Monday, July 3, 2017

Call for Participation | MOOC on Understanding the Blue Economy | Starts July 2017

Call for Participation | Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Understanding the Blue Economy | Starts July 2017
The online course is offered through the University of Seychelles and available to learners globally.

The Commonwealth of Learning, in collaboration with the University of Seychelles' James Michel Blue Economy Research Institute, is offering a free online course on the Blue Economy. The course, titled "Understanding the Blue Economy," is aimed at individuals new to the concept and has six units:
Unit 1: The Blue Economy: An emerging concept
Unit 2: Ecosystem Services
Unit 3: Fisheries and Aquaculture
Unit 4: Emerging High Technology Sectors
Unit 5: Tourism
Unit 6: Maritime Transportation and Services
The course will focus on developing new and improved sustainable business models related to the use of coastal and ocean resources. It fits well with Goal 14 of the Sustainable Development Goals which aspires to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources. 

The course is flexible, free and will be run by the University of Seychelles, starting on 10 July 2017. Depending on a learner's weekly commitment, they will be able to complete the course between 8 to 10 weeks.

Please contact John Lesperance at jlesperance@col.org and Eugenie Khani at Eugenie.Khani@unisey.ac.sc for registration with following details: 1. Name, 2. Surname, 3. Country of residence, 4. Institution/organisation, 5. Email address, 6. Phone number, 7. Gender, 8. Date of birth. The deadline for registration is 5 July 2017. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

TRAI organizes Open House Discussion on Consultation Paper on "Approach Towards Sustainable Telecommunications" | 5th July, New Delhi

TRAI organizes Open House Discussion on Consultation Paper on "Approach Towards Sustainable Telecommunications"


IJHS Article "General Scientific Societies in British India" by BK Sen

General Scientific Societies in British India
by BK Sen, Indian Journal of History of Science, 2017, 52(2), 197-219. 
Abstract: British India gave birth to hundreds of scientific societies devoted to various sub-disciplines of science such as physics, chemistry and mathematics. However, some of them were devoted to science in general and played a significant role in science, society and scientific researches in India.Thirty three such societies are streamlined here with nature of foundation, objectives, publications and other details. The oldest of course is the Asiatic Society (1874) established in Kolkata and the latest being the Association of Scientific Workers of India (1947) inaugurated by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.They were established for popularization of science, promotion of science education, research, development of scientific terms in regional languages, translation of foreign scientific texts in Indic languages, and so on. Many of the societies perished for varied reasons. Some of them are existing till to date. 
Keywords: Scientific societies - British India; Scientific societies – India; Scientific societies – 18th century - India; Scientific societies – 19th century - India; Scientific societies – 20th century - India. 

Article "How well are we managing E-waste in India: evidences from the city of Bangalore" by A. Borthakur & M. Govind

Borthakur, A. & Govind, M. (2017). How well are we managing E-waste in India: evidences from the city of Bangalore. Energy, Ecology and Environment, doi:10.1007/s40974-017-0060-0. 

Abstract: As a toxic waste stream, E-waste poses serious challenges to the waste management initiatives in India. While the hazardous components of E-waste call for environment-friendly disposal mechanisms, the valuable and precious metal constituents necessitate adequate infrastructural provisions and responsible management programmes to avoid the loss of economically vital materials. Considering this duality, this paper is an attempt to evaluate the current E-waste disposal practices in India, particularly emphasizing on the city of Bangalore. Three sectors listed as 'bulk consumers' of electrical and electronic equipments under the recent E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016, namely (1) IT and electronics, (2) banking and (3) education, are considered for the study purpose. Our experience suggests that these bulk consumers adopt two different approaches to comply with the new EPR guidelines as enlisted in the E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016. These are: (1) IT companies like Wipro adopts a 'take-back system' where it is responsible for taking back the products originally produced in its various facilities from the consumers; (2) most of the banks and educational institutes take 'auction' as the measure by calling tenders from authorized E-waste recyclers with some banks embracing an 'E-waste exchange system', or complying through producer responsibility organizations (PROs) for responsible E-waste management in the city. However, we sense a lack of meticulous initiatives towards addressing the E-waste crisis largely prevalent across these sectors. We argue that ensuring responsible disposal behaviour is central in any successful E-waste management initiative. Further, we emphasize on the relative disinterestedness of the research community in addressing the issues concerning E-waste in India by carrying out a detailed bibliometric analysis on the topic. We conclude that a transparent system across these diverse sectors with adequate infrastructural provisions and administrative controls is the key to address India's E-waste apprehensions.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Writing Technology-Neutral Law: An Instructive Example | EPW Article

Writing Technology-Neutral Law: An Instructive Example
by Hans Verghese Mathews, EPW, June 2017.

Abstract: The regulation of "biotechnology" seems to present legislative difficulties of another kind. The Government of India proposes to institute a biotechnology regulatory authority—the Human DNA Profiling Bill 2015—for the purpose of collating the DNA information of citizens so as to strengthen the criminal justice process and system. However, the regulation of such technology needs to be technologically neutral and requires safeguards against any information abuse and exploitation on the part of the "experts" and "specialists" appointed to the new regulatory institution governing biotechnology.

Download Full-text PDF

Vigyan Prasar invites applications for its Director position

Vigyan Prasar invites applications for its Director position

Thursday, June 29, 2017

New Book | Patent Politics: Life Forms, Markets, and the Public Interest in the United States and Europe | by Shobita Parthasarathy

Patent Politics: Life Forms, Markets, and the Public Interest in the United States and Europe
by Shobita Parthasarathy, University of Chicago Press, 2017, 304 pages, ISBN: 9780226437859. 

Summary: Over the past thirty years, the world's patent systems have experienced pressure from civil society like never before. From farmers to patient advocates, new voices are arguing that patents impact public health, economic inequality, morality—and democracy. These challenges, to domains that we usually consider technical and legal, may seem surprising. But in Patent Politics, Shobita Parthasarathy argues that patent systems have always been deeply political and social.
To demonstrate this, Parthasarathy takes readers through a particularly fierce and prolonged set of controversies over patents on life forms linked to important advances in biology and agriculture and potentially life-saving medicines. Comparing battles over patents on animals, human embryonic stem cells, human genes, and plants in the United States and Europe, she shows how political culture, ideology, and history shape patent system politics. Clashes over whose voices and which values matter in the patent system, as well as what counts as knowledge and whose expertise is important, look quite different in these two places. And through these debates, the United States and Europe are developing very different approaches to patent and innovation governance. Not just the first comprehensive look at the controversies swirling around biotechnology patents, Patent Politics is also the first in-depth analysis of the political underpinnings and implications of modern patent systems, and provides a timely analysis of how we can reform these systems around the world to maximize the public interest.

Table of Contents
Introduction
Chapter One: Defining the Public Interest in the US and European Patent Systems
Chapter Two: Confronting the Questions of Life-Form Patentability
Chapter Three: Commodification, Animal Dignity, and Patent-System Publics
Chapter Four: Forging New Patent Politics Through the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Debates
Chapter Five: Human Genes, Plants, and the Distributive Implications of Patents
Conclusion
Appendix 1: Major Events Related to the US and European Life-Form Patent Controversies
Appendix 2: Methodological Note