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Abstract

India has long been a victim of the emotionally expulsive wrong of biopiracy at the behest of Western corporations. Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), a digital repository of traditional medicinal knowledge was a reaction to this act of “unjust enrichment”. While there is ample scholarly discourse on the biopiracy of Indian traditional knowledge (TK), there is scant literature critically evaluating TKDL as a tool for the protection of TK. This paper attempts to highlight some of the defects and inadequacies pervading TKDL, which inhibits its characterisation as a “silver bullet” in the war against biopiracy. Though laudatory, TKDL with its bona fide objective of preventing biopiracy of Indian TK has unfortunately succumbed to its inherent flaws, deterring its characterisation as a “silver bullet” in the war against biopiracy. Even if these inadequacies are addressed, it will not prove to be a miraculous tool in the crusade against ‘biocolonialism’; for there is wide international consensus that defensive protection strategies play a miniscule role in the wider governance of traditional knowledge.

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