Prized or priced?: protection of India’s traditional knowledge related to biological resources and intellectual property

The traditional knowledge (TK) of India’s people touches many lives within the country and outside it. For the holders of TK, it is their very lives and thus valuable as is. For others who don’t live by it, it has been priced – given a monetary value, be it by the manufacturer of ‘value-added’ products, the law and policy-maker making rules for marketing, or the consumer who renders payment for the end products. India is seen as a treasure house of knowledge related to the biological world. But despite its mega bio-richness and booming bio-industry, this treasure has not translated into overall wealth and well-being for the vast majority of its people. There is a classic divide amongst those who embody it and others who merely attribute economic value to it.