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Law on intellectual property transfer soon: PM


Bangalore : The Indian government plans to bring a new law to create a mechanism to transfer intellectual property (IP) created by public funded research to beneficiaries, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here Wednesday.

“We are looking at passing legislation that will create appropriate mechanisms and incentives for transfer of intellectual property by publicly funded research to beneficiaries,” Manmohan Singh said inaugurating the centenary celebrations of the premier Indian Institute of Science (IISc) at the J.N. Tata auditorium.

Exhorting the scientific community to make science more accessible to all people across the social strata, the prime minister said the knowledge pyramid in the field of basic sciences needed to be revitalised and hoped the slew of initiatives taken by his government would contribute to the process of building a knowledge-based society and economy.

“Science cannot be merely an esoteric academic discipline. In the modern world, it must be central to the life of the nation. The developed world, which is far ahead of us in sciences, has made continuous scientific advancement a yardstick of their progress. So should we,” Manmohan Singh told a gathering of about 1,000 scientists, researchers and students on the centenary occasion.

In this context, he mentioned how China and South Korea leap-frogged ahead of India in the world of science and technology. China made impressive strides in sciences in recent decades by its own efforts and linking itself to the best institutions the world over.

“We must also be open to beneficial links with institutions the world over so that there is a two-way flow of knowledge and we can benefit from it,” he noted.

Expressing concern over students losing interest in science as a subject and the pleasure of findings things out, Manmohan Singh said there was an urgent need to change the way in which science was approached and taught in schools and colleges.

The vast reservoir of talent in the youth must be tapped to push the frontiers of knowledge in basic sciences, he said.

Committing his government’s support to the century-old IISc, the prime minister said in its second century, the institute should provide academic leadership to fuel the renewed thrust in science and technology.

“The pressing problems of energy, health, water and food security and the growing concerns on climate change need much greater scientific attention than in the past,” Manmohan Singh told the 500-odd faculty members and 1500 students of the institute.

Referring to the Rs.1 billion special grant the central government made to the institute in 2004, he said the gesture was an acknowledgement of its august place in the Indian academic pantheon.

He also promised the institute to free the processes of public funding of research from bureaucratic impediments.

The prime minister also unveiled the centenary commemoration plaque in the sprawling campus in the presence of eminent scientists and research scholars.

The centenary event marked the reunion of the IISc alumni, interactions with researchers and captains of industry, scientists and engineers.

Karnataka Governor Rameshwar Thakur, Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, Rajya Sabha member and former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K. Kasturirangan, prime minister’s scientific advisor and chairman C.N.R. Rao and IISc director P. Balaram were present at the inaugural event.

The institution was turned into a fortress with unprecedented security cover for the prime minister at the venue, J.N. Tata auditorium, where a terror attack in December 2005 claimed the life of IIT Delhi professor M.C. Puri and injury to four others.