India: Discussions with business leaders at CEO Forum & patent laws among other topics to be discussed during Obama's visit

Modi_Obama_Photo_Credit_Economic_TimesUS President Barack Obama will start a three-day landmark trip to India on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's invitation to build on what he has said will be one of the defining relationships of the 21st century. Obama, who is the first US president to be invited as the chief guest at the Republic Day parade, will disucss some of the key issues at hand including of strategic importance, counter-terrorism engagemnet, defence, economic ties, civil nuclear & renewable energy with governmnet of India. Cyrus Mistry, Chairman of Tata Sons, will lead the Indian side to the forum of top chief executives from India and US. David M Cote from Honeywell will co-chair CEO forum from US side. While many are delighted with the agenda of discussions among the US President & Indian Prime Minster, health activists & organizations have expressed concern over the US government’s heightened efforts  to undermine access to affordable medicines from India. They are particularly concerned about dilution of Section 3(d) of the Patent Act of 1970 that allegedly restricts the vested business interest of pharmaceutical companies in US and EU in India.

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Article
24 January 2015

In open letter to Modi, Obama, Gujarat villages seek public debate on nuclear power

Author: Rahi Gaikwad

Heads of four villages in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar district have written an open letter to United States President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling for a public discussion and debate on the proposed 6,000-MW Mithivirdi Nuclear powerplant..The state-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) plans to install six 1,000-MW nuclear reactors at the district headquarters of Mithivirdi with the joint support of U.S. firm Westinghouse Electric Corporation...The letter raised concerns over NPCIL’s nomination of environmental consulting firm Engineers India Limited for conducting the environmental impact assessment (EIA). The villages pointed out that the agency was “lacking necessary accreditation to conduct the EIA for nuclear powerplants.”

 

 

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Article
23 January 2015

Amnesty International wants Obama to talk about Bhopal gas tragedy

Author: Press Trust of India

Ahead of his visit to India, a human rights group has asked the US President, Barack Obama, to speak about the Bhopal gas tragedy while promoting his country’s business interests during the trip. Even after 30 years, people continue to suffer from the impact of the disaster at a factory owned by US-based company Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), that killed 20,000 and injured thousand others. The site is not cleaned up, the Amnesty International had said yesterday. “The failure of Obama to speak will embolden US-based companies to ignore accountability for their involvement in human rights abuses...While promoting US business interest in India, Obama should not ignore the welfare of Indian citizens,” it added.

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Article
23 January 2015

Why Prime Minister must raise issue of Dow’s liability for Bhopal disaster with the US President

Author: Gopal Krishna, ToxicsWatch Alliance

Now that Barack Obama, President of USA will be in New Delhi as chief guest on the Republic Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi must raise the issue of accountability of Dow Chemicals Company...He must raise the issue of fugitive corporations Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) and UCC Kowloon’s successor which are absconding from Indian law. They are Dow’s subsidiary corporations. Obama’s intervention can ensure that they are made appear in the Indian court. The US District Court had subjected them to Indian jurisdiction...Obama must be told about the double standards adopted by Dow which has set aside $2.2 billion to address future asbestos-related liabilities arising out of the UCC’s acquisition. Dow which purchased UCC and its Indian investments is denying inheriting any liability for the Bhopal disaster.

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Article
22 January 2015

Can Obama And Modi Settle The US-India Feud In The Pharmaceuticals Sector?

Author: Aman Malik, International Business Times

India and the United States have a problem in the pharmaceuticals sector. And drug-makers in both countries will be keenly watching whether President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi can do anything about it when the former comes visiting India as a state guest at the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi...The problem is mainly on two fronts -- on the one hand, Indian drug makers...have been getting flak from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for intellectual property rights (IPR) violations and for allegedly tampering with data; on the other hand, foreign pharmaceutical companies...have been denied patents by India for their drugs.

 

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Article
22 January 2015

Cyrus Mistry to Head US-India CEO Forum

Author: Press Trust of India

Cyrus Mistry...Chairman of Tata Sons, will lead the Indian side to the forum of top chief executives from India and US. David M Cote from Honeywell will co-chair CEO forum from US side. The CEOs forum will meet on January 26 afternoon and will be addressed by Mr Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi...The forum is likely to discuss bilateral business ties particularly in light of US being a major potential source of manufacturing investments. Critical issues including visa impediments for professionals too may be discussed...Meeting is significant in light of Make-in-India initiative and government bid to make the country a hub for manufacturing, design and innovation. 

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Article
22 January 2015

The one possible item on Obama's India agenda that we should worry about

Author: Nayantara Narayanan, Scroll.in

Called the draft National Intellectual Property Rights policy, this document is likely to interest President Barack Obama greatly since it could determine the size of profits that American pharmaceutical companies can make by selling medicines to Indians. Conversely, it could affect the healthcare costs of millions of Indians...At the heart of the debate is the issue of how drugs are patented.

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Article
22 January 2015

US 'threats' to Patent Act irks RSS outfit

Author: Suvojit Bagchi, Hindu

Only days before President Barack Obama’s visit, Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), the powerful economic wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has objected to the United States’ “threats” to India’s domestic policies on Intellectual Property Right (IPR)...The organisation is against any drive to facilitate business interest of the US & the EU’s pharmaceutical companies in India. According to SJM, the “Western world” is building “continuous pressure” on India to amend many sections of the Patent Act of 1970, particularly 3(d), which would qualify global pharmaceutical companies to market new drugs without making any genuine innovation, thus escalating profit. In a strongly worded resolution, the RSS outfit has said that the government “should not compromise” and succumb to pressure.

 

 

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Article
22 January 2015

Why Obama And Modi's Talks Mean Little For Half-A-Billion Indian Women

Author: Shefali Misra, Huffington Post

Obama's visit, however, will be a high point that will give two new friends another opportunity to forge collaborations aimed at boosting economic growth...But this opportunity will all be for naught if Obama and Modi miss the chance to touch on an integral issue that impacts it all: the tragic state of security and rights of women and girls in India...India has more than half-a-billion women who can substantially contribute to the labour market, as entrepreneurs generating profits and build capital. However, so far prioritising them is seen merely as a social good and not integral to economic progress.

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Article
21 January 2015

Barack Obama visit may pressurise govt to dilute patent laws, fears medical body

Author: PB Jayakumar, Business Today

US President Barack Obama's visit to India is likely to accelerate ongoing pressure from the US on the Indian government to dilute its patent laws to help multinational drug makers, fears international medical humanitarian organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF)...The US multinational lobby is pressurising the Indian Government to dilute rules related to Section 3 (d) of Indian Patent Act on incremental innovations and Section 84 related to compulsory licensing (allowing generic companies to make drugs despite the patent) during emergencies.

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Article
21 January 2015

Itinerary, agenda and guests of honour: All about Obama's India visit

Author: Hindustan Times

Obama...is the first US president to be invited as the chief guest at the Republic Day parade. Besides taking part in the Republic Day celebrations, Obama will also talk business and try to foster closer economic and defence ties with India.

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