Tag Archive | scientific knowledge

An essay on Role of IT and BT

There exists an unexplored potential of integration between the Information Technology and the Biotechnology (BT). While the IT sector has largely developed due to the initiatives of the private sector; the growth of the Biotechnology sector has mainly been due to the efforts of the government.

However, the field of BT has not proved to be as rewarding as IT. There is a general lack of industries to absorb the scholars coming with a background in BT. As a result the field has declined in popularity and research. Read More…

Danger from Zoonotic Diseases

Infectious diseases take the life of thousands world-over, every year, particularly in the developing countries. Researchers have found that three diseases have been creating a havoc in the developing world. These are- Anthrax, Brucellosis and Bovine Tuberculosis. Other such diseases are- Taemoa Solium Cycticercosis, Cystic Echinococcosis, Leishmaniasis rabies, and Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT or Sleeping sickness). Read More…

WTO as Protector of Indian Interest

After the creation of the WTO in 1995, there were speculations that India might not benefit from its participation in the international forum. WTO, at that time, was seen as an instrument of the US to further its interest. US' patent rules and regulations could ruin the Indian agriculture and pharmaceutical industry. However, contrary to the expectations, all have been good under the aegis of WTO. Today, WTO stand as India's greatest ally against US pressure on patents.

US pharmaceutical companies have been complaining that Indian patent regime is unfavourable to the US companies, like Novartis, as it does not recognise the patents on certain products. This, US consider, amounts to an infringement of the established norms on intellectual property rights (IPR), and thus producing Indian manufacturers in an advantageous position. Read More…


Environmental Policy-making

Numerous models have been suggested for how scientific knowledge affects policy-making. A case study of environmental policy in the Himalayan region illustrates two such models.

In the so-called rationalist model, the “truth” about the environment (often scientifically produced) talks to “power” (policymakers in government), who then act rationally upon the information given to them and enact policy accordingly. This has also been called the expert-led policy model, since it largely relies on authoritative technical and scientific knowledge rather than on a wider range of other perspectives from society at large.

The other model, which could be labeled “political and discursive,” is much more complex: Not only scientists, bureaucrats, and politicians have leverage in the policy-making process, but also the media, industrialists, trade unions, social movements, and many others. Competing representations of what is important and relevant constitute a range of competing “truths.”

Both models can be examined in terms of how well they correspond to the process by which policy is actually made and should be made. Interesting lessons can be drawn, using these models, when a significant “truth” upon which policy is based falls from favor— as in the case of a theory which helped to underwrite environmental policy in the Himalayan region for many years, and then was shown to be substantially incorrect. Each model also suggests different styles of policy-making and different policy outcomes.


Two Approaches to Environmental Policy

Both models have a descriptive purpose (“this is how policy is made”) and a normative one (“this is how policy should be made”). Read More…