now, except with regard to patents, is not radically different from the articles of the TRIPs Agreement. In the patent area, it must be amended to bring it in line with TRIPs. In areas where there is a congruence of perceived interests, changes have already been made to the intellectual property legislation. Copyright legislation was tightened in 1994, bringing it closer to the requirements of the TRIPs Agreement. And in some areas, India's intellectual property regime is stronger than is demanded by the agreement.
The ideological foundations for the Indian state and economy, stressing self-reliance and rapid industrialization, were set just after independence. By the 1960s, economic and also political nationalism had reached new heights. The 1970 act weakened the patent regime in response to these domestic pressures, giving the Indian pharmaceutical industry an unprecedented boost. But in light of recent changes in intellectual property protection at the international level, India must take a second look at its patent regime and strive to bring it in line.
The path ahead is fraught with difficulties, but it is also full of promise. Indian industry has reached a state where it can compete internationally and thrive domestically. Realization of that fact will bring a revolution to the pharmaceutical industry, and probably to industry as a whole. The Indian business community is uniquely positioned to adapt to and profit from the changes. What is required now is some political will and vision.