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Saturday, September 23, 2000



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CSIR chief stress on non-patent literature database

Our Bureau

CHENNAI, Sept. 22

WHEN the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) comes into existence, India will be the first country to respond to the challenge of creating an easily accessible non-patent literature database, according to the Director General of the Council of S cientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Dr R.A. Mashelkar.

Delivering the convocation address at the Anna University here, he said that part of the problem of biopiracy was because the patent offices of the developed countries did not have non-patent databases on the traditional knowledge of the developing world .

Thus, when patent examiners search for literature they miss out on literature on non-patent prior art, which are buried in diverse literature. To protect the rich traditional knowledge that India has the need was felt to create a TKDL.

This library, according to him, would document the country's traditional knowledge electronically under the appropriate classification within the international patent classification systems.

``Eventually, the creation of TKDL will serve a bigger purpose in enhancing the country's innovation capability,'' he said. It could act as a bridge between the traditional and modern knowledge systems and provide an impetus to modern research.

Dr Mashelkar said it was hard to estimate the loss of Indian intellectual property due to the inadvertent publication of usable knowledge. Although the usable knowledge for wireless was invented by Sir J.C. Bose, it was Marconi who patented it and made i t into a product.

Monitoring national and international patents and assessing techno-legal, business and market intelligence to exploit potential uncovered opportunities would give rise to new knowledge-based business. ``It has to be a real `Team India' effort to accompli sh this,'' he said.

Though India was a developing country economically, it was a developed country as far as its intellectual infrastructure was concerned, according to Dr Mashelkar. ``Let us develop a sense of confidence in our ability to create wealth through the process of intense innovation, unmatched creativity and daring enterprise coupled with strong skills in generating and protecting our intellectual policy.''

Dr Mashelkar and Mr T.S. Vijayaraghavan, Secretary, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Government of India, were conferred honorary doctorates by the university.

While Dr Mashelkar was conferred the doctorate for his service to the nation through scientific and industrial research, Mr Vijayaraghavan was conferred for his commitment towards country's industrial and economic development.

Related links:
Traditional knowledge to go digital

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