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Challenges of agro-biotechnologies, intellectual property rights and globalisation: role of academic institutions in achieving the millennium development goals

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The present paper is an attempt to analyse the role of academic institutions in meeting the challenges posed by agro-biotechnologies, IPRs, globalisation and its implications for achieving the millennium development goals. The problems of implementing the MDGs are certainly intertwined and the entire nexus requires attention. However, serious doubts are being raised by many that these daunting goals would be achieved in the present international system, with an uneven 'globalisation' and conflicts generated by the TRIPS. Moreover, given the nature of agro-biotechnologies and the fact that commercial interests are found to be predominant, it is doubtful whether it will have any impact on food security, bio-safety or poverty reduction. The preceding context demands that the academic institutions pay greater attention to socio-economic and environmental objectives, IPR training and documenting traditional knowledge. This necessitates adoption of an active role in the development process rather than merely developing a node in a knowledge network.

Keywords: agro-biotechnology biodiversity, food security, GATS, globalisation, IPR, poverty, TRIPS, intellectual property rights, academic institutions, higher education, bio-safety, poverty reduction, agricultural biotechnology

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