Asset 1

Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

Number of Downlaods: 32

Published Date: Aug 15, 1998

Biopiracy:The Patenting of Basmati by Ricetec (W-37)

Uzma Jamil, SDPI


The paper discusses the North-South context for biopiracy, explains the process by which RiceTec acquired its patent, ascertains why it amounted to biopiracy and examines its implications for southern export markets. It reviews the international conventions that provide potential relief and suggests how their provisions can be dovetailed with regional and national initiatives.

Biopiracy can be defined as the manipulation of intellectual property rights laws by corporations to gain exclusive control over national genetic resources, without giving adequate — if any — recognition or remuneration to the original possessors of those resources. Examples of biopiracy include recent patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office to American companies on turmeric, ‘neem’ and, most notably, ‘basmati’ rice.  All three products are indigenous to the Indo-Pak subcontinent.

While biopiracy has many dimensions, we focus here on the North-South aspect as being one of the most pervasive. The patents on turmeric, neem and basmati are a few manifestations of the increasing infringement of the economic and national sovereignty of the South by the North. The North exercises its dominance through many global conventions and bodies; in particular, the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a key entity which seeks to create a uniform, global standard for trade relations, intellectual property rights, agriculture, etc.  In reality, this “uniform standard” has an explicitly pro-Northern bias.

Three related issues are at stake. The first is the generic issue of local community rights in the South versus corporate rights of northern organizations.  This leads into more specific issue of global standards and national laws, wherein such rights are addressed.  The two global conventions pertaining to patent protection, both generally and in terms of specific standards are, respectively, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). These have a bearing on national legislation under which individual countries determine patent laws.  The application of these standards and the effectiveness of national legislation are at the core of the debate over the livelihood of Southern communities versus northern corporate profits.  All three aspects come into play in the basmati case.

The purpose of this paper is to: i) evaluate the implications of the basmati patent award for India and Pakistan; ii) analyze and assess the effectiveness of TRIPS, CBD and national legislation in challenging this patent and; iii) based on the findings, propose measures to strengthen these options with a view to creating a level playing field for the South.