National Symposium on “Intellectual Property Rights in the context of Traditional Knowledge and Biodiversity"

Shillong December 7: The Martin Luther Christian University hosted the National Symposium on “Intellectual Property Rights in the context of Traditional Knowledge and Biodiversity” in collaboration with the State Council of Sciences, Technology and Environment (SCSTE), Bio-Resources Development Centre (BRDC) and North East Slow Food Agro-biodiversity Society, (NESFAS), Shillong, which will was held on December 6-7, 2018 at the University campus, Nongrah.

The symposium was organized with the aim to create awareness about the IPR issues in Traditional Knowledge (TK) particularly biodiversity and its conservation.

The inaugural function was held in the presence of the Vice Chancellor of the MLCU, Dr. Vincent T Darlong and the keynote address was delivered by Dr. Vivek Srivastava, Scientist from National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow. It may be noted that National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow is one of the National Laboratories of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, which carries out research and development work related to inventory, documentation, collection, conservation, improvement and sustainable utilization of the non-traditional plant genetic resources of the country and in the last few years, the institute has developed several herbal products.

Dr. Vivek Srivastava, presented a paper on the Protection of intellectual property in plant based research, in which he stated that Intellectual property rights give legal protection to the work of intellect and allow the owner to prevent others from unauthorised use of their work. He also highlighted on the importance of documentation of traditional knowledge and practices that will help for the patency of such knowledge.

He added that among all the intellectual property rights available, from research and development point of view, patents are the most useful tool to protect one's invention. He informed that in India, patents are governed by The Patents Act 1970 (as amended from time to time).

Dr. Brahma N Singh also a scientist from NBRI, Lucknow presented on the topic ‘Bio-prospecting traditionally known medicinal and aromatic plants for development of herbal products.

Mr. Phrang Roy of NESFAS,   presented a talk on the  uniqueness of the agro biodiversity of the indigenous people  and specifically emphasised  the importance of Right to Healthy food.

Dr. Desmond L. Kharmawphlang, Professor, Department of Cultural and Creative Studies, North-Eastern Hill University in his presentation on the Implications of Folklore and Intellectual Property Rights informed that while safeguarding cultural heritage and folklore required intervention at all times and needed both community participation and traditional skills, it is hoped that the government of India is serious about bringing together community and legal based experts to meet the objectives of protecting traditional knowledge systems.

Dr. Mebanlamphang Lyngdoh, Assistant Professor, Department of Music, MLCU presented on the,’ Conservation of Khasi Traditional Music’, where he highlighted on the need to document KTM in order to conserve, promote and popularize this unique cultural art to the rest of the world. He further added documentations would help in conservation and   assist contemporary musicians or musicologists and future generations, to identify a particular technique and style of a particular musician.

Other presenters included, Dr. Maitreyee Roy from William Carey University, Dr H Tyngsong from the Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change GoI, Dr. Junie. P. Lyngdoh from Bio-Resources Development Centre, Patrick Jamatia from NEHU, Jolie V Kharbuki from State Council of Science, Technology and Environment, Ms Melodynia Marpna, Dr.  Fabian Lyngdoh, Dr. Vincent Darlong, Dr Kitboklang Nongrum,  Ms Gardinia Nongbri, and Dr. Larilin Kharpuri all from MLCU.

The discussions concluded that the protection of Traditional Knowledge should go beyond symposiums and seminars and capacity building should be organized for scholars and academicians and also across different communities and educational institutions. One of the major outcomes of this symposium is the compilation of the proceedings and publication of the proceedings in a book format.

Mission Statement

To contribute to the sustainable development of Meghalaya and Northeast India, by providing knowledge, skills and values that will enable our students to become global citizens while upholding gender, ethnic and religious equity for all, conserving its bio-cultural heritage, and  by recognizing its Christian legacy and commitment .

Student's Pledge

We the incoming/outgoing students of the Martin Luther Christian University vow to always uphold the principles of Honesty, Sustainability, Tolerance and Respect, Quality, Perseverance, Humility, Teamwork, Leadership, Accountability and Recognition as upheld to us in the University. This pledge we make freely, fully understanding that these values will make us good humans and role models.

Contact Details

Martin Luther Christian University
Dongktieh, Block -1,
Nongrah, Shillong 793006
Ph: 0364-2535467/6009602012

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Registrar: 9862035368
Deputy Registrar: 9862853164
Dean, Academics: 9615137874
Dean, Research: 8974599017