Amity Institute of Microbial Technology (AIMT) in partnership with United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) began the three day "International Congress cum Workshop on IPR" at Amity Campus, Sector- 125, Noida.
The International Congress cum Workshop was inaugurated by Dr. Arvind Kumar -DDG, Education, Indian Council of Agriculture Research; Dr. Rajendra Kumar -Director General, UP Council of Agriculture Research and Ms. Kalpana Reddy- First Secretary for IP- South Asia, US Embassy.
Dr. Arvind Kumar -DDG, Education, Indian Council of Agriculture Research lighting the lamp
Prof. (Dr.) Abha Agnihotri- Professor, Amity Institute of Microbial Technology welcomed the gathering for August and provided a brief overview of the Scientific sessions which would be taking place during the 3 day International Congress cum Workshop including "Green Technologies", "Bio-resources and Biodiversity", "Plant Variety Protection" and others.
Ms. Kalpana Reddy- First Secretary for IP- South Asia, US Embassy, shared her valuable views and congratulated Amity for all the Research & Development initiatives taken by its Researchers and Scientists, who are engaged in creating newer technologies as well as commercialising them for societal welfare. She put forth her hope that the representatives from Legal fraternity, Government, Scientists and Researchers present during the Workshop would involve themselves in fruitful discussions and deliberations during the 3 days and contribute significantly to the field of IPR in Life Sciences.
Dr. Arvind Kumar -DDG, Education, Indian Council of Agriculture Research addressing the gathering
Dr. Arvind Kumar -DDG, Education, Indian Council of Agriculture Research addressed the gathering and said that the present era is of innovation and as visualised by Honorable Prime Minister of India, Indians have to work with innovative strategies. When innovation makes its presence whether it is related to process, product or technology; the role and need of IP immediately emerges.
Dr. Kumar emphasised that IP is significantly becoming vital for large scale and small scale entrepreneurs operating from rural areas and that there is a major dearth of human resources in the area of IP was stressed upon. IP is a multi disciplinary approach involving legal fraternity, researchers, scientists and Government, therefore, it is important to hold Seminars and Conferences which could give opportunity to various stakeholders for reaching consensus on key issues. He suggested to launch awareness Campaigns about the importance of IP through different forums and platforms.
Dr. Rajendra Kumar -Director General, UP Council of Agriculture Research addressing the gathering
Dr. Rajendra Kumar -Director General, UP Council of Agriculture Research remarked that IPR has gained importance globally and it has lot of relevance to India since India is a hotspot of rich flora and fauna, which necessitates the protection of IP in terms of new technologies, products and services. He expressed his concern as to how to integrate traditional University programmes with agriculture system in the country and at the same time, appreciated the traditional agricultural universities and expressed that lot of scope has been foreseen in traditional systems. He shared that there are few good colleges in the periphery of UP which are really doing good in terms of agriculture education and research. He also appreciated the good work being done by few private universities in the area of agricultural research including Amity University.
From L-R Ms. Kalpana Reddy- US Embassy, Maj. Gen K.J. Singh, Group Vice Chancellor - Amity University, Ms. Kitisri Sukhapinda, Attorney-Advisor, USPTO, Dr. Arvind Kumar -DDG, Education, ICAR
Dr. Amit C Kharkwal- Dy. Director and Head, Amity Institute of Microbial Technology delivered the vote of thanks.
Inauguration was followed by two technical sessions on "Bio-resources and Biodiversity" and "Traditional Knowledge and Indian Systems of Medicine".
Mr. Vijay Sardana- Head, Food Security and Agribusiness, Policy and Program Member, Advisory Committee, Forward Market Commission, GOI, while presenting his views on "IP issues related to Agribusiness", stressed that agriculture and agribusinesses are very closely linked to the existence of society. In the era of IP regime, it is very important to understand their role and implication on social, economic, legal, cultural and political dimensions of the society, rather than just focusing on maximizing commercial gains from agriculture and agri-businesses. He expressed his concern over the mechanical nature of IP regime and remarked that IP regime only respects commercial aspect of know how and does not take into consideration livelihood issues and issues of trade distortion practices which may be used by IP holders. He suggested that there should be some licensing rules and royalty charges for the technology which is under IPR and stringent checks should be in place to review whether IPR is being used for advancing the research or is being used as financial power to distort the markets. It is important for people to understand the ethical and moral impact of IPR so that business laws like IPR cannot take precedence over the survival of mankind.
Participants of the International Congress cum Workshop on IPR during Inaugural Ceremony
Dr. Kushal Banerjee- Consultant, Homeopath, while sharing his views on "IP Issues in Homeopathic Research" said that India has the largest number of practitioners of homeopathy and a very large consumer base for it. Globally, homeopathic research has been directed towards understanding the therapeutic effects of pre-existing drugs. New applications are being discovered for drugs that are already available. He expressed that the absence of incentives is badly affecting the Homeopathy, which has very few institutions and practitioners with adequate resources or interest in homeopathic research. The development of homeopathic treatment regimens like those of Advanced Homeopathy, which are based on the compilation of thousands of patients' data for each disease, are not afforded any protection, since they do not always use new formulations. He opined that keeping in view the nature of research in Homeopathy; IP rules should be customized for Homeopathy to ensure due IP Protection and high return on investment for research in this profession, which will save this system from being withdrawn from the health services in India in near future.