Pune: Carrying out research in the field of zoology, botany, pharmaceutical sciences and other life sciences will no longer be a cakewalk. In a recent notification issued to the universities and colleges, the Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board has asked students and researchers to take prior permissions for using natural resources for their projects and experiments.
Generally, students and researchers from the various life-sciences fields use a plethora of natural resources such as plants and animals for their research-work at laboratories. The rule will help the authorities keep a check on this usage. The notification, however, is also applicable to the commercial entities, which are into research and development.
According to the notification, the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, states that if a researcher does not intimate the board before using a natural resource, he shall be punished for a term which may extent up to three years or be fined up to Rs5 lakh or both.
Speaking to dna, chairman of the board Dr Erach Bharucha, said that the objective of imposing these notification is to collect information from places where the resources are being used. “There is a provision in the Biodiversity Act, which states that the locales from where the natural resources are picked by commercial entities and institutes, need to be given benefits. With the information in hand, we will have a fair idea of the benefits that the locals are liable for,” he said.
According to Sachin Kate, a science student from a city-based college, it is a good move as now natural resources will not be misused. However, he feels that the permissions should not be delayed, as it may affect projects. However, Dr Rahul Moongikar, a senior research consultant with the board, said that in case of educational institutes, the time to get a permission won’t be too long. “Permission will be granted as soon as we get an application form for accessing biological resources,” he informed.
Dr K.C. Mohite, dean, Science Faculty, University of Pune, said that they have constituted a committee which will issue directives over a particular notification, reducing the waiting time.