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Chennai Sandesh
April 5, 2013

Supreme Court Snubs A Multinational

Authorities of the Chennai-based Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) have reason to celebrate. The highest court of the land, the Supreme Court, has upheld an order of the Board on April 1. The Board had rejected a claim by Swiss pharma major Novartis AG for getting its blood cancer drug Glivec patented in India and to restrain Indian companies from manufacturing generic drugs. While a one-month dose of Glivec (by the multinational) costs around Rs. 1.2 lakh, generic drugs, manufactured by Indian companies, for the same period are priced at Rs. 8,000. That means the medicine is out of reach for poor cancer patients. A patent to Novortis would have pushed service minded cancer treatment institutions to curtail their concessional treatment to the deserving poor. The Supreme Court’s  judgment, which was keenly watched by pharma companies across the world, will clear hurdles coming in the way for the manufacture of generic drugs in India for cancer patients.

A Step Towards Cordiality Between India And Sri Lanka

The nationalist fishermen of Bharat, represented by the Akhil Bharatiya Matsya Mazdoor Fedration, want hurdles preventing the mingling of fishermen of Tamilnadu (India) and Sri Lanka to go. In a resolution passed at their all Bharat conference in Rameshwaram on February 17, the Federation demanded that the state (Tamilnadu) government and the Central government as well as Sri Lankan authoritites should formalise an existing understanding between the fishermen  of the two countries allowing fishing across the national maritime border. That may go a long way in normalising frequent tensions and mistrust in the sea between India and Sri Lanka caused by attacks on fishermen from Tamilnadu (India). W. Sankarasubramanian, a Hindu activist who works among fishermen, was appointed as General Secretary of the Federation.  The Federation meet in which five seaside states were represented, called for a cabinet level Minister  for Fishermen Welfare to be appointed at the Centre.

Severe Drought Did Not water Down Jala Daanam

Atleast for a section of residents of Rajapalayam (Virudhunagar district), water scarcity does not cause big concern. Once the scarcity is felt, they regularly receive daily supply by 30 tanker lorries, each having a 12,000 litre capacity. This is a typical scene for the past 10 summers. But not many in the town know who sends the much needed water. It is one Ramasubramania  Raja, who owns a farm and an irrigation well in it. The kind hearted gentleman sells electrical goods at his shop, but he does not sell water at his farm. In one particular year, the drought was severe and his farm hands warned that the standing crop will suffer if the Jala Danam were to continue. But Raja put his foot down and asked them, “when human beings suffer because of thirst, how can I think of watering the plants?” Raja’s Jala Danam went on undisturbed that year too! 

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