1) Open-source seeds movement: It simply asks for a pledge, that an individual won’t “restrict others’ use of seeds or their derivatives by patents or other means.
- The Hyderabad-based Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA), developed a model with the help of farmer-producer organisations (FPOs).
- There are now two forms of IPR protection in agriculture: PBRs and patents.
- PBRs give the breeder exclusive control over the propagating material (including seed) and harvested material of a new variety of plants for a number of years, preventing the unauthorised use of seeds to develop new varieties.
- Together, they restrict farmers’ rights and the freedom to develop new varieties using germplasm from IP-protected varieties.
2) Domestic Gas Pricing: Under the Administered Price Mechanism, the Indian government sets the price of natural gas produced by oil and gas companies.
- The price of APM gas, which accounts for about two-thirds of India’s natural gas production, has been determined as per the ‘modified’ Rangarajan formula since November 1, 2014.
- Price is determined Quarterly based on the cost of production, returns, and a notional price of imported LNG. It has no floor or ceiling and No premium allowed.
- The new changes will mainly apply to gas produced by legacy fields, or nomination fields, of national oil companies Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Ltd and Oil India Ltd (OIL).
- Nomination fields are acreages that the government awarded to ONGC and OIL before 1999, after which auctions became the basis of awarding oil and gas blocks.
3) Changes to the pricing mechanism: New Pricing mechanism based on recommendations of Kirit Parikh Panel
- The natural gas produced from legacy or old fields will now be indexed to the crude oil price. The price of such natural gas shall be 10 per cent of the monthly average of Indian Crude Basket and shall be notified on a monthly basis.
- The gas produced by ONGC and OIL from their nomination blocks and the administered price mechanism (APM) shall be subject to a floor and a ceiling. However, the gas produced from new wells or well interventions in the nomination fields would be allowed a premium of 20 per cent over the APM price.
- There shall be no revision in the ceiling price for two years, after which the cap will increase by 25 % per year.
- The changes in pricing formula for domestic APM gas do not apply to gas production from difficult acreages — deep water, ultra-deep water, high-temperature, and high-pressure fields.
4) LIGO-India Project: LIGO-India will be an advanced gravitational-wave observatory to be located in Maharashtra, India, as part of a worldwide network.
- It is envisaged as a collaborative project between a consortium of Indian research institutions and the LIGO Laboratory in the USA, along with its international partners.
- It will be built by the Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of Science and Technology, with a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Science Foundation, the US, along with several national and international research and academic institutions.
- LIGO is the world’s most powerful observatory that exploits the physical properties of light and of space itself to detect and understand the origins of gravitational waves. At the moment, there are two such observatories in the US.