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Project details (2012-13)

Dr. Sachin Chaturvedi, Professor

2012- 13

International Aid Architecture and Development Cooperation Approaches 
Research Team: Dr. Sachin Chaturvedi, Mr. Sushil Kumar,  Mr. Shashank Mendiratta, and Ms. Jeyenthi Raman
The scope of India’s development assistance has expanded considerably, but there remains a gap in the available data and information on the nature and magnitude of development assistance provided by the country. At present, data on the development assistance programmes provided by the Ministry of External Affairs and the contribution that India makes to the international development agencies is not easily available. A team of researchers is working closely with the Development Partnership Administration (DPA) to bridge this gap through extensive field work and close consultation with line Ministries. The findings would be out in form of a book and series of monographs under the RIS Discussion Paper series.
However, data and information on the contributions that several administrative ministries are making in the development programmes of several developing countries are not readily available. There is, therefore, an urgent need to undertake an exercise aimed at collating the information that captures fully the development assistance being provided by various agencies in India. This exercise also involves a detailed analysis that would focus on two sets of issues: (i) effectiveness of the India’s development assistance from the point of view of the donors; and (ii) measures that may be required for enhancing effectiveness of India’s assistance for development.

Biotechnology and Development
Research Team: Dr. Sachin Chaturvedi and Dr. Ravi K. Srinivas 
RIS has been publishing Asian Biotechnology and Development Review, as part of RIS work programme on Biotechnology and Development. In this, apart from the publication of ABDR, effort is also made to bring out key issues concerning developing countries and implications of biotechnology. It was within this programme RIS linked up with Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) and Secretariat of CBD for identifying key socio-economic considerations for GM crops. RIS also undertook in depth studies on capacity building and related initiatives by various Asian and Pacific economies, which was funded by UNESCO Jakarta. This study also looked into various facets of biotechnology innovation and development in the Asian countries. The recommendations drew out on needs and priorities of developing countries in Asia in the context of agriculture production, access to medicine and industrial biotechnology.

Post Busan Dynamics of South-South Cooperation 
Project Team: Dr. Sachin Chatuvedi
RIS has initiated a major work programme for supporting policy formulation process in the post Busan context and partnered with several different agencies. Substantive papers have come out in edited volumes and papers are also published in international peer reviewed journals. The work programme is fully financed by RIS through internal resources. The current work is focusing on various facets of SSC as it promotes the exchange of best practices and support among developing countries in the common pursuit of their broad development objectives, encompassing all aspects of international relations and not just in the traditional economic and technical areas with the idea of collective self-reliance of developing countries with specific modalities and mechanisms like bilateral, sub-regional, regional and inter-regional cooperation and integration as well as multilateral cooperation.

RIS worked closely with The Asia Foundation (TAF) and the World Bank for two major conferences on this theme where more than 30 countries participated. RIS provided inputs for the International Development Cooperation Report (IDCR) on new dynamics of SSC. A follow up volume on the TAF Delhi conference is also being planned for the following year.

Issues before IBSA 
Report Coordination: Dr. Sachin Chaturvedi
RIS, being the official host for IBSA Academic Forum (IBSA-AF), prepared a detailed note on key issues before the proposed IBSA Summit. RIS has also come out with a plan to launch IBSA report analysing ten years of IBSA. The theme of this IBSA Summit would be Democracy, Development and Dialogue. This aptly reflects the fundamental commitments for the IBSA members and reemphasise the point that they are on the same page when it comes to the basic principles such as social justice, human rights and growth with equity and inclusion. The 6th IBSA-AF tries to explore common challenges that IBSA members face across different facets of development.  In the last Academic Forum, South Africa did introduce some of these issues. At this forum, the idea of IBSA as a formidable bloc in diverse areas such as science and economic development has emerged quite strongly. Key academics contributed in envisaging the idea and identified potential challenges it may face. We need to identify further steps that are needed for moving closer to this goal.  

Global Ethics in Science and Technology 
Project Team:  Dr. Sachin Chaturvedi and Dr. Ravi Srinivas
Global Ethics in Science and Technology is a three year (2011-2014) project funded by European Commission. RIS is a partner institution in this project. The other institutions are University of Central Lancashire, Rathenau Institut, KIT and CASTED. The project envisages comparative study of Ethics in S&T policy in the three regions (Europe, China and India) and three case studies (nanotechnology, synthetic biology and food technologies). Brazil and South Africa are special invitees. As input to the project a paper on ‘Ethics in S&T Policy Making in India and Structures’ was contributed by the project team. The idea of ethics in this project stands for access, equity and inclusion (AEI). Reports on the case studies in the Indian context were also finalised. A one day event was organised on 28th January 2013 in Delhi. In this event Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST) delivered the keynote address. He focused on New S&T and Innovation Policy (2013). The other sessions were devoted to the research themes of the project.
As part of the project a study on Nanotechnology’s relevance and application in water purification in India is being undertaken. Dr. K. Ravi Srinivas is leading on this work. A Project review meeting was held in Beijing in September 2012. Dr. Sachin Chaturvedi participated and presented the case studies from India and the report on Ethics in S&T policy making was also presented. As part of this project Dr. Sachin Chaturvedi and Dr. K. Ravi Srinivas visited Madras, Hyderabad and Bangalore and interacted with scientists, technocrats and policy makers. Informal consultations were held with academics and policy makers in New Delhi. RIS would host the final Conference of the Project in March 2014 and the project’s outputs will be incorporated in a volume proposed to be published by Springer. RIS will be contributing chapters to the volume.

Innova P2 
Project Team: Dr. Sachin Chaturvedi and Dr. Ravi Srinivas
This Project has been completed with holding of an International Conference on Equity and Access to Medicines. Based on the research done for the project an edited volume titled as ‘The Living Tree’ is being published by the Academic Foundation. This has contributions on access to medicine, Health Impact Fund, Gender dimension on access to medicines and articles on Traditional Medicine in India and China. Former President of India, Dr. Abdul Kalam has contributed the Foreword for the volume. The book recommends closer co-operation between India and China in using traditional medicine for improving public health and enhancing access to health. It suggests that traditional medicine in both countries can play a more meaningful role in public health. It recommends using Health Impact Fund proposal to incentivise research on development of new drugs using traditional medicine. It describes the issues and challenges in regulating traditional medicine in India and China, the issues faced by the industry and using intellectual property rights in the context of traditional medicine in both countries.

Socio-Economic Impact Assessment of LMOs 
Project Team: Dr. Sachin Chaturvedi and Dr. Ravi Srinivas
RIS has been part of the global debate on socio-economic impact assessment of living modified organisms (LMOs) for last several years. This year was particularly interesting as RIS was not only part of the official delegation to lead the socio-economic (SE) component of the negotiations on Cartagena Biosafety Protocol at the CoP-MoP at Hyderabad but also organsied several side events with other international policy research organisations. RIS also published a special issue of its journal ABDR on Socio-Economic concerns. This special issue was launched by key global commentators.  The Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) has proposed a project to be coordinated by RIS under UNEP-GEF Capacity Building Project on Biosafety – Phase II. This proposed project will be for three years and RIS will work with partner institutions like IEG, NCAP, ISEC and IIM-A. The project envisages development of guidelines and methodologies for Cost-Benefit Analysis of LMOs in agriculture, development of framework for incorporating Socio-Economic Aspects of LMOs in decision making, Guidelines for conducting risk-benefit analysis of LMOs in agriculture, taking into account the special needs in assessing the costs and benefits of various traits and Article 26 of CPB. This project builds upon RIS work on socio-economic impacts of transgenic crops and RIS work on development impacts of biotechnology. The project will be unique one as for the first time in India such an exercise is being done on systematic and comprehensive basis. The outputs will be relevant for policy makers, regulators and institutions involved in development and research on GMOs in agriculture. This inter-disciplinary project will be implemented by RIS as the lead institution.

Promoting Global Responsible Research 
Project Team:  Dr. Sachin Chaturvedi and Dr. Ravi Srinivas
In the international discourse on science and technology, the idea of responsible innovation is fast gaining major attention. In this connection, RIS has joined other international institutions, under the Framework-7 of EU to explore and promote a governance framework for Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) globally. The project is tilted as, “PROmoting Global REsponsible research and Social and Scientific innovation” (PRoGReSS). This was launched in February 2013. It will compare science funding strategies and innovation policies in Europe, the US, China, Japan, India, Australia and South Africa. Linking existing RRI networks from all over the world, it seeks to build support and momentum around a normative model for RRI to foster the convergence of innovation systems at the global level. RIS will be involved in ‘Innovation for Society’ theme for Indian case study.

Human Genetics and Access and Benefit Sharing under GenBenefit 
Project Team: Dr. Sachin Chaturvedi
RIS has been contributing to the various dimensions of the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) debate for last several years.  Since 2009, RIS worked with a global project on GenBenefit.  Benefit sharing has become an area of increasing international debate within the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Benefit sharing has become one of the main issues of contention with regard to the WTO’s Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement, creating a state of incompatibility between TRIPS and the objectives of the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD). The CBD, agreed at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and the 2002 Bonn Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources and Fair and Equitable Sharing of the Benefits Arising out of their Utilisation, specify requirements for benefit sharing in relation to the use of non-human genetic resources such as plants, animals and micro-organisms.
In this project, RIS worked on the ABS regime for human genetics. The area of human genetic resources lacks any such binding of international regulations on benefit sharing. Benefit sharing frameworks which are currently used to justify human genetic research in developing countries are often ethically questionable. There is a real need to re-evaluate existing frameworks and suggest realistic alternatives. A volume is being published with Springer. A paper has also been published in an internationally refereed publication.