Dr Dwijen Rangnekar is no more

Dr Dwijen Rangnekar our friend, colleague and comrade—one of the 14 founder members of LASSnet who taught at the Law School in Warwick––passed away on 30 October 2015 after a most courageous fight against cancer in Delhi. It is really difficult to accept that Dwij has gone for he met life with irresistible charm, infinite celebration and an irascible humour. LASSnet owes much to Dwijen whose ideas, energy and solidarity made us achieve so much.Pictures from the first LASSnet @ JNU below.
Among other things, Dwij was a leading expert in GIs. His ESRC project, a source of pride and joy to so many of us, was titled: Localising Economic Control Through Clubs: Examining the Intellectual Property Protection of Feni in Goa, India. His yet to be published manuscript on Feni is path breaking. It cuts across diverse disciplines inaugurating new directions in interdisciplinary research; and brings life to an area of research otherwise colonised by obscure legal language. Dwij extended solidarity to democratic and secular movements in India even when in Warwick, sustaining especially the friendships and politics forged in his formative years at the Jawaharlal Nehru University. For the incredible energy, vision, solidarity and friendship that Dwij brought to LASSnet, let us raise a toast to Dwij wherever we are tonight.

To his family and friends, deep condolences.
In sorrow, Pratiksha
--> His family can be reached at the following addresses  
-->Veena, Dwij’s mother -->
Email: veenarangnekar41@gmail.com
--> Sharif, Dwij’s brother  
Email: srangnekar@icloud.com

For those of you who had not met Dwij, this is how Warwick introduces his research.

Dwijen's research focuses on the innovation process, technical change, knowledge production and appropriation strategies; of special interest is the role of intellectual property rights. In terms of industrial sectors, his research mainly concentrates on the seed industry, agro-food industries, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. The issues that are of interest include the transformation of agro-food industries and the relationship between plant variety protection and patent law; biotechnology, the life science industries and patent law; intellectual property rights and plant genetic resources; the international politics of intellectual property rights; protection of traditional knowledge, rural development and the role of geographical indications and trademarks; and the impact of intellectual property rights on knowledge production


Rangnekar, Dwijen (2016) Commentary on protecting farmers rights under the Indian protection of plant variety and farmers’ right act 2001. In: Halewood, Michael , (ed.) Farmers' crop varieties and farmers' rights : challenges in taxonomy and law. Issues in agricultural biodiversity . Routledge. (In Press)
Rangnekar, Dwijen and Mukhopadhyay, P. (2016) Social gains from the GI for Feni : will market size or concentration dominate outcomes? In: Gangjee, Dev, (ed.) Research handbook on intellectual property and geographical indications. Edward Elgar. ISBN 9781847201300 (In Press)
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2015) Biopiracy. In: Dharampal-Frick, G. and Kirloskar-Steinbach, M. and Dwyer, R. and Phalkey, J., (eds.) Key Concepts in Modern Indian Studies. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199452750
Rangnekar, Dwijen and Kleba, J. B.. (2015) Introduction. Law, Environment and Development Journal, 9 (2). pp. 97-105. ISSN 1746-5893
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2013) Equipment for battles on intellectual property rights. Economic and Political Weekly, 48 (34). pp. 27-28. ISSN 0012-9976
Rangnekar, Dwijen. (2013) The supreme court judgment : lawmaking in the south. Economic and Political Weekly, 48 (32). pp. 39-40. ISSN 0012-9976
Rangnekar, Dwijen. (2011) Remaking place : the social construction of a geographical indication for Feni. Environment and Planning A, 43 (9). pp. 2043-2059. ISSN 0308-518X
Rangnekar, Dwijen. (2010) The law and economics of geographical indications : introduction to special issue of the journal of world intellectual property. The Journal of World Intellectual Property, 13 (2). pp. 77-80. ISSN 1422-2213
Rangnekar, Dwijen and Kumar, Sanjay. (2010) Another look at Basmati : genericity and the problems of a transborder geographical indication. The Journal of World Intellectual Property, Vol.13 (No.2). pp. 202-230. ISSN 1422-2213
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2010) No 'lemons' no more : a sketch on the economics' of geographical indications. In: Correa, Carlos M., (ed.) Research handbook on the protection of intellectual property under WTO rules. Research handbooks on the WTO, Vol.1 . Cheltenham, UK ; Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, pp. 515-539. ISBN 9781847209047
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2009) Indications of geographical origin in Asia : legal and policy issues to resolve. In: Meléndez-Ortiz, Ricardo and Roffe, Pedro, (eds.) Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development : Development Agendas in a Changing World. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, pp. 273-302. ISBN 9781848446458
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2009) The use and application of geographical indications : the case of Darjeeling tea. In: Giovannucci, Daniele and Josling, Tim and Kerr, William and O’Connor, Bernard and Yeung, May T., (eds.) Guide to geographical indications: linking products and their origins. Geneva: International Trade Centre. ISBN 9789291373659
Rangnekar, Dwijen. (2009) Commodification of seeds. Science as Culture, 6 (2). pp. 301-312. ISSN 0950-5431
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2009) Geographical indications and localisation : a case study of Feni. Coventry, UK: Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR), University of Warwick..
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2008) Geneva rhetoric, national reality: implementing TRIPS obligations in Kenya. Working Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation. Working papers (University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation) (No.241).
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2008) Is more less? An evolutionary economics, critique of the economics of plant breeds' rights. In: Gibson, Johanna, (ed.) Patenting lives : life patents, culture and development. Intellectual property, theory, culture . Aldershot, England ; Burlington, VT: Ashgate Pub, pp. 179-194. ISBN 9780754671046
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2007) Trade-related intellectual property rights. In: Robertson, R. and Scholte, Jan Aart, (eds.) Encyclopedia of Globalization. Routledge. ISBN 9780415973144
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2007) Context and ambiguity: a comment on amending India's patent act. Working Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation. Working papers (University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation) (No.224).
Rangnekar, Dwijen. (2007) Context and ambiguity in the making of law : a comment on amending India's patent act. The Journal of World Intellectual Property, 10 (5). pp. 365-387. ISSN 1422-2213
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2007) Expert opinion : geographical indications. In: Najam, Adil and Halle, Mark and Meléndez-Ortiz, Ricardo, (eds.) Trade and environment : a resource book. International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development. ISBN 9781895536997
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2006) Geographical indications. In: Yu, Peter K., (ed.) Intellectual Property and Information Wealth : Issues and Practices in the Digital Age. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger. ISBN 9780275988869
Rangnekar, Dwijen. (2006) No pills for poor people? Economic and Political Weekly, 41 (5). ISSN 0012-9976
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2005) No pills for poor people? Understanding the disembowelment of India’s patent regime. Working Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation. Working papers (University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation) (No.176).
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2004) El desarrollo rural y la proteccion del conocimiento tradicional: cual es el papel de law indicaciones geograficas. In: Pina, Carlos Munoz and Rivera, Marisol and Forcada, Sara Avila, (eds.) Comercio y medio ambiente : distorsiones, información y acceso a mercados. México: Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales : Instituto Nacional de Ecología. ISBN 9789688177082
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2003) Implementing the sui generis option in the TRIPs agreement : a framework for analysis. In: Katrak, Homi and Strange, Roger, (eds.) The WTO and developing countries. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781403903440
Rangnekar, Dwijen (2003) Plant breeding in an era of privatization. In: Richter, Frank-Jürgen and Banerjee, Parthasarathi, (eds.) The knowledge economy in India. Balsingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781403901101
Rangnekar, Dwijen. (2002) R&D appropriability and planned obsolescence: empirical evidence from wheat breeding in the UK (1960-1995). Industrial and Corporate Change, 11 (5). pp. 1011-1029. ISSN 0960-6491


LASSnet conference 2016

LASSNet Conference 2016,
Fourth Edition
Thinking with Evidence: Seeking Certainty, Making Truth
10-12 December 2016 

Venue: Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India

Organised by Centre for the Study of Law and Governance (JNU, Delhi) in collaboration with the National Law University of Delhi (Dwarka)O. P. Jindal Global University (Sonepat) and Indian Institute of Technology (Delhi).

More details about the conference themes can be found on the http://www.lassnet.org/

Call for papers

Thinking with Evidence: Seeking Certainty, Making Truth

The indeterminacy in law could be read both as a problem of truth and also as one that plagues disciplines. The question of evidence has been central to the formation of disciplines and the claims that they make upon knowledge. For initiatives such as LASSnet, the imperative of thinking with evidence — in these times of virtual virality, forensic imaginaries and ephemeral archives — serves as a fertile ground on which we can stage discussions of the perils, pleasures, meanings and methods of inter-disciplinarity. While disciplines are defined partially by the evidentiary protocols that they follow, the very nature of inter-disciplinary enquiry calls into crisis the idea of a single protocol. The methodological concerns with the seeking and making of certainty and truth implicate a whole range of disciplines: anthropology, art, history, law, religion, philosophy, politics, economics, literature, theatre, and science, to name just a few. The stakes in thinking with evidence are very high since doing so raises the core epistemological claims, regarding not just of what, but also how we know. This is rendered all the more difficult because the very grounds of evidence are themselves shifting terrain, subject not only to developments in science and technology but also to forms of historical consciousness and social knowledge.

Thinking with evidence in engaging the encounters and intimacies between the imaginations of the legal and the social can provoke interdisciplinary conversations, in the affective and corporeal works and worlds of making, seeking and living with truth. Such an engagement offers an invitation to re-invigorate discussions around the dialectic of the abstract and the concrete of jurisdiction, procedure and techné.

How does evidence index intelligibility and illegibility simultaneously on bodies and things? How are questions of inheritance and memory mediated through a claim to the evidentiary? How may one think of ways of doing politics and living with law? Or address questions of responsibility and conduct, particularly as these arise in the context of experience, acting as evidence of legitimate speech?

The English word ‘evidence’ is associated with Latin verb, vidier, to see. The relationship between seeing, believing and knowing, when mediated by visual technologies, transforms ways of seeking certainity and making truth. Along with criminal law, procedural and constitutional law also offer fertile grounds to think of evidence as an object of truth and power. In our technologized regimes that are heavily invested in the forensic fascination with truth detection, how do we think of the constitutional implications of scientific evidence and the truth claims that they make?

Moreover, why is the ocular or aural privileged over the haptic or olfactory? How do we furnish evidence of experiences of humiliation when ocular or aural techniques of knowing and telling make suffering illegible in the legal languages of evidence? Moving our gaze to the gamut of categories that populate ‘evidence law’ we ask following William Twining: “how to do things with evidence?” Is it a legal fiction that there are evidentiary rules that determine probability, presumption, fact, proof and certainty, classifying some artefacts as facts or truths and others as exaggerations, falsehoods or myths? How is the process of making juridical facts, legal certainties and presumptions embedded in continuities and changes in social relations in history, economy, culture and politics? How does the production and circulation of technologies of evidence in popular culture create demands for scientific evidence in actual trials?

What kind of commodity is evidence? What kinds of technologies are deployed to evidence the body in law? What kinds of knowledges congeal in the category of expert evidence, from archaeology to forensics, to act upon languages of social suffering? What is the nature of the testimony that underlies expert evidence in law and literature? Do concepts of evidence in visual arts and performing arts speak to juridical notions of evidence, testimony and witnessing?

How may we understand what we do with evidence when we turn to religion, or custom; or state and non-state law? Drawing on the vast critical literature on Hindu or Islamic law; or customary and indigenous law in colonial, post-colonial and settler-colonial contexts, how may one think of evidence as it mediates between law and justice in relation to the claims of truth to power? How are notions of evidence in these traditions, or in traditions of aurality/orality, constituted by the theories of codified visuality in common law traditions? Further, what kinds of evidence does the discourse on plurality, secularism and rights rely upon?

Why do certain kinds of evidence of suffering falter, while other kinds of evidence succeed in making suffering visible? How do we think of evidence in a broad sense—as not just documents, facts, proof, or expert knowledge but also as "aesthetics of protests'', as truths that counter the processes by which evidence is constructed in the context of of displacement, gender violence, caste humiliation, mass violence, disappearances and/or state terror? When certain facts are banished from courts of law, how do the politics and aesthetics of protests furnish evidence of truth to power? How does the regime of evidence produce marginalities and exclusions from collective memory and historical record? What kind of residue resides in the legal archive that allows us to describe how law is haunted by unwritten precedents of injustice? In other words, how does evidence actualise the separation of law from justice?

Conference Sub-themes

  1. Histories of Evidence/ Evidence of History
  2. Evidence and Affect
  3. Evidence and Absence
  4. The Art and Architecture of Evidence 
  5. Evidence in/ as the Archive
  6. Evidence and its Corporealities
  7. The Work of Evidence in State-building
  8. Memory and Museums/ Curating Evidence
  9. The Markets of Evidence
  10. Rival Jurisprudences of Evidence
  11. The Evidence of the Body/Body of Evidence
  12. Jurisdictions of Evidence
  13. Indicators, measurements and evidence
  14. Evidence, governance and policy-making
  15. Scientific Evidence and the Making of Juridical Truths
  16. Identity (Political, Social and Juridical) and Evidence
  17. Others

Instructions for submission of papers

In keeping with the eclectic spirit of LASSnet, we welcome submissions that address concerns of the LASSnet broadly in connection with the theme of the conference, including papers, panels, and presentations on the sub-themes detailed above. To mark the completion of 10 years of LASSnet in 2017, we plan to bring out a series of edited volumes and/or special issues in journals in 2017-2018. Book proposals or journal special-issues plans will be a priority in this edition of LASSnet. We strongly encourage participants to think of panels as potential volumes. The steering committee will actively organise conversations around publication plans and any one willing to organise pre-conference workshops is welcome to get in touch with us.
We welcome proposals for panels as well as for individual paper presentations.

Panel proposals: Panel coordinators should submit a panel description of 300 words as well as a proposed list of panelists (ideally no more than four speakers per panel, including the chair-discussant) via online submission link to be made available at http://www.lassnet.org/ . The panel description should be accompanied by individual paper proposals for each panelist, following the instructions below. Coordinators may also choose to propose a chair—discussant for the panel as a whole.

Individual papers: Paper abstracts (300 words) should be submitted via online submission link to be made available at http://www.lassnet.org/. Please note that abstract/papers should not be sent through email. Guidelines for submission of abstracts are available on conference website.

 [Online Submission link will be made available on 1st November 2015]

Abstracts should be submitted no later than 1st February 2016

We will get back to you within eight weeks of receiving the abstract or paper proposal. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted to the conference secretariat by 30 October 2016 and distributed to the discussant and fellow panel members no later than 15 November 2016. In the case of pre–formed panels, this will be the responsibility of the Panel Coordinator. The maximum duration of individual presentations within each panel will be 20 minutes.

Contact the LASSnet 2016 Steering Committee at lassnetconf2016 [at] gmail [dot] com

To join LASSnet please write to lassnet [at] gmail [dot] com


IIT Delhi during 9-10 October 2015 at IRD Conference Hall (7th Floor, Main Building, IITD Campus).

Multiple Publics:
Sites, Boundaries and Contestations in India

Day I: 9 October 2015 (Friday)
9.00 – 9.30 AM: Registration and Coffee
9. 30 – 9.45 AM: Welcome address
Ravinder Kaur, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

9.45- 10.00 AM: Introduction of the Conference Theme
Naveen K. Thayyil, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

10.00 – 11.30 AM: Opening Keynote Address
Aditya Nigam, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi
Ephemeral Publics: Beyond Public Sphere and Political Society

11.30 – 11.45 AM: Tea Break
11.45 – 1.15 PM: Panel I: Boundaries and Green Publics
Discussant: Pratiksha Baxi, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Naveen K. Thayyil, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
Constitutional Courts as Green Coffee houses: Dominant Rationalities and Boundaries in Environmental Jurisprudence at the Supreme Court of India

Swargajyoti Gohain, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
Hydropolitics and the trans-national public sphere in west Arunachal Pradesh

1.15 – 2.15 PM: Lunch Break

2.15 – 3.45 PM: Panel II: Religious Sphere and Publics-Making

Discussant: Sitharamam Kakarala, Azim Premji University, Bangalore

Dr. Shireen Mirza, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi
Religion Making the Civic: New Urbanisms of Hyderabad Old City

Mr. Khaled Wasim, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Tuljapur Campus
Hamam and Waan-e-Peiand for Public Discussion: In Search of Public Sphere in Armed Conflict of Kashmir
3.45 – 4.00 PM: Coffee Break
4.00 – 5.30 PM: Panel III: Media, Mediation and Democracy
Discussant: Divya Dwivedi, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
Taberez Ahmed Neyazi, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi
Mediated Publics and Indian Democracy

Sindhu Manjesh, American University, Washington, D.C.
Citizens as Journalists: Opportunities and Challenges of Participatory News Mediation via Mainstream Media in India Today

Day II: 10 October 2015 (Saturday)
9.30 – 11.45 AM: Panel IV: Sites of Subalternity and Science
Discussants: Milind Wakankar and Sanil V., Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

Sarbeswar Sahoo, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
Marginality, Representation and the Rights Discourse: Civil Society and Development in South Rajasthan

Shiju Sam Varughese, Central University Gujarat, Gandhinagar
Science, State and Democracy in the Era of Biopolitics: Endosulfan Survivors as ‘Non-Publics’ in Kerala

Subhasis Sahoo, Allahabad University, Uttar Pradesh
Emergent Public Sphere: Talking Science in Contemporary India

11.45 – 12.00 PM: Coffee Break
12.00 – 1.30 PM: Closing Keynote Address
Sitharamam Kakarala, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
Publics, Counterpublics, Agonistics: Thinking about Democracy in the Era of ‘Pluricultural’ Populism

1.30 – 2.30 PM: Lunch Break
2.30 – 3.00 Closing Remarks
Sarbeswar Sahoo, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi