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2018-11-19 01:26:58

Innovation is for the betterment of mankind: Vice President

The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Innovation is for the betterment of mankind and India is encouraging the spirit of innovation among the educated enterprising youth. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the International Conference Asian Patent Attorneys Association. The Minister for Law & Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Minister for Commerce and Industry, Suresh Prabhu, more than 1350 participants from over 65 countries and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

The Vice President stressed the need to put in efforts to give meaningful effect to the socio-economic and technological development needs of the poorest of the poor. He further said that knowledge and intellect are the most critical ingredients in development. It was essential to adopt innovative and creative balancing mechanisms, he added.

The Vice President said that Intellectual Property Rights hold special importance in the knowledge economy. He said that the new regime of intellectual Property Rights bring a paradigm shift in social exchanges and cultural ethos in communities especially at a time when the world had moved away from viewing knowledge as a mere community asset started treating it as intellectual property.

Talking about the changing factors in all economies, the Vice President said that the emphasis on tangible hard assets is being shifted to intangible soft assets and intellectual properties. India fully recognizes that an effective and robust intellectual property protection regime is essential to attract technology, investment, incentivise innovation and creation of IP assets, he added.

The Vice President said that as the communities’ transit to new phase of Intellectual Property based economy, no conversation on intellectual property rights can be complete without considering the balance of the rights and obligations of IP holders and define what constitutes a genuine, path-breaking intellectual property?

Shri Naidu said that Indian patent system contains some built-in safeguards to bring about a balance between rights and obligations – these measures are consistent with TRIPS Agreement. As a member of WTO, India made laws that are compliant with the global regime. National IPR Policy has been approved and published by the government in May 2016, he added.

The Vice President said that India is encouraging the spirit of innovation among the educated enterprising youth by skilling them and supporting through the schemes like Start-Up and MUDRA. He further said that a number of initiatives have been taken by the governments to create an ecosystem that fosters manufacturing and have identified key areas such as auto industry, information technology, aviation, biotechnology, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, electronics and entertainment for innovation and manufacturing, as There is immense scope of technology and investment in these areas.

Saying that Government aims to make India a major hub for end-to-end indigenous drug manufacturing in the next few years, the Vice President said that the IP sensitive, Indian pharmaceuticals industry is expected to expand at a compounded annual growth rate of over 15 per cent to 55 billion US dollars in the next three years.

Following is the text of Vice President’s address:

I am delighted to be amongst such distinguished assembly of law professionals. I am pleased to learn that more than 1350 participants from over 65 countries are attending this annual conference.

Being a lawyer myself, and given my background in legislature and public policy, it is a pleasure to share my views with this gathering of intellectual property experts.

The issue of intellectual property rights assumes a great significance for us as India in the last few years has emerged as the fastest growing economy in the world. With an expected growth in the range of 7.5% during next few years, as projected by the IMF and the World Bank, we are one of the most preferred destinations for investments in today’s world.

Intellectual Property is one of the most hotly debated topics among policy makers, Governments, legal fraternity, NGOs, academia and research institutions.

In Indian scriptures it is said:

न चोर हार्यम् न च राज हार्यम्।

न भ्रातृभाज्यम् न च भारकारी।।

व्यये कृते वर्धतै नित्यं।

विद्या धनं सर्व धनप्रधानम्।।

Knowledge is a treasure that cannot be stolen, neither can it be confiscated by the State, nor can it be divided among siblings. It is not burdensome to carry. It increases when we share it with others sharing. Knowledge is a treasure that is better than other riches.

Like India, in most of the cultures sharing the knowledge was considered sacrosanct. The society took acquisition of knowledge for granted. It was an inherent right of an individual. It was sacrosanct and free.

However, now the world market has begun to realise the value of knowledge and intellect, the most critical ingredients in development.

We have moved from land-based agricultural economy marked by feudal ownership of land resources to machine based industrialisation. We have witnessed global movements of finance and capital further leading to professionally managed multinational corporations to information and data networks to knowledge economy based on intellectual property.

But like every phase of evolution, the new regime of intellectual Property Rights too brings paradigm shift in social exchanges and cultural ethos in communities. We have moved away from viewing knowledge as a mere community asset. Knowledge has become an intellectual property.

The key success factors in all economies have changed. Instead of only the tangible hard assets, the emphasis has shifted to intangible soft assets and intellectual properties. Nurturing of intellectual property has emerged as a key determinant of success in the 21st century.

We in India fully recognize that an effective and robust intellectual property protection regime is essential to attract technology, investment, incentivise innovation and creation of IP assets.

Dear sisters and brothers,

We have the desire and capability to absorb new technologies in manufacturing. In our country, ‘Make in India’ is one of the key programmes launched by the government to boost the economy and the aim is to transform India into a global manufacturing hub. The target is to increase this to 25 per cent of the GDP by 2025.

We have about 65 per cent of the population below 35 years of age, who are looking for the creative avenues for their talent and education. We are encouraging the spirit of innovation among our educated enterprising youth by skilling them and supporting through the schemes like Start-Up and MUDRA.

We have taken a number of initiatives to create an ecosystem that fosters manufacturing and have identified key areas such as auto industry, information technology, aviation, biotechnology, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, electronics and entertainment for innovation and manufacturing. There is immense scope of technology and investment in these areas.

For example, With 900 million mobile telephony subscribers and almost 500 million internet users, Indian market is expected to grow to 400 million US $ market by 2020. There are around 100 mobile and accessories manufacturing units in the country. The policy to digitize economy had led to 300 $ increase in digital transactions over the past few years.

The IP sensitive, Indian pharmaceuticals industry is expected to expand at a compounded annual growth rate of over 15 per cent to 55 billion US dollars in the next three years.

The Government aims to make India a major hub for end-to-end indigenous drug manufacturing in the next few years. MedTech industry which has been recognised as a sunrise sector is expected to touch 9.5 billion US dollars by 2022.

To mitigate climate change and global warming, we are focussing on green growth strategies to encourage sustainable development. India is attempting to make a gradual switch to electric vehicles with the government planning to mandate that every car sold in India from the year 2030 to be an electric car.

The transition to a green economy is also an attractive and lucrative business opportunity.

Along with rapid industrial development, there have been a number of initiatives and reforms like GST and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, as a result of which India’s rankings in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business have improved from 130 in 2016 to 77 in 2018.

As the communities transit to new phase of Intellectual property based economy, I am aware that no conversation on intellectual property rights can be complete without a reference to the question: how to balance the rights and obligations of IP holders? What constitutes a genuine, path-breaking intellectual property? One can do a costing of a finished farm/factory product but how to put a realistic price to a research product and for how long?

The TRIPS Agreement envisages a mutual advantage of producers and users of technological knowledge and in a manner conducive to social and economic welfare, and to a balance of rights and obligations. The TRIP Agreement permits its members to adopt appropriate measures “necessary to protect public health and nutrition and to promote the public interest in sectors of vital importance to their socio-economic and technological development.

Efforts must be made to give meaningful effect to the socio-economic and technological development needs of the poorest of the poor by adopting innovative and creative balancing mechanisms.

Indian patent system contains some built-in safeguards to bring about a balance between rights and obligations – these measures are consistent with TRIPS Agreement. As a member of WTO, we have laws which are compliant with the global regime. National IPR Policy has been approved and published by the government in May 2016.

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