Traditional Knowledge Changing Scenario in India

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Manjappa S G


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1 Traditional Knowledge: Changing Scenario in India Manjappa I Ph D Dept. of Genetics and Plant breeding

Traditional Knowledge (TK):

Traditional Knowledge (TK) Traditional Knowledge (TK), indigenous knowledge (IK), and local knowledge: matured long-standing traditions and practices of certain regional, indigenous or local communities. TK encompasses the wisdom, knowledge and teachings of these communities. TK has been orally passed for generations from person to persons. Some forms of TK are expressed through stories, legends, folklore, rituals, songs and even laws. Other forms of TK are often expressed through different means. 2


Cont… “TK” is not recognized as “knowledge” by all who study it since it includes beliefs, values and practices. Such knowledge typically distinguishes one community from another 3

TK Vs local knowledge:

TK Vs local knowledge Cosmological connections and differences in worldview distinguish “TK” from “local knowledge” length of time they have existed decades to centuries (local knowledge) versus millennia (TK) TK reflect power struggles and relationships for land, resources and social control than adherence to a claimed ancestry or heritage 4


Cont… TK is essentially culturally oriented or culturally based, and it is integral to the cultural identity of the social group in which it operates and is preserved. TK- tradition-based literary, artistic or scientific works; performances; inventions; scientific discoveries; designs; marks, names and symbols; undisclosed information; and all other tradition-based innovations and creations resulting from intellectual activity WIPO: TK includes indigenous knowledge relating to categories such as agricultural knowledge, medicinal knowledge, biodiversity-related knowledge, and expressions of folklore in the form of music, dance, song, handicraft, designs, stories and artwork 5


Cont… TK is transfer over generations Constantly evolving in response to a changing environment TK may not be formally documented In recent years concern has been expressed in relation to the recognition of TK as prior art Prior art - entire body of knowledge which is available to the public before the filing date of an application for certain industrial property titles, principally patents, utility models and industrial designs. 6


Cont… TK is cornerstone for the substantive examination of applications of patents, novelty and inventive step are established by comparing the claimed subject matter with the relevant prior art. Eg : US granted patents on Use of Turmeric in Wound Healing ( Suman K Das and Hari Har P. Cohly ) and Fungicide activity from Neem seeds Revoked due to lack of Novelty and inventive step 7

Story of Aarogyapaacha ( Trichopus zeylanicus ssp. travancoricus):

Story of Aarogyapaacha (  Trichopus zeylanicus ssp. travancoricus ) Tropical forests of the Agasthyamalai hills of the Western Ghats, Kerala, nomadic Kani tribe, live with a population of almost 25,000 In Dec 1987, Dr. Palpu Pushpangadan , director TBGRI Kerala, was leading AICRP on Ethnobiology ; ethnobotanical expedition to the Western Ghats with kani guide Kani have a rich tradition of using wild plants found in the region for health reasons and have their tribal physicians – known as Plathi ( only have the right to transfer and disseminate their traditional medicinal knowledge) 8

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Because of pressure kani revealed the name Arigyapaacha TBGRI isolated 12 active compounds - mfd Jeevani Jeevani - anti-stress and immune-stimulating properties, boosts stamina, relieves fatigue, helps control tumors This project is a model for bringing beneficial traditional medicinal plants to the world market 9


Cont… TBGRI decided to make a patent application in 1994 1995: License was given to Arya Vaidya Pharmacy Ltd., Coimbatore ( US$50,000 licensing fee for 7 years) Dept of Forest: Large scale cultivation may disturb the forest, so harvest only leaf and sell to TBGRI   Kani people secured employment and training in cultivation and harvesting, which provided them with stable income and new skills 10

 Kerala Kani Samudaya Kshema Trust (Nov 1997):

 Kerala Kani Samudaya Kshema Trust (Nov 1997) Objectives To promote welfare and development activities for Kani people in Kerala To prepare a biodiversity register to document the TK base of the Kani people To promote sustainable use and conservation of biological resources.  Received first payment of US$ 12,500 in 1999;  installing a telephone booth and creating an insurance scheme that would provide coverage for pregnant women and accidental deaths. The benefit sharing agreement between TBGRI and the Kani people has been acclaimed as a model for similar agreements around the world. In 2002, TBGRI received the United Nations Equator Prize for its work in fostering the creation of the agreement 11


Cont… 2006: TBGRI invited the Kani tribe to form a Business Management Committee to decide on  increase in license and royalty payments. Since Jeevani garnered worldwide attention, due to high patenting costs TBGRI has yet to secure IP protection for it outside of India as of 2010. 1999: Nutrisciences Innovations LLC ( Nutrisciences ), a New York based herbal medicine company, applied to register a TM with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for the Jeevani name. (TM was abandoned) 2000: Great Earth Inc. (Great Earth), New York based supplement and vitamin company registered TM “ Jeevani Jolt 1000”, very famous in N-America as Jeevani . (TBGRI did’t reristered TM with USPTO) Theme : Recognizing the rights of TK holders can make a significant impact on economic and social development 12

Mechanisms of Genetic conservation by tribal communities:

Mechanisms of Genetic conservation by tribal communities Various scented rices which have medicinal property are indigenous to India. They carry some functional genes which are maintained in their native habitat under traditional practices evolved by farmers over long time 13


Cont… Due range of maturity of these varieties tribal's of Orissa choose according to monsoon Community gathering during festival helps in mutual exchange of seeds of landraces ensures a continuum of conservation 14

Need for sharpening of IK by SK:

Need for sharpening of IK by SK Optimize and mobilize the potential of IK in habitat undergoing dynamic changes Eg : Reducing seed rate and increase yield of rice 15

Utility of Genetic wealth:

Utility of Genetic wealth IGW is the function of habitat and community tradition of conserving them; it is a repository of conserving rare genes governing traits with site-specific expression 16

Contribution of tribal knowledge to the development of Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM).:

Contribution of tribal knowledge to the development of Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM). The ancient literature of India records that old communities have been using several kinds of medicinal plants for combating disease The ancient Indians used the 'Snake root plant ' ( Rauwolfia serpentina ) about 3000 years ago to treat several diseases from mental disorders to 'insomnia' and 'snake bite'. They also used the poppy juice ( Papavar somniferum ) to relieve pain and anxiety. Several of the medicinal plants which were being used by the tribal people of India for centuries, have found wide acceptance and application in other systems of Indian medicine e.g. Ayurveda , Siddha & Unani , and even in modern medicine Doctors are being trained in Ayurveda , Siddha and Unani are part of the formal system. 17

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Protection of TK:

Protection of TK Reasons for protection Unauthorized use by third parties Tool to preserve TK from uses that may erode it or negatively affect the life or culture of the communities that have developed and applied it equity considerations conservation concerns the preservation of traditional practices and culture the prevention of appropriation by unauthorized parties of components of TK and promotion of its use and its importance in development 20


Cont… Equity considerations : The value of plant genetic resources is preserved and enhanced by their utilization for planting, seed production and continuous selection of the best adapted farmers’ varieties Conservation: conservation of the environment, sustainable agriculture and food security 21

Need to document?:

Need to document? Absolutely yes… The modern cultural industries & manufacturing industries now commercially exploit the TK based products using new technology without the permission and sharing of profits with the communities TK has the potential of being translated into commercial benefits by providing leads/ clues for development of useful practices and processes for the benefits of mankind TK save time, money and investment of modern biotech and other industries into any research and product development 22

The current IPR system cannot protect TK for three reasons:

The current IPR system cannot protect TK for three reasons The current system seeks to privatize ownership and is designed to be held by individuals or corporations This protection is time-bound It adopts a restricted interpretation of invention which should satisfy the criteria of novelty and be capable of industrial application 23

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International Initiatives 24

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD):

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) The CBD is the first international agreement acknowledging the role and contribution of indigenous and local communities in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Each country has law to respect, preserve and maintain knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity Promote their wider application with the approval and involvement of the holders of such knowledge, innovations and practices and encourage the equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of such knowledge, innovations and practices. 25


Cont… Under the CBD, States are recognized as the owners of the natural biological resources in their territories States have a responsibility under the CBD to facilitate access to, and benefit sharing arising from the use of biological resources and to subject all access to prior informed consent according to mutually agreed terms. 26


Cont… The International undertaking on PGR for Food and Agriculture was the first comprehensive international agreement dealing with plant genetic resources for food and agriculture Promote or support farmers and local communities efforts to manage and conserve on-farm their plant genetic resources for food and agriculture To take measures to protect and promote farmers rights including protection of TK relevant to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture as well as the right to share in the benefits and participate in decision making. 27

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TRIPS Agreement also has some provisions having limited application to the protection of TK (along with GI) The WTO Council for TRIPS is currently revising Article 27.3 (b) of the TRIPS Agreement, which deals with the patentability of TK Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization recognizes and protects the social, cultural, religious and spiritual values and practices of indigenous and tribal peoples 28

Attempts at Protection of TK in India:

Attempts at Protection of TK in India As per new amendment of patent; mandatory disclosure of source and geographical origin of the biological material used in the invention while applying for patents This law include anticipation of invention by available local knowledge, including oral knowledge Exclude innovations which are basically TK or aggregation or duplication of known properties of traditionally known component or components from being patented. Prior approval of NBA would be required for applying for any form of IPR within or outside India for an invention based on research or information on biological resource obtained from India. 29


Cont… The protection provided to a plant variety bred by a breeder can be cancelled if there is an omission or wrongful disclosure of such information. The Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 Various suggestions: Documentation of TK Registration and innovations patent System development of a sui generis system 30

Documentation :

Documentation 31 Preparation of village-wise Community Biodiversity Registers (CBRS) for documenting all knowledge, innovations and practices has been undertaken in a few States (Kerala, Karnataka etc.) Strong NGO initiatives Sristi , the Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions – Ahmedabad ; innovation relating to farming Beej Bachao Aandolan in collaboration with the villagers of Jardhar of the Terhi Garhwal district of Uttar Pradesh, initiated an exercise in 1995 to document the various bio-resources used by the community and conservation practices

Gene Campaign; conserve TK by its field projects which include :

Gene Campaign; conserve TK by its field projects which include 32 i . Collection of local medicinal flora and establishing a herbal garden in Jharkhand ii. Establishment of a medicinal plant project in Jhabua , M.P. iii. Developing a Genetic Diversity Centre in Kishanpuri , M.P. iv. Collection of landraces and traditional varieties of rice, millets and pulses and setting up of medium term gene banks in UP and Bihar. v. Survey and mapping of wild relatives of important crop plants in the Upper Western Ghats. vi. Study on Agro-biodiversity and farmer perceptions about genetic diversity in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. vii. Inventorisation of genetic diversity in Indian trees and their known characteristics

Community based initiatives :

Community based initiatives M S Swaminathan Research Foundation has taken note on emerging gene, ecotechnology and info. Tech. revolutions. Operation of community banks; self-governance by people through their own electing governing council 33

Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL):

Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) 34 Project initiated in 2001 by CSIR, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of health and family welfare, Dept. of Ayurveda , Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani , Siddha and Homoeopathy-(AYUSH), Department of Indian System of Medicine and Homoeopathy (ISM&H), and is being implemented at CSIR Acts as bridge between TK in local language and patent office Traditional Knowledge Resource Classification (TKRC), an innovative structured classification system for the purpose of systematic arrangement, dissemination and retrieval has been evolved for about 25,000 subgroups against few subgroups that was available in earlier version of the International Patent Classification (IPC), related to medicinal plants, minerals, animal resources, effects and diseases, methods of preparations, mode of administration, etc.


Contd … These details are being converted into Patent application format and will include description, method on the preparation, claim and the usage of the bibliography. Converted to French, German, English, Japanese, Spanish and Hindi through unit code technology The local names of plants are converted into botanical names and Ayurvedic descriptions of diseases into modern medical terminology. TKDL cover other indigenous system like Unani , Siddha, Naturopathy , folklore etc. 35

Present Status (November 2012) Present status of transcription of the traditional medicine formulation in the Traditional knowledge Digital Library is given in the following table ::

Present Status (November 2012) Present status of transcription of the traditional medicine formulation in the Traditional knowledge Digital Library is given in the following table : 36 Discipline No. of texts (including volumes) used for transcription Transcribed Ayurveda 75 books 95,592 Unani 10 books 1,47,925 Siddha 50 books 21,510 Yoga 15 books 1510 Total 150 books 2,66,537

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Conclusions :

Conclusions Characterization of genetic material behind TK Documentation Conservation Benefit sharing 39

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