First in India: Punjab bags first UN agency-backed innovation centre | punjab | Hindustan Times
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First in India: Punjab bags first UN agency-backed innovation centre

BIG BOOST: UN agency for intellectual property rights, which has centres in 42 countries, will set up a centre in Chandigarh to promote innovation in the region

punjab Updated: Jul 15, 2017 08:51 IST
Manraj Grewal Sharma
This first-of-its kind centre will come up at the Patent Information Centre (PIC), Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST), in Sector 26, Chandigarh.
This first-of-its kind centre will come up at the Patent Information Centre (PIC), Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST), in Sector 26, Chandigarh.(HT Photo)

CHANDIGARH Here is another feather in Punjab’s turban. The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Geneva, the United Nations agency for the promotion of intellectual property rights (IPR), has chosen the state’s capital Chandigarh to set up its first Technology Innovation and Support Centre (TISC) in India.

WIPO has centres in 42 countries so far, but India was not among them. This first-of-its kind centre will come up at the Patent Information Centre (PIC), Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST), in Sector 26, Chandigarh.

There were several other states, which had set their sights on TISC, but Punjab bagged it because of its proactive work in the field of intellectual rights.

Dr Jatinder Kaur Arora, executive director of PSCST, said the central government did an onsite evaluation of their work and infrastructure before deciding to select Punjab for TISC.

The PIC has set up 13 IPR cells in various universities of the state, besides starting 16 IPR clubs in engineering colleges and institutes. It has also introduced a helpdesk at Ludhiana.

Senior scientific officer and in-charge of PIC, Gurharminder Singh, says what he found the most heartwarming were the applications for patents from ordinary individuals, and the innovations they brought to the table.

Among Singh’s favourites are an earthquake alarm, and teaching aids by a mathematics teacher. “The teaching aids are very effective as a student can physically use them to learn the Pythagoras theorem or simple geometry,” says Gurharminder, who will now head TISC.

The PIC-PSCST, says Gurharminder, has granted 18 patents, 10 trademarks and three copyrights.

Dr Arora says the new centre will provide a big boost to innovators in the region. “They will be able to access international IP facilities, world-class databases, innovations in key industrial sectors, and best practices of other countries,” he says, adding that WIPO teams will come here frequently to train people.

Dr Arora says TISC will also target two industry clusters, one of sports in Jalandhar and the other of agriculture and food processing. “We hope to improve their efficiency with patents and innovations available in the public domain.”

TISC programme provides innovators in developing countries high quality technology information to help them exploit their innovative potential.

Gurharminder says services provided by the centre will make it possible to view the level of technical development and innovative activities in a given sector on a regular basis. It will also allow users to identify the technical fields that will become more important in the near future.

The agreement for the TISC was signed on Thursday in New Delhi by Dr Roshan Sunkaria, principal secretary, department of science, technology and environment, Punjab.

BOX

India improves its innovation index

The central government has been trying to promote intellectual property rights ever since it rolled out its Task Force on Innovation.

The team comprises the likes of Dr Naushad Forbes, co-chairman of Forbes Marshall and Dr Gopi Katragadda, innovation head for Tata Sons.

Early last year, the Union cabinet approved the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy to spur creativity and stimulate innovation.

Its effects were evident on the Global Innovation Index (GII), which ranks countries annually for their contribution towards successful innovations.

In 2016, India improved its innovation rank to reach 66th position from 81st out of 128 countries in 2015. This improvement came after five years of continuous drop in India’s ranking.

India also improved its ranking in human capital and research, moving from the 103rd place in 2015 to 63rd place in 2016. It lagged behind most of the BRICS economies and select Asian economies, except Indonesia. 

QUOTE The new centre will provide a big boost to innovators in the region. They will be able to access international intellectual property facilities, world-class databases, innovations in key industrial sectors, and best practices of other countries.
Dr Jatinder Kaur Arora, executive director, Punjab State Council for Science and Technology

STRAP BIG BOOST UN agency for intellectual property rights, which has centres in 42 countries, will set up a centre in Chandigarh to promote innovation in the region