetty, in placing bets as owner of Rajasthan Royals in IPL.
Along with the inquiry report, the panel also submitted an explosive confidential report on crickets state of
affairs containing "unsubstantiated" charges made on the condition of anonymity by people of high repute
about malpractices and their perpetrators. This report was submitted to the Court in a sealed envelope.
The panel has said that names of six Indian capped players are available in tapes in connection with dealings
with bookies while two of these prominent capped players have also been named by former BCCI president IS
Bindra. Also, one of the six players is currently a part of the Indian team.
Other Recommendations
The committee has made a number of other inferences and recommendations that were not connected to the
terms of reference under which it was formed. They are as follows:
B The present measures undertaken by BCCI in combating sporting fraud are ineffective and insufficient.
IPL governing body should be independent of BCCI.
B Players agents should be registered and should not be allowed to travel with the players
B Employment of players in franchise group companies should be avoided. Players should not have
stakes in agencies involved in cricket. There is a need for stringent and effective control on Players
Agents.
B Separate law, investigating agency and courts to deal with betting and match-fixing charges
B Law must be stringent like anti- terror and anti-drug laws
B Ban post-match parties where elements have free access to players
B List of undesirable elements maintained by BCCI should be circulated among players.

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B Senior players with unimpeachable record like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, and so on
should caution and advise the younger players against pitfalls of indulging in malpractices like betting
and match fixing/spot fixing. Such interactions with legends of the sport might be the most effective
and deterrent means of preventing future wrongdoing.
Most investigative agencies lament the fact that for detecting sporting frauds they lack the tools to know the
names of bookies and the amount that has been bet. They can only use sources of intelligence such as phone
tapping to detect fraud. These agencies have stated that legalizing betting would reduce the element of black
money and reduce the influence of underworld besides helping them in detection of fraud and focusing their
investigation.
Report Link
Prevention of Sporting Fraud Bill 2013
The Youth Affairs & Sports Ministry had drafted Prevention of Sporting Fraud Bill, 2013 and had released it in
public domain last year. This bill defines the Sporting Fraud and contains provisions of penalty to the offenders
and deals with the issue of Jurisdiction of Courts to adjudicate the matter, etc.
The main features of this bill are as follows:
G A person is said to commit the offence of sporting fraud if he, directly or indirectly:-
o manipulates or tries to manipulate sports result, irrespective of whether the outcome is
actually altered or not
o deliberately misapplies the rules of the sport
o removes or Member
reduces all or part of the uncertainty normally associated with the results of a
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sporting event
o wilfully fails to perform to his true potential, unless such under performance can be attributed
to strategic or tactical reason deployed in the interest of that sport or team
o discloses insider information
o Fails to disclose knowledge of or attempt for Sporting Fraud
The bill makes provisions for maximum punishment of 5 years with a fine of Rs. 10 Lakhs or five times the
economic benefits derived by the person from sporting fraud, whichever is greater. The bill also makes
provision that such cases cannot be tried by a court inferior to that of Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial
Magistrate of the first class.
Analysis:
The above bill has been called Antifixing Bill. Although, it cannot be passed now in its present form because the
th
term of the 15 Lok Sabha has ended, yet, such a bill is of dire need in India due to controversies involving the
activities of the national sports federations, issue of match-fixing, spot-fixing, and illegal betting in Cricket.
The bill traces its origin to the IPL spot-fixing controversy that engulfed three Indian IPL cricketers. It took more
explosive turn when Gurunath Meiyappan, reportedly the owner of the Chennai Super Kings team was
interrogated for his role in sharing sensitive team information with accused bookies.
It was found that the present legal framework is limited to charge or prosecute alleged sporting fraud offenders.
One reason of this was that we have inadequate penalties imposed via the archaic laws such as the Public
Gambling Act of 1867. Another reason was that India did not have any law that governs the fraud in any sports.
Here, we note that Sports is a state subject under the 7th schedule of the constitution. But the role of the sports
ministry is not limited to development of the sports only but also to improve governance and accountability
parameters. But sports being a state subject, such bill will require the support of the States also.

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The Prevention of Sports Fraud Bill, which aims to prevent and combat sporting fraud affecting the integrity of
sports and fair play can be a path breaking legislation but its implementation is full of challenges. One of the
major reasons is that sports in India is largely unorganized and unregulated and the principles governing the
doping, ethics and fairplay are nascent. Despite a good intent, the bill is full of ambiguities and loopholes which
would lead to confusion and misinterpretation. They have been discussed as follows:
G The Prevention of Sports Fraud Bill is first national legislation that attempts to check sporting fraud in
India. But sports jurisdiction in India is at very nascent stage. The bill does not make provisions to
educate the relevant people about the fallouts of the sports fraud. Without such education, it is
practically impossible to implement the bill to attain its desired objectives.
G There is nothing in the bill that addresses the (unethical) activities that could happen accidentally or
without intention. The outline of the offense of sporting fraud is vague as mentioned in Section 3 of the
bill. It reads that offence of sporting fraud is where a person who "manipulates sports result, irrespective of
whether the outcome is actually altered or not, or makes arrangement of an irregular alteration of the field
of play or the result of a sporting event including its incidental events or deliberately misapplies the rules of
the sport, in order to obtain any economic or any other advantage or benefits or promise of an advantage or
benefits, for himself or for any other person so as to remove or reduce all or part of the uncertainty normally
associated with the results of a sporting event." Thus, if some player even slightly deviates from the
normal rule of the play would fall within the scope of this section. There are no guidelines to assist to
interpret this section.
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G There is an ambiguity in the section 8 of the bill also. Section 8 is related to the offenses committed by
companies. The bill reads: Where any offence punishable under this Act has been committed by a
company, every person who at the time the offence was committed was in charge of, and was
responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company,
shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall to be proceeded against and punished
accordingly." If however a person "proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or
that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence", then the person will
not be liable to any punishment. We see that this is an ambiguous provision and would inhibit the
involvement of the corporate in sports and leagues.
Thus, the bill in present form needs to be more refined to help ensure sports are cleaner in India.
Model Questions
Q 5. Critically discuss the salient recommendations of Mukul Mudgal Panel report. Do you think that legalizing betting would
reduce the element of black money and reduce the influence of underworld on Indian sports?
Q 6. Discuss the salient features of Prevention of Sporting Fraud Bill 2013.
Recent Issue on Article 371(D) and Bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh
Background
Article 371D deals with special provisions with respect to the state of Andhra Pradesh. It was inserted in the
nd
Constitution by 32 Constitution Amendment Act, 1973.
Among other things, it empowers the President to pass an order providing for equitable opportunities and
facilities for people belonging to all regions of the state with regard to employment and education. Its primary
purpose was to promote speedy development of backward areas, balanced development and to provide
equitable opportunities and facilities to people of all regions in the fields of education and public employment.

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B Subsequently, the Union government had issued the Andhra Pradesh Public Employment (Organisation
of local cadres and regulation of direct recruitment) Order, 1975, popularly known as the Presidential
Order. It divided the State into six zones, ensuring that the residents of each zone got certain benefits,
privileges and safeguards.
Issue
At the time of drafting the AP Reorganization Bill for bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in recent months, it also
became necessary to amend Article 371D to continue the special status for both the successor states of
Telangana and residual AP. However, it was not clear whether Article 371D should be amended in a separate
Constitutional Amendment Bill or if a separate section in the AP Reorganization Bill itself which would provide
for amending the Article, should suffice.
rd
Passing a Constitutional Amendment Bill under Article 368 would require a 2/3 majority in both the Houses of
Parliament which would be a politically difficult thing for the government to achieve. On the other hand, if the
government decided to amend 371D by inserting a section in the AP Reorganization Bill itself, it would only have
to pass the AP Reorganization Bill with a simple majority in Parliament.
The government finally went ahead with the Law Ministrys opinion that there was no need to amend Article
371D in a separate constitutional amendment bill and a section amending Article 371D can be included in the AP
Reorganization Bill itself. So finally, Section 97 was included in the AP Reorganization Bill which provided for
amendment of Article 371D of the Constitution.
The Law Ministry justified this by opining that Parliaments power under Article 3 and 4 were plenary and
traverses over all legislative subjects as are necessary for effectuating a proper reorganisation of states.
Sam Pitroda Report on Prasar Bharti
Member Name: Anand Mohan Member's Email address: dubledoreslair@gmail.com 61.8.129.229

Government had formed a committee headed by technocrat Sam Pitroda to strengthen and expand the role of public broadcaster
Prasar Bharati, with an emphasis on its relationship with the government. The committee recently came up with its report, which
offers a starting point for unshackling the Prasar Bharati. In this study, we revisit the entire episode with salient recommendations of
the report.
Background
In 1948, Jawaharlal Nehru had made a promise in the parliament that our country was in dire need of broadcast
autonomy, especially in the form of a truly autonomous, even if state-assisted, public service broadcaster. But
this promise is yet to be fulfilled. The promise of autonomy fell victim to over-ambitious politicians, visionless
bureaucrats and an unskilled working force. In pre-emergency and emergency period, the successive
governments saw every expansion of the information broadcasting as strengthening of its propaganda
machinery. After the emergency, the Janta Government had appointed a Working Group on the autonomy of the
Akashwani and Doordarshan in August 1977. The chairman of this committee was B.G. Verghese. The committee
submitted its report on February 24, 1978. This committee's main recommendation was "formation of Akash
Bharti or the "National Broadcasting Trust", both for the AIR and Doordarshan. The committee noted that the
people want an independent corporation because, the executive, abetted by a captive parliament, shamelessly
misused the Broadcasting during emergency and this must be prevented for all times. This committee wanted
substantial "Constitutional Safeguards" for the recommended body. But these recommendations could not find
favour of even Janta rulers. This report was thrown in dustbin by the Janta Government.
In 1979, a bill was introduced by LK Advani (information and Broadcasting minister in the Janta Government)
which proposed the "Autonomous Corporation" known as Prasar Bharti for both AIR and Doordarshan. But the
bill was introduced in the compromised state, rejecting the provisions of the constitutional safeguards.
Meanwhile the Lok Sabha dissolved guaranteeing the death of this bill.
The Congress, once back in power did not re-introduce such bill. A committee under P C Joshi was appointed in
1982 when recommended the reorganization of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

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It was not until 1991 when the Prasar Bharti Act was passed in parliament, which was to provide for
establishment of Broadcasting Corporation for India, to be known as Prasar Bharati. This body was to be
established and start its functions from April 1, 1991 but before it could happen, the government at the centre
changed and status quo was maintained.
After liberalization, the entry of the private broadcasters in India made the market competitive. On one hand,
the government allowed the private players and on other hand, it did not free Doordarshan and All India Radio
from its clutches. They remained the propaganda and revenue tools for the government. Thus, State control
was anyhow continued. The dire need was to infuse professionalism in Doordarshan and Akashwani, but the
implementation of the Prasar Bharti act could not happen till 1997, that too in emasculated form, losing
credibility and audience of Doordarshan to global media.
Current Issues with Prasar Bharti
Today, Prasar Bharti has the status of statuary autonomous body. It works as an independent body but still has
not lived up to its charter. With around 38 thousand employees, it is one of the largest public broadcasters in the
world. But, with 800 TV channels and 500 FM channels working in the country, both Doordarshan and Akashvani
have lost their berth mainly due to failure of Prasar Bharatis transition from being a government department to
an autonomous public institution with its own organisation, human resources and management policies. This
has led to a severe erosion of its ability to be a cohesive broadcaster which can compete adequately with private
channels. In this context, the Sam Pitroda panel was formed to address issues around new models of funding,
human resource management, content creation and technology interventions. These issues have been enlisted
as below:
Professional Approach
Member Name: Anand Mohan Member's Email address: dubledoreslair@gmail.com 61.8.129.229
Prasar Bharti is a national public trust whose purpose and functions are spelt out in Section 12 of the PB Act,
1990. Most important among them is safeguarding the citizens right to be informed freely, truthfully and
objectively on all matters of public interest, national or international, and presenting affair and balanced flow of
information, including contrasting views, without advocating any opinion or ideology of its own. Grant of
autonomy is just one, there is an array of reforms being urged in the Prasar Bharti. The first reform is of a more
professional approach to news casting, for which Sam Pitroda panel was set up.
Autonomy and its relation with the government
The basic problem is that - in theory the Government supports the idea of an autonomous public broadcaster,
but in practice it has never been able to let go. Thus, Prasar Bharti is a split personality. Until this fundamental
dichotomy is resolved i.e. either the Government gives up control or relinquishes the autonomy idea; the
relations between the Government and Prasar Bharti are doomed to be complicated.
Financial Problems
Prasar Bharti Act requires Parliament to make due appropriations for Prasar Bharti, which is accountable to it
through the Ministry of I&B and its annual report. Additional funding is permitted through broadcast receiver
licence fees, currently not levied, commercial broadcasting, sale of programmes, etc. Here, we must note that PB
Act permits the Corporation to levy fees for all external and monitoring services in the same manner as the BBC
is funded by the Foreign Office for its external services.
Although, the Broadcast information is a service like the supply of electricity, water and telephony; yet unlike the
others, it is generally seen a free good.
With expenditure consistently overshooting earnings by a wide margin, Prasar Bharati is in danger of a complete
erosion of its reserves, making it a financial liability for the government. Further, Prasar Bharti has been largely
debt ridden. We note here that in 2012, the government had approved a financial restructuring for Prasar
Bharati to write off Rs.1,300 crore of debt. This will meet 100% of its salary and salary-related costs for the next

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five years, but not its operational costs. Despite of expenditure of thousands of crores of rupees, Doordarshan
remains unwatched and Akashvani remains largely unheard except in rural areas.
Moreover, the budget of Prasar Bharti is highly skewed against the content creation. At present, 15% of the Budget
is devoted to programme content, as against 60-80 per cent by other major international broadcasters. Rest of
the budget is dominated by the technical services. This has downgraded the content quality and thus rendered
them poor in the market.
Problems of Human Resources
Prasar Bharti is not adequately empowered and enabled with independent professionals, resulting in poor
content creation - consequently, fewer people watch Doordarshan, switching instead to private channels which
offer better content though at a higher price.
Lack of Infrastructure
Broadcasting is a hardware-led business driven by transmitters and relay stations along with human resources
such as engineers, staff, reporters etc. Prasar Bharti has been left to suffer lack of all these. Prasar Bharti has
little ability to cover the reach and report the happenings in India leave alone the foreign countries. Even if we
wish to know what is happening in Sri Lanka or Pakistan or Bangladesh, we need to turn on CNN or BBC. In the
same way, it is incapacity of Prasar Bharti due to which India's voice is barely listened abroad.
Sam Pitroda panel Recommendations
The Pitroda committee was the fourth problem-solving committee since 1996. The committee submitted its
report to the government in later part of January 2014. Its salient recommendations are as follows:
All the assets and human resources management should be completely transferred to the broadcaster
so that it becomes administratively and financially autonomous of the government.
Member Name: Anand Mohan Member's Email address: dubledoreslair@gmail.com 61.8.129.229

Prasar Bharti must be given the power to frame rules and regulations for its own employees without
seeking prior approval from the government.
A regulator should be set up to ensure accountability of the broadcaster to the public with respect to all
content broadcast on its television and radio networks. The regulator could be a sub-committee of the
Prasar Bharti board.
On the funding front, the committee recommends diverse sources of funding for the public
broadcaster, including private investment. The pattern of funding can be approximately 20% from
government, 40% from autonomous sources, and 40% through commercialization of a part of its
activities.
The government must waive off Rs.13,641 crore due from Prasar Bharati which were given to fund its
capital and operational expenditure. This waiver would allow the organization to start with a clean slate
without any burden from its past.
More funds should be allocated for its content generation. The broadcaster must resort to private
sector investment in the backend infrastructure for broadcasting.
Outsourcing of programmes to external producers should be encouraged to improve its programming.
A review of all existing programmes broadcast on AIR and Doordarshan should be conducted and sub
optimal utilization phased out.
As part of social media initiatives, the public broadcaster should set up Prasar Bharati Connect as its
third arm, which would be separately funded. This would also help in global outreach for the
government body.

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Further, the public broadcaster, which employs close to 32,000 people, should undertake a manpower
audit to draw up an optimal organizational structure and do away with any redundant workforce. The
panel cited the examples of BBC with a workforce of 17,000 personnel and Chinas CCTV with 10,000
employees, both of which provide more services than Prasar Bharti.
The panel also called for the creation of an effective recruitment system to enable the broadcaster to
attract the best talent and hire skilled professionals.
Analysis and Observations:
Some of the right on track recommendations of the Pitroda panel are as follows:
the board should be professionally managed
there must be a complete transfer of ownership and management of all assets and human resources
to Prasar Bharti to make it independent
Funding should come from the government, internal resource mobilisation, including monetising the
tremendous archival assets of AIR and DD; private investment in production; and by co-opting industry
through CSR budgets.
Need to digitise radio and TV
Create a world-class broadcast service with a global outreach
and set up an autonomous third arm, PB Connect, to manage social media.
However, at the same time, the committee has made some questionable recommendations such as
Creating a parliamentary oversight
Member Name: committee
Anand Mohan Member's Email to ensure
address: that PB discharges
dubledoreslair@gmail.com 61.8.129.229its duty in accordance with

the provisions of the act and government-defined duties. This seems to be a recipe for increased
political interference.
Another recommendation which needs to be treated with caution is to encourage outsourcing of
content creation to external producers. The Prasar Bharti needs to develop in-house talent while also
hiring producers from the market.
Conclusion
The Prasar Bharatis troubles are not to end, no matter how many expert committees are set up. The tax-payer-
funded broadcaster will continue to drain the exchequer until and unless either government grants it full
autonomy or relinquishes the very idea of autonomy of Prasar Bharti.
Notes
Q 7. Critically discuss the problems of Prasar Bharti and failure of successive governments to address these problems.
Q 8. Critically discuss the salient recommendations of the Sam Pitroda Committee report on Prasar Bharti, suggesting
broadcasting reforms India should contemplate.
Street Vendors Act 2014
On March 4, 2014, The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act 2014 has come into force
after it received the Presidential assent. This study revisits some of the salient features of this act.
Street vendors can be said to be businessmen, or more appropriately self-employed people, who sell their wares
in the open air rather than in a closed shop or store. Street vendors sell their wares usually on stands, pushcarts,
baskets or simply on tarpaulin sheets laid out on the road or footpath. They can be both stationary and mobile,
based on whether they stay at one place throughout their working hours or move from one locality to other
depending on the time of the day.
Throughout Indias history, hawking and street vending were the only ways through which goods and services
were sold in the marketplace. It was only in the modern times after British came to India that the modern

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concept of selling goods and services in closed shops and stores emerged. Street vendors are usually found in
urban areas in India. According to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, there are 10 million
street vendors in India, with Mumbai accounting for 250,000, Delhi for 200,000, Kolkata for around 150,000, and
Ahmadabad for 100,000.
Background of the Act
The bill marks a culmination of the efforts to legitimize the livelihood rights of street vendors, in a way
acknowledging their importance in the urban economy.
B The first step in this effort from any branch of government was taken way back in the 1980s when the
Supreme Court had ruled on the constitutional validity of the right of street vendors to carry on their
business by selling their services and goods on streets.
B This was followed by the adoption of National Policy on Urban Street Vendors, 2004. Since the policy
was not legally binding, several municipal bodies in various states chose to ignore it.
B Following this, the Policy was revised by the government in 2009 and brought out in the form of
National Policy on Urban Street Vendors, 2009; the same year it brought a Model Street Vendors
(Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2009 which was distributed to all the
States for legislation but was never enacted by the states.
B This led to demand of a central law from a number of activist groups including NASVI (National
Association of Street Vendors of India), which would apply uniformly to all the states and also give
national recognition to the economic activity of street vending. This finally led to the drafting of the
Member Name: Anand Mohan Member's Email address: dubledoreslair@gmail.com 61.8.129.229
current bill by Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation under entries 20 (economic and social
planning), 23 (social security and social insurance; employment and unemployment), and 24 (welfare of
labour including conditions of work, provident funds, employers liability, workmens compensation,
invalidity and old age pensions and maternity benefits) of List III of the Constitution.
Need for an act
According to statistics, there are around 10 million street vendors in India. They sell virtually every reasonable
good and service, from food and clothes to sunglasses and newspapers or magazines. Street Vendors are often
migrants from rural areas who dont have the skills to do a job in the formal sector or are laid-off workers. They
provide affordable and convenient services to the common man in towns and cities.
However, inappropriate license ceiling in most cities, like Mumbai which has a ceiling of 14,000 licenses, means
more vendors hawk their goods illegally, which also makes them prone to the bribery and extortion culture
under local police and municipal authorities, besides harassment, heavy fines and sudden evictions. In Kolkata,
the profession was a cognizable and non-bailable offense. It is thus important that the government supports
street vendors by protecting them from the routine harassment and extortion of money by police and municipal
officials and makes the economic activity of vending more secure for them.
Salient features of the Act
The Street Vendors Act 2014 aims to protect the livelihood of street vendors by providing them a conducive and
scare-free atmosphere to carry on their business without fear of harassment, eviction or extortion from police
and municipal officials, and at the same time regulating the activity of street vending for the management of
public spaces and traffic. Following are the specific provisions of the bill:
Town Vending Committee
The act provides for the creation of a Town Vending Committee (TVC) in each Local Authority. This TVC is
envisaged as the central authority implementing the provisions of the bill.

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The Town Vending Committee will be headed by Municipal Commissioner or Chief Executive Officer as
chairperson. It will have other members as decided by the state government, representing the local authority,
medical officer, planning authority, traffic police, NGOs etc. along with street vendors market associations. Here
we not that at least 10% to be from non-governmental organizations, and at least 40% members will be
members representing the street vendors, to be selected through election, of which one-third shall be women.
The act makes provisions for due representation to SCs, STs, Minorities, OBCs and Persons with disabilities.
Street Vendors Survey
The Town Vending Committee will conduct a survey of all existing street vendors, within the area under its
jurisdiction. It has also been mandated to carry out such survey in at least five years subsequently. Every street
vendor, identified under the survey will be issued a certificate of vending (license) by the Town Vending
Committee. This certificate would allow the vendors to carry out their business activities legally. The entire
process of carrying out a survey before handing out licenses is to prevent arbitrary number of licenses being
issued, which is the case in most cities as of now.
Vending Zones
A maximum of 2.5% of the total population of a ward or town or city will be given licenses for street vending. All
vending activity will be carried out in the vending zones. In cases where the number of identified street vendors
is more than the available licenses in a particular vending zone, licenses will be given on the basis of draws or
lottery. The remaining vendors will be given licenses in any adjoining vending zone.
No eviction
No street vendor will be evicted before the survey is completed and vending licenses are issued. In case of death
of a street vendor, his family member will be allowed to continue the vending activity until the validity of the
Member Name: Anand Mohan Member's Email address: dubledoreslair@gmail.com 61.8.129.229
license.
Procedure for relocation, eviction and confiscation of goods
The new act makes the procedure for relocation, eviction and confiscation of goods street vendor friendly. The
provisions regarding relocation have been outlined clearly as follows:
Relocation should be avoided as far as possible, unless there is an urgent and clear need for the land in
question
Affected vendors should be involved in the process of planning and implementation of their
rehabilitation
It should be made sure that the living standards or livelihood levels of the street vendors are improved
or at least remain the same as pre-evicted levels after their relocation
Street vendors shall not be relocated from natural markets where they have carried on their business
for at least 50 years.
Concept of the Natural Market
The focus of the bill is on natural market, which has been defined as means a market where sellers and buyers
have traditionally congregated for the sale and purchase of products or services. Under the act, the Natural
Market has to be identified by the TVC. The act makes sure that the vendors are not evicted from such markets.
Grievance Redressal Mechanism
The street vendors act has made provisions for independent grievance redressal and dispute redressal
mechanism composed of retired judicial officers. It also provides for a timely return of seized goods of street
vendors. Perishable goods are mandated to be returned on the same day while non-perishable goods will have
to be returned within 2 days, of the claim being made.

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Protection from Harassment


One of the Sections of the act makes provisions for protection from harassment by police and other authorities.
Duty of the Street Vendors
The act provides for duty of the street vendors towards maintenance of cleanliness and public hygiene,
maintenance of civic amenities in vending zones in good condition and payment of maintenance charges for the
civic amenities and facilities provided in the vending zones. It provides for a penalty on street vendors if they
contravene any of the terms and conditions for the purpose of regulating street vending. The act makes it
mandatory for the Rules to be notified, within one year of its commencement and Scheme to be notified within 6
months of its commencement to prevent any delay in its implementation.
Penalty on non-compliance
The act makes provision for a penalty of Rs. 2000 on street vendors for their contravention of the regulating
provisions. This seems to be harsh and can lead to significant losses in their earnings if misused by the
concerned authorities.
Critical Appraisal of the act
Street vending provides the opportunity self employment to the unemployed poor. But, the life of a street
vendor in India is awkward in many ways. On the one hand, they cater to the need for essentials, food and other
items of daily use at affordable prices for customers across economic categories; on the other hand, they occupy
precious space meant for pedestrians and vehicles, thanks to the chaotic city and town planning. In many
instances, the street vendors pose law and order situations. They often end up paying significant fraction of their
earnings as bribes and protection / extortion money.
Since long, the political class has played on both sides, on one hand vowing to protect the vendors and on the
Member Name: Anand Mohan Member's Email address: dubledoreslair@gmail.com 61.8.129.229
other hand, vowing to end the hawkers menace. But the Street Vendors Law has been hailed to be the first such
legislation to accommodate the claims and needs of the poor people employed in unorganised sector in urban
plans. In any ways, recently passed act gives the street vendors reasons to smile because the act is set to change
a lot in their lives. But mere enactment of a law does not bring changes by itself.
The act has envisaged that every city municipal corporation will set up a town vending committee which will
have the municipal commissioner, representatives of the local planning authorities, residents associations and
the street vendors. This committee will vet applications for street vending and fix locations for vendors. It also
provides for the municipal corporation to survey street vendors in order to ensure their place in town plans. The
number of vendors can be up to a maximum of 2.5% of the local population. Also, the Act requires the
demarcation of areas for street vending which is reasonable and consistent with existing natural markets.
One of the biggest hurdles that would come up in implementation of this act is that this act overrides state and
municipal laws, but the municipal zones come within the jurisdiction of states. Thus, it may possibly lead to centre-
state friction. Second issue is its implementation by the local authorities and its compliance by police / other
officials. The implementation of this act would need a change in the attitude of officials, residents and other
stakeholders of the society. The effective implementation of such act needs structural changes in terms of town
planning.
Moreover, the bill does not specify the principles to be followed in creating street vending plans, demarcating
vending zones and allocating number of vendors per zone, thus leaving the onus of creating schemes to
Municipalities of the State. This defeats the purpose of a Central legislation. Vendors on Railway Stations are also
not covered under the Bill.
Model Questions
Q 9. "The recently passed act can change a lot in the lives of Street Vendors, but mere enactment of a law does not bring changes
by itself." Critically discuss throwing light on salient features of the act.
Q 10. What is Town Vending Committee? Discuss its organization and functions.

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Pam Rajput Committee on Status of Women in India


The Pam Rajput committee recently submitted its interim report on Status of Women in India to the Ministry of Women and Child
Development (MWCD). In this article, it has been summarized.
Background
The MWCD had appointed a 14-member High Level Committee, headed by Pam Rajput, in Feb 2012 to make a
comprehensive study on the status of women since 1989 and give recommendations on necessary policy actions
based on the present needs of women. Pam Rajput is a professor at Panjab University.
Recommendations
Government should formulate a National Policy and Action Plan to end violence against women.
It has strongly supported the passage of Womens Reservation Bill which has been hanging fire in Lok
Sabha after being passed by the Upper House in 2010. However, it has called for 50% reservation
instead of the current 33% reservation provided in the bill.
A separate committee should be set up to study the status of Muslim women in the country. Such a
committee should study the impact of identity politics on Muslim women as such politics leads to
communal riots and revives forces that impose outdated values on women, further alienating them
from all empowerment initiatives.
To reflect the governments concern on womens issues, Minister of Women and Child Development
should be upgraded to the rank of a Cabinet Minister.
Parliamentary Committee on the Empowerment of Women must examine the gender implications of
all proposed legislation.
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The National Commission for Women must go beyond reactive interventions to fulfil the proactive
mandate of studying, recommending and influencing policies, laws, programmes and budgets to
ensure full benefits to women.
Focussing on the need to bring about major changes in the criminal justice system, the committee
suggests initiatives ranging from a more gender sensitive enforcement machinery to greater awareness
of different legislation and their inter-connectedness, along with accountability for securing womens
rights.
India should revisit its two-child norm as it is related to missing girl children.
The government should initiate dialogues with Hindu religious leaders to arrest the falling sex ratio.
Hindu religious leaders should be convinced to ask their community to include daughters in rituals and
practices. This will bring down son preference related to socio-cultural practices.
Marital and sexual choices should be protected through amendments to IPC section 377.

Fundamentals of El Nio and La Nia


After the recent reports that El Nio might disrupt the monsoon in 2014, the government was heard to work out on the contingency
plans for 500 districts. In this study, we review the mechanism of El Nio and La Nia.
A recurring characteristic of the climate is called Climatic Pattern. The gap between two recurrences may be
from one year to as long as tens of thousands of years. Some of the events are in regular cycle, while some are
not. When they recur in the form of regular cycles of fluctuations in climate parameters, they are called climate
oscillations. The term oscillation is used because such fluctuations are not perfectly periodic. For example, we
say that El Nino returns every four and half years. But actually it may or may not return. Or it may return too
early or too late. So, El Nino is quasi periodic.

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El Nio
El Nio was originally recognized by fisherman off the coast of Peru in South America. The ocean off the coast of
Peru is one of the worlds richest fisheries regions. In most years
trade winds flow from the southeast push warm surface water away
from the coast. In its place, the cold water comes up on the surface
due to upwelling. This cold water is full of nutrients and provides
nourishments to planktons. These planktons serve as food for fishes.
Fishes in turn provide food to the sea birds. Due to all this, not only
there is a good catch of fishes but also good collection of the Guano,
the bird excreta, used as a valuable fertilizer. This is what that made
Peru number one fishing nation in the world by the early 1970s.
However, every few years, there is a change in the pattern of air
circulation. It changes in such a way that the trade winds reverse
direction, blowing from west to east. Due to this reversal, the
upwelling of the cold water gets weakened. The surface water is
warm. This lowers the nutrients available to fish and thus poses problems to the economics of fisheries. The
problems dont end here. The accumulation of large mass of warm water allows formation of more and more
clouds and this would bring destructive rains that occur in normally dry areas of Peru and Chile. The same is also
responsible for bring outbreaks of Malaria and Cholera in some parts of South America.
Peru , as you may know is a Hispanophone country as many people speak Spanish out there. The above
mentioned reversal of the winds occurred during Christmas times (Please note that we have Christmas in winter,
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but Peruvians have in summer, because they are in southern hemisphere), so they named it El Nio or Christ
Child or The Little Boy in their own language.
Before, you read further, please understand the location of Eastern, Central and Western Pacific on the map,
otherwise it would be too confusing (earth is round...after all)

Now, here is how it affects the entire tropical region.


Off the coast of Peru (read in Eastern Pacific and Central Pacific), there is normally cool surface water.
But El Nio makes it go warm. When the water becomes warm, the tread winds, which otherwise flow
from East to west, either reverse their direction or get lost. The warm water causes lots of clouds
getting formed in that area, causing heavy rains in Peruvian desert during El Nio years.
Due to this warm water, the air gets up and surface air pressure above Eastern Pacific gets down. On
the other hand, the waters cool off in western pacific and off Asia. This leads to rise in surface pressure
over the Indian Ocean, Indonesia, and Australia
So, while there is raining (read flooding) in Eastern Pacific; the drought sets in over Asia as high
pressure builds over the cooler ocean waters.
The net result is:

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Normal or high rainfall in eastern / central pacific.


Drought or scant rainfall in western pacific / Asia.
Although El Nio originally referred to local conditions off the coast of Peru and Ecuador, the use of the term has
been broadened by many scientists to represent all surface temperature warming in the eastern and central
Pacific. The impacts of El Nio , which have been well documented include the following:
B Heavy rains in Ecuador and Peru.
B Heavy rains in southern Brazil but drought in north East Brazil
B Drought in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Ethiopia
B Warm winter in the northern half of the United States and southern Canada
B Drought, Scant rains off Asia including India, Indonesia, and Philippines etc.
B Coral bleaching worldwide
B Drought in eastern Australia

La Nia
La Nia, which means The Little Girl or El Viejo or anti-El Nio or simply "a cold event" or "a cold episode is
the cooling of water in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Here is what happens in La Nia.
The water in Eastern Pacific, which is otherwise cool; gets colder than normal. There is no reversal of
the trade winds but it causes strong high pressure over the eastern equatorial Pacific.
On the other hand, low pressure is caused over Western Pacific and Off Asia.
This has so far caused the
Member following
Name: major
Anand Mohan effects:
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o Drought in Ecuador and Peru. Low temperature, High Pressure in Eastern Pacific
o Heavy floods in Australia; High Temperature in Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, Off coast Somalia
and good rains in India.
o Drought in East Africa (Somalia Drought of 2011 was linked to it)

ENSO
Both El Nino and La Nina are part of a larger cycle called ENSO, or El NioSouthern Oscillation. The El Nio
(warm event) and La Nina (Cold event) both have now established themselves as the integral part of the global
1/2
climate system. It is a recurrent phenomenon with an average return period of 4 years, but can recur as little
as 2 or as much as 10 years apart. Such events have occurred for millennia, and can be expected to continue to
occur in the future.
Impact of El Nio and La Nina on Indian Weather
El Nino and La Nina are among the most powerful phenomenon on the Earth. These are known to
alter climate across more than half the planet and dramatically impact weather patterns.
Over Indian subcontinent, El Nino during winter results in development of warm conditions. During
summer, it leads to dry conditions and deficient monsoon. It also leads to drought in Australia. On the
other hand, La Nina results in better than normal monsoon in India. At the same time, in Australia it
has caused floods.
In the recent past, India experienced deficient rainfall during El Nino years 2002 and 2009 whereas
monsoon was normal during El Nino years 1994 and 1997. This so far implies that in about 50 per cent
of the years with El Nino during summer, India experienced droughts during monsoon.

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This implies that El Nino is not the only factor that affects monsoon in India. There are other factors that
affect Indias rainfall pattern. These include North Atlantic SST, Equatorial SE Indian Ocean SST, East
Asia Mean Sea Level Pressure, North Atlantic Mean Sea Level Pressure and North Central Pacific wind
at 1.5 km above sea level.
Model Questions
Q 11. Discuss the process of El Nino and La Nina throwing light on their importance for Indias climate.
Fundamentals & Legal Framework around GM Crops
Basic Concepts
It is thought that agriculture involving domestication of plants and animals was developed around 12,000 years
ago. Human ventures of altering the communities of plants and animals are even older than that.
Over the centuries, man has carried out selective breeding between different but related plants. The best
example of this selective plant breeding is origin of Maize. It has been estimated that around 7500 years ago,
the farmers in Mexico had domesticated a wild plant called Teosinte, and kept doing selecting breeding
improving the characteristics until their offsprings was turned into today's Maize. The two plants viz. Maize and
Teosinte are so different that the scientists kept them in different genera, until they were finally found to be of
same genus with varying species.
Thus, selecting breeding in plants (and animals) is as old as our history. The selective breeding remains
fundamentally same even today. The breeders take two different varieties of a plant, each of which has
individual traits that make it useful over others and then breed them. For example, one variety may be of high
yield while another may be pest resistant. The two varieties are interbred and from among the offsprings,
random plants that show Member
bothName:
high yield
Anand Mohanand pest
Member's resistance
Email address: are selected.
dubledoreslair@gmail.com The resulting plants are called
61.8.129.229

Hybrids. A Hybrid represents combination of two sets of genes, one set originating from each parent.
There are many drawbacks of the traditional selective breeding. The first issue is that it is a slow process. Second is
that the breeding is a random process. In this random process, it is possible that the selected plants may have
also acquired some undesirable traits, that was not observed in parent. For example, parent was not susceptible
to a particular virus but offspring was found to be. Similarly, it is also possible that what was observed as a
desirable trait in parent, was not seen in offspring. Thus, to avoid the undesirable traits, and to recover the
desired traits, the scientist / breeders need to do something which is called back-crossing to one of the parent
lines. The back crossing is done for usually three generations to arrive at what is desired. All this makes the
process too long and tardy. Further, this process is limited by natural barriers which stop different species of
organisms from breeding with each other. Genetic engineering can make things faster and allow mixing of genes
of distantly related or even unrelated plants / animals.
Genes
Genes, as we know are unique set of instructions which decide how all the living things (including the non-living
Virus) develop, grow and live. These instructions are found inside the cells on Chromosomes. Chromosome is
divided into small stretches of deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA) and ribonucleic acids (RNA) that control different
aspects of the organism's growth and traits. Thus, gene is the molecular unit of heredity of a living organism. The
number of genes varies from organism to organism and increases with complexity of the organisms.
Mutational Breeding
On genetic level, there are two ways to achieve desired traits. One of them is to introduce heritable changes into
the DNA of one parent using mutations. For this, the agents used are called mutagens. Mutagens can be various
chemicals or various types of radiations. This type of breeding is known as "mutation breeding". There are more
than two thousand Mutagenic plants currently. One of Indias high yield variety of wheat called "Sharbati Sonora"
was produced via Mutation Breeding. However, the basic problem with mutation breeding is that the mutagens

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introduce random changes in the plant's DNA the results are far more unpredictable than changes brought
about by specific genetic modification. Thus, mutation breeding also remains haphazard and unpredictable.
Jumping Genes
For plant breeders, there is a highly assisting phenomenon that the DNA is inherently plastic and not a static
molecule. It can undergo considerable natural rearrangements. These rearrangements are caused by the
regions of DNA which jump around an organisms genome. These regions are called transposons or jumping
genes. The more the fraction of jumping genes, the more is the variability and plasticity of genome of a
particular organism. This jumping of genes occurs naturally also. For instance, if a piece of such DNA jumps into
a gene that is involved in the biosynthesis of chlorophyll, the offspring may lack normal biosynthesis of
Chlorophyll resulting in the variegation of the foliation leaves. Eventually, the jumping genes were first
discovered in maize plants.
Horizontal Transfer and Vertical Transfer of Genes
Other natural phenomena that have assisted the plant breeders are horizontal & vertical transfers of genes. The
vertical transfer of genes is what happens when genes are passed from parents to offsprings. Horizontal gene
transfer is the movement of genetic information between sexually unrelated organisms. While vertical gene
transfer is the basis of life of all living things, horizontal transfers have occurred naturally rarely. One example of
Horizontal gene transfer is the Bacterium that causes TB (Tuberculosis). This TB Bacteria called Mycobacterium
tuberculosis carries a chunk of human DNA too.
Transgenic Organisms
The traditional plant / animal breeding have resulted in the development of wide variety of flora and fauna, yet
as we discussed above, it is a tardy hit-or-miss process. The Genetic engineering allows the scientists to transfer
specific genes into organisms, thus
Member Name:enabling
Anand Mohan them
Member's to
Emailintroduce ONLY the desired
address: dubledoreslair@gmail.com traits. The plants and animals
61.8.129.229

such produced are called transgenic plants and animals.


One of the advantages of genetic modification is that genes can be taken from any organism and thus it allows
horizontal transfer of genes. Such horizontal transfer of genes
would not be possible by natural breeding. Many of the insect
resistant crops, herbicide tolerant crops, and crops with other
desirable traits have been produced by such horizontal transfer of
genes. One popular example is the Golden Rice, a variety of
common rice produced through genetic engineering to
biosynthesize beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, in the
edible parts of rice. To 'create' Golden rice, two genes were
horizontally transferred into the plants viz. psy from daffodil and crtI from soil bacterium Erwinia uredovora.
Bt Toxin
Bacillus thuringiensis is a naturally occurring soil bacterium. This bacterium produces some proteins which are
called Bt proteins. These Bt proteins are toxic to certain insects (not all); so also called Bt toxins. There are
around 50 verities of such Bt Toxins identified. Some of the Bt toxins target the larval forms of butterflies and
moths, while others target flies and mosquitoes. Some others target beetles. They cause either little or no harm
to other organisms such as people and other flora / fauna. For decades, such toxins have been used in the
conventional and organic agriculture. In fact, Bt toxins have been considered environmentally friendly
alternatives to the broad-spectrum insecticides sprays, which target all insects.
The problem with the insecticide sprays is that they are sprayed on plants and they can kill only those insects
which are exposed to sprays. They cannot harm the pests which burrow into plant tissues and are not exposed
to sprays. The use of Bt genes was based upon this premise that it will produce the toxin deep within the plant itself
and thus plant would automatically become insect resistant. This trait was successfully achieved in Maize, cotton

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and some other crops. The Bt gene was successfully transferred and thus produced transgenic maize plants
were resistant to corn borer, corn earworm etc. while the cotton plants were resistant to Cotton bollworm and
Pink bollworm.
Transgenesis versus Cisgenesis
Cisgenesis is the genetic modification of a recipient plant with a natural gene from a crossablesexually
compatibleplant. This means that Horizontal transfer of genes in related organism (for example one
domesticated and another wild) is Cisgenesis. On the other hand, Transgenesis is the genetic modification via
horizontal transfer of genes from unrelated and / or sexually incompatible with the recipient organism. For
example, Bt crops have the Bt toxin producing gene from a bacterium.
GMO versus LMO
The genetic material of GMO was altered using genetic engineering techniques. LMO is a term used in Cartagena
Protocol of Biosafety. The definition of LMO uses two terms viz. living and modern biotechnology. This implies that
LMOs include living organisms which have been modified either by genetic engineering or by any other tool of
modern biotechnology. Thus All GMOs are LMOs but all LMOs are not GMOs. For instance, organisms produced
by the fusion of cells from different taxonomic families are products of modern biotechnology but not genetic
technology. Such organism would fall in LMO but not in GMO.
Issues with GM Crops
The debate on safety and need for GM crops, particularly GM food has been lingering since 1990s. The Biotech
firms as well as scientists have spent a lot of time and money to convince the people that there is really nothing
to worry about it. Non-food Bt
Country 2012 GM planted area* Biotech crops grown
Crops were introduced with
USA
Member Name: Anand Mohan 69.5 Maize, Soybean, Cotton,
Member's Email address: dubledoreslair@gmail.com Canola, Sugarbeet, Alfalfa, Papaya, Squash
61.8.129.229
relatively lesser resistance but Brazil 36.6 Soybean, Maize, Cotton
Argentina 23.9 Soybean, Maize, Cotton
Food crops have faced stiff
Canada 11.6 Canola, Maize, Soybean, Sugarbeet
resistance around the world. India 10.8 Cotton
Total 170.3
Thus, globally the countries are (million hectares) Source: ISAAA
divided in the use of GM Crops.
It has estimated that in US, 60% of the processed food in supermarkets contains Genetically Modified
ingredients. Since 1990s, the farmers in U.S., Canada and Argentina have been growing the corn, cotton,
soybean etc. varieties that were genetically engineered. Initially, there were no strict regulations on initial stages
of testing for such crops. They even allowed commercial application without even labelling requirements.
However, with increased awareness on environmental and health risks associated with such crops, things have
changed.
On the other hand, European countries are more cautious. EU came up with the labelling requirements as early
as 1997. It was followed by a moratorium on registration of new varieties of GM crops till such time as greater
consensus and understanding were achieved. Similarly, Australia, Brazil, Japan and UK made labelling
compulsory. Our country has so far allowed on one GM Crop viz. Bt cotton, that too because it is not a food
crop. Bt Brinjal has been at centre stage for last few years. The reactions around the world have slowed the pace
with which the biotech companies would have introduced various crops. But still, the biotech companies are
lobbying and pushing for their introduction. The more they push, the more people become concerned about the
safety of these crops. The basic issues are as follows:
Issues raised on GM Crops: Weeds, biodiversity, Non-targets and soil health
What impacts could GM crops have on the environment and wildlife?
Can the Insect resistant crops affect non-target insects? What will happen if such insects develop
resistance to the toxin?

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Could the herbicide resistant plants produce uncontrollable weeds or so called super weeds?
They increase the yield but will be economical? Will the farmers become extremely dependent on
biotech companies?
How they would affect the soil health and soil organisms?
What will happen to plant (an animal) biodiversity?
Human Health
By inserting genes from organisms which have never been eaten as food, new proteins are introduced
into the human and animal food chains. There is concern that these could cause allergic reactions or
other health effects.
Many GM crops contain genes which provide resistance to commonly used antibiotics such as
ampicillin. There is concern that these genes could be passed from food to bacteria in the guts of
humans and animals.
Terminator seeds
One of the major issues with the GM crops is that the biotech companies (despite a global moratorium via UN
Convention on Biological Diversity) can resort to the Genetic Use Restriction Technology (GURT) and produce
the terminator seeds which makes crops die off after one harvest without producing offspring. This would
force the farmers to buy new seeds for each planting, which reduces their self-sufficiency and makes them
dependent on major seed and chemical companies.
The above argument has been countered on the premise that today many crops depend on their yield due to
Member Name: Anand Mohan Member's Email address: dubledoreslair@gmail.com 61.8.129.229
hybrid seeds. These seeds are the product of two inbred parental lines, which, when crossed, produce hybrids of
a high quality. If farmers plant seeds from these hybrids they will eventually lose the quality of the parents. This
implies that the farmers need to buy Hybrid seeds every season or they knowingly would risk low yield by their
own planted seeds.
Legal and Regulatory Framework
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) with 168 signatories and 30 ratifications so far, is the only broad
agreement on biodiversity which has three aims:
B conservation of biodiversity
B its sustainable use
B fair and equitable share of the benefits arising out of the use of generic resources.
India is a signatory to the CBD. This convention recognized that conservation of biological diversity is a common
concern of humankind and is an integral part of the development process. The agreement covers all ecosystems,
species, and genetic resources. Its guidance to the decision makers is based upon a "precautionary principle"
that where there is a threat of significant reduction or loss of biological diversity, lack of full scientific certainty should
not be used as a reason for postponing measures to avoid or minimize such a threat. The CBD recognizes national
sovereignty over all genetic resources, and provides that access to valuable biological resources be carried out
on "mutually agreed terms" and subject to the "prior informed consent" of the country of origin.
Out of the three above mentioned goals, the Cartagena Protocol focuses on the first goal while the Nagoya
Protocol focuses on the third goal. They have been discussed below:
8 Cartagena Protocol
The Cartagena Protocol adopted in 2000 focuses on Biosafety. This protocol is based upon the premise that the
LMOs have become ingredients of an increasing number of products, including foods and food additives,

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beverages, drugs, adhesives, and fuels; and there is a need of international framework on Biosafety including
risks to biological diversity. In some countries, genetically altered agricultural products have been sold without
much debate, while in others, there have been vocal protests against their use, particularly when they are sold
without being identified as genetically modified. In response to these concerns, Cartagena Protocol was adopted
to address the potential risks posed by cross-border trade and accidental releases of LMOs.
B The first important provision under this protocol is that it allows governments to signal whether or not
they are willing to accept imports of agricultural commodities that include LMOs. If they want it or not
want it, they can communicate their decision via a Biosafety Clearing House, a mechanism set up to
facilitate the exchange of information on and experience with LMOs.
B Second important provision is that the export commodities which have LMOs as ingredients should be
cleared labelled.
B The third important provision is of stricter Advanced Informed Agreement procedures, which apply
to seeds, live fish, and other LMOs that are to be intentionally introduced into the environment. In
these cases, the exporter must provide detailed information to each importing country in advance of
the first shipment, and the importer must then authorize the shipment.
The objective of the above three provisions is to ensure that the recipient countries have both the opportunity and
the capacity to assess risks involving the products of modern biotechnology.
Moreover, the Cartagena protocol adopts the precautionary principle and allows the countries, particularly
developing countries to have a say in balancing public health against economic benefits.
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8 Nagoya Protocol
The 10th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity was held in October 2010 in Nagoya
Japan, the Nagoya Protocol was adopted. The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and
Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity is a supplementary
agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
It is a legally Binding agreement based upon the premise that most of the worlds biodiversity is found in
developing countries, which consider it a resource for fueling their economic and social development; and this
should be protected. Historically, plant genetic resources were collected for commercial use outside their region
of origin or as inputs in plant breeding. Foreign bioprospectors have searched for natural substances to develop
new commercial products, such drugs and medicines. Often, the products such developed would be sold and
protected by patents or other intellectual property rights, without fair benefits to the source countries. The CBD
recognizes national sovereignty over all genetic resources, and provides that access to valuable biological resources be
carried out on "mutually agreed terms" and subject to the "prior informed consent" of the country of origin.
When a microorganism, plant, or animal is used for a commercial application, the country from which it came
has the right to benefit. Such benefits can include the following:
B Cash
B Samples of what is collected from the source country
B The participation or training of national researchers
B The transfer of biotechnology equipment and know-how
B Shares of any profits from the use of the resources.
The intention of this protocol is to create greater legal certainty and transparency for both providers and
users of genetic resources by:
B Establishing more predictable conditions for access to genetic resources.

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B Helping to ensure benefit-sharing when genetic resources leave the contracting party providing the
genetic resources
B By helping to ensure benefit-sharing, the Nagoya Protocol creates incentives to conserve and
sustainably use genetic resources, and therefore enhances the contribution of biodiversity to
development and human well-being.
Under this protocol, each party should take measures of making provisions that genetic resources utilized within
their jurisdiction have been accessed in accordance with prior informed consent, and that mutually agreed
terms have been established, as required by another contracting party. The party should cooperate in cases of
alleged violation of another contracting partys requirements. It should encourage contractual provisions on
dispute resolution in mutually agreed terms and ensure an opportunity is available to seek recourse under their
legal systems when disputes arise from mutually agreed terms. The contracting party should be given access to
justice. Kindly note that:
B United States is NOT among the signatories of the Access and Benefit Sharing rules of the Nagoya
Protocol.
B The products such as antibodies, vitamins, enzymes, active compounds and metabolites come under
Nagoya Protocol.
B The Protocol covers genetic resources within national jurisdiction - with some notable exceptions. For
example, this Protocol does not apply to genetic resources covered by specialised access and benefit-
sharing agreements such as the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and
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Agriculture, or the framework for pandemic preparedness of the World Health Organisation.
B Then, it also does not apply to human genetic material. It also does not cover the resources that were
acquired before the Protocol comes into effect.
The Nagoya Protocol requires countries to provide for legal certainty, clarity and transparency in their relevant
legislation or regulatory requirements. In addition, countries should make information available on how to apply
for prior informed consent and provide written, cost-effective and timely replies to requests for such consent.
Finally, countries should provide, at the time of providing access, for the issuance of a permit or its equivalent as
evidence of the decision to grant prior informed consent and of the establishment of mutually agreed terms.
Legal Framework in India
Since as early as 1980s, the government of India has shown an interest in the area of farm biotechnology. To
identify priority areas and to develop a long term plant, the government established National Biotechnology
Board (NBTB). In 1986, it was transformed in Department of Biotechnology, under the Ministry of Science and
Technology. The Government research institutes have been involved in biotech research for a variety of the
crops. In our country, the GM crops are regulated under the following:
8 Environment Protection Act and GEAC
All transgenic crops in India require environmental clearance under 1989 Rules for Manufacture, Use, Import,
Export and storage of hazardous microorganisms/Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells notified under the
Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Via these rules, a Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) was
established in 1989, as apex body for this matter. The rules 1989 are also known as Biosafety regulatory
framework, which were issued by MOEF in 1989 and amended from time to time. This framework covers areas
of research as well as large scale applications of GMOs as well as hazardous microorganisms which may not be
genetically modified. The rules cover activities involving manufacture, use, import, export, storage and research.
The structure of various competent bodies under this framework is as follows:

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I At every institutional level, an Institutional Bio safety Committee (IBSC) headed by the Vice-
Chancellor oversees the safety needs of the research.
I There are committees at the district, State and Central levels, including the Review Committee on Genetic
Manipulation (RCGM), State Biotechnology Coordination Committee (SBCC) and District Level
Committee (DLC) for handling of various aspects of the rules.
I GEAC is the apex body. It is the clearing house for all GM crops in India.
The following graphics shows how a GM crop is released in India.

RCGM assesses and decides on applications to test a GM crop

After RCGM clearance, GEAC considers the application for field trials. If approved, GEAC
assesses the field trials and decides whether to commercialise the GM crop variety

MEC (Monitoring and Evaluation Committee) monitors small scale trials under GEAC and
reports to GEAC.

On a positive report from MEC, GEAC clears the crop for commercial release

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Ministry of agriculture receives application and checks with provisions of seed act and allows
the crop for getting released.

8 National Biological Diversity Act 2002


This act has been enacted for various issues related to biodiversity. The National Biological Diversity Act 2002
has provisions to deal with the possible risks associated with the application of modern biotechnology. The apex
body constituted under this act is National Biodiversity Authority (NBA). As per this act, all foreign nationals
require approval from NBA for obtaining Biological Resources. All Indian individuals/entities are required to seek
NBA approval before transferring knowledge / research and material to foreigners. Prior approval of NBA is
needed before applying for any kind of IPR based on research conducted on biological material and or
associated knowledge obtained from India. Thus, non-citizens, non-residents, and body corporate not registered
in India or with non-Indian shareholders need NBA's approval for accessing biological resources of India under
section 3 of this act. People in the region and communities, growers and cultivators of biodiversity, and vaids
and hakims do not need NBAs approval. On state level this act makes provisions for state level biodiversity
board.
8 Biotechnology Regulatory Authority Bill
The government had also introduced in April 2013 the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority Bill, which
th
proposes to give easy access to GM crops in India. Since the 15 Lok Sabha has ended, this bill has not yet seen
the light of the day.
Critical Analysis of Legal Framework around GM Crops in India
Despite of such complex system of Biosafety regulatory framework, our capacity to deal with various issues is
limited mainly due to shortcomings in the laws, constraints of financial and institutional nature and vastness of
India's primary economy.

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Target 2014 Current General Studies-6
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The deficiency of our country's regulatory framework around the GM crops was first revealed in 1998 when
Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company Ltd. (Mahyco) started field trials of Bt Cotton in nine states and no one
exactly knew which authority allowed it to do so. The authority to sanction these trials was GEAC as all
transgenic crops in India require environmental clearance under 1989 rules. However, it was reported that
Mahyco proceeded with letter of authority from RCGM and did not consult the state level committees.
Moreover, it was never clear whether Bt Cotton was safe or not. But anyhow, initial formal sector studies found
the positive agro-economic effects of Bt Cotton. These studies were reported in the Parliament from officially
sanctioned field trials of Bt cotton. The studies were confirmed by the advocates of the Bt Cotton that it resulted
in increased yield because of superior bollworm control; bringing down cost of bollworm control and thereby
raising the net incomes of the farmers. Thus, official approval of Bt Cotton was granted in March 2002, and Bt
Cotton became the first GM crop approved in India. Mahyco became the first Indian company to commercialize
transgenic cotton hybrids in India in 2002.
Similarly, the problems with the NBA act 2002 is that it does not say anything on Public Institutions and many of
its provisions overlap with that of Environmental law and rules released under it.
Thanks to RTI act and Indian Judiciary which directed the government to make public within 10 working days all
the relevant data on genetically engineered brinjal, okra, mustard and rice which have been approved for multi-
location trials. The decision established the position that if a GM food causes allergies or contains toxins, the
government cannot refuse to disclose such bio-safety information on the grounds that it involves commercial
confidence or trade secrets and that it will compromise the competitive position of the biotech company
concerned.
Model Questions
Member Name: Anand Mohan Member's Email address: dubledoreslair@gmail.com 61.8.129.229
Q 12. Write short notes on Mutational Breeding and Backcrossing.
Q 13. Differentiate between the Horizontal Transfer and Vertical Transfer of Genes citing their importance in Genetic
Engineering.
Q 14. Differentiate between Transgenesis and Cisgenesis citing their importance in Genetic Engineering.
Q 15. Differentiate between GMO and LMO.
Q 16. What do you mean by Terminator seeds? Discuss their impact on farm economy.
Q 17. Critically discuss various issues raised against the GM crops.
Q 18. Discuss the salient provisions of Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.
Q 19. The intention of Nagoya protocol is to create greater legal certainty and transparency for both providers and users
of genetic resources. Amplify.
Q 20. Discuss the legal framework around GM Crops in India throwing light on procedure of commercial release of GM
crops.
Q 21. India's capacity to deal with GM crops is limited mainly due to shortcomings in the laws, constraints of financial
and institutional nature and vastness of India's primary economy. Amplify.

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2014 Suresh Soni | E-Mail: gktoday.in@gmail.com | Website: http://ias.gktoday.in
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