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DIPP Constitutes IPR Think Tank to Draft National Intellectual Property Rights Policy

Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has constituted an IPR Think Tank to draft the National Intellectual Property Rights Policy and to advice the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion on IPR issues.

The panel, to be chaired by retired Justice Prabha Sridevan, will identify areas in IPRs where study needs to be conducted and furnish recommendations in this regard to the Commerce and Industry ministry. The expert group will also advise the government on best practices to be followed in trademark offices, patent offices and other government offices dealing with IPRs to create an efficient and transparent system of functioning in the said offices.

The terms of reference of the IPR Think Tank will be as follows:

  • To draft National Intellectual Property Rights Policy.
  • To identify areas in the IPRs where study needs to be conducted and to furnish recommendations in this regard to the Ministry.
  • To provide views on the possible implications of demands placed by the negotiating partners.
  • To keep the Government regularly informed about the developments taking place in IPR cases which have an impact upon India`s IPR Policy.
  • To advise the Government on best practices to be followed in Trademark Offices, Patent Offices and other Government Offices dealing with IPR in order to create an efficient and transparent system of functioning in the said offices.
  • To prepare periodic reports on best practice followed in foreign countries.
  • To highlight anomalies in the present IPR legislations and to advice possible solutions to the Ministry.
  • To give suggestions on the steps that may be taken for improving infrastructure in IP offices and Tribunals.
  • To examine the current issues raised by industry associations and those that may have appeared in media and to give suggestions to the Ministry on such issues.

The decision assumes significance as the Obama administration in the recent times has been strongly criticising India’s investment climate and IPR laws, especially in the pharmaceuticals and the solar sectors.

Sources: PIB, The Hindu.



Rashtriya Ekta Diwas

The Government has decided to observe the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel as the ‘Rashtriya Ekta Diwas’ (National Unity Day) on 31st October every year. This occasion will provide an opportunity to re-affirm the inherent strength and resilience of our nation to withstand the actual and potential threats to the unity, integrity and security of our country.

All the Government Offices, Public Sector Undertakings and other Public Institutions will arrange a pledge taking ceremony to observe the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas. The Ministry of Human Resource Development has been requested to issue suitable instructions that the students of Schools and Colleges may be administered the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas Pledge to motivate them to strive to maintain the unity and integrity of the country.

All Ministries/Departments of the Government of India and all the State Governments/Administrators of all the Union Territories have been requested to organize appropriate programmes on the occasion in a befitting manner, including the ‘Pledge-taking Ceremony’, ‘Run for Unity’ involving people from all sections of society, March-Past in the evening by the Police, the Central Armed Police Forces and other organizations like the National Cadet Corps (NCC), National Service Scheme (NSS), Scouts and Guides, Home Guards etc.

Sources: PIB.


MEA to oversee foreign investments in States

Aiming to streamline foreign infrastructure investment, the government has announced a new division in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), appointing a joint secretary for “Centre-State” relations.

The new post will increase engagement between the MEA and State governments to coordinate State delegations visiting abroad, passport issues and political clearances, as well as to set up a database of State-level tie-ups and work on sister cities.

With more foreign dignitaries expressing their desire to visit cities other than Delhi, the special section will also coordinate visits to Tier Two cities. However, the new division will not deal with policy disagreements of the kind seen between the Centre and Tamil Nadu over Sri Lanka and with West Bengal over the Teesta accord with Bangladesh.

The move had followed several complaints from other countries on the lack of coordination between State governments and the Centre. In one such case in August, the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in India had written to the government, seeking “urgent intervention” to help iron out differences in commitments by the Centre that were not implemented by the States on major projects such as the Chennai-Bangalore Industrial Corridor and the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial corridor, for which Japan had committed $100 billion in 2009.

Sources: The Hindu.


India signs up for China’s Asian bank

India signed a memorandum of understanding, along with Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal and others, as the founding member of the AIIB.

With an initial subscribed capital of $50 billion, the setting up of the Beijing-headquartered AIIB has been welcomed by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. However, the U.S. has expressed concerns over the bank’s ambiguous nature and lack of transparency.

China led 21 Asian nations, including India, in forming a multilateral financial front in the form of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), being seen as a challenger to the U.S.-backed Bretton Woods institutions.

The 21-nation group comprises Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

It is being called as a very positive development in the sense that it opens up more borrowing opportunities. However, not everyone was optimistic about India’s potential gains from multilateral financial partnership.

Sources: The Hindu

Kolkata girl bags Panda award

Ashwika Kapur of Kolkata won the prestigious Panda Award, as part of the annual Wildscreen Film Festival held at Bristol, U.K. She is the first Indian woman to win the coveted wildlife photography award for her film on a Kakapo parrot.

Ms. Kapur’s film “Sirocco — how a dud became a stud” is based on Sirocco, a Kakapo parrot, which is perhaps the only bird to have bagged a government job.

The male bird was appointed as the Official Spokesbird for Conservation in New Zealand and it helps in conservation advocacy on social media.

Kakapo parrot:

The Kakapo parrot, a nocturnal and flightless species of the parrot, is classified as a critically endangered species since 2012 on the IUCN Red List.

The bird, found in New Zealand, is known to be one of the longest-living birds and its known population is 125. Over 14,000 people from 162 countries voted the Kakapo the world’s favourite species in 2013.



Sources: The Hindu.