National Current Affairs

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Sweden on IPRs

The Union Cabinet has approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Sweden on cooperation in the field of Intellectual Property (IPRs).

The MoU establishes wide ranging and flexible mechanism, allowing both countries to work together and exchange best practices on training programs and technical exchanges to raise awareness and protect IPRs.

Features of MoU

It facilitates establishment of a Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) with members from both countries. It aims to enhance cooperation between both countries for exchange of best practices, experiences and knowledge on IP awareness among the public, businesses and educational institutions.

It will also facilitate exchange and dissemination of best practices, experiences and knowledge on IP with industry, universities, R&D organisations and SMEs by organising programs and events. It also seeks to enhance collaboration in training programmes, exchange of experts, technical exchanges and outreach activities.

It will also facilitate exchange of information and best practices for disposal of applications for patents, trademarks, copyrights, industrial designs and Geographical Indications as also the protection, enforcement and use of IP rights.

It will enhance cooperation for understanding protection of traditional knowledge and the exchange of best practices, including traditional knowledge related databases. It will also facilitate exchange of information and best practices regarding IP law infringements in digital environment, especially regarding Copyright issues.

Significance of the MoU

It will enable India to exchange experiences in the innovation and IP ecosystems that will substantially benefit entrepreneurs, businesses and investors on both sides. By facilitating exchange of best practices between both countries, it will lead to improved protection and awareness about India’s range of Intellectual creations. It will be will further the objectives of National IPR Policy, 2016 and aid in India’s journey towards becoming a major player in global Innovation.

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India has 27,312 elephants: 2017 Census Estimation

According to the census report, released by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) the population estimation of Asian elephant in India is around 27,312.

The census was conducted between March and May 2017 by the Asian Nature Conservation Foundation (ANCF) at the Indian Institute of Science (Bengaluru), several NGOs and independent conservationists aided the Project Elephant Directorate and forest departments of 23 states. It was first-ever synchronised all-India Elephant Population census that covered 1.10 lakh square kilometres and spanned four regions of the country: the northeast, south, east-central and north.

Key Highlights of the survey

The population estimation of Asian elephants in 2017 census is lower than from the last census estimate in 2012 (between 29,391 and 30,711). Karnataka has the highest number of elephants (6,049), followed by Assam (5,719) and Kerala (3,054).

The estimate was based on preliminary results from the first-ever synchronised all-India Elephant Population Estimation derived from the sighting-based direct count method alone. The final count will be confirmed with estimates from the indirect dung-count method in three months.

According to experts parallels cannot be drawn between 2012 and 2017 census, because in the 2012 census, various states had used different methodologies and it was not synchronised effort across the country. It might have caused errors and duplication that led to overestimation.

Comment

The 2017 census indices indicate that the elephant population is increasing including birth rate and even their geographical range has increased. However, it shows marginal increase in elephant poulation ever since the 1990s. Due to habitat fragmentation, elephants are moving out to agricultural landscapes leading to an increase in man-elephant conflict resulting in both crop damage and loss of lives of elephants.

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