Citizens' Issues
India foils Colgate's bid to patent nutmeg mouthwash
India thwarted an attempt by consumer goods giant Colgate-Palmolive to patent a nutmeg mouthwash formula, the ministry of science and technology said on Thursday.
 
"India foiled an attempt by Colgate-Palmolive to patent a mouthwash formula containing herb extract (nutmeg) by citing ancient texts that show it was traditionally used in ancient medicinal practices," the ministry said in a statement.
 
"Traditional Knowledge Digital Library of Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR-TKDL) had submitted proof in the form of references from ancient books, which said the herb and its extracts of Myristica Fragrans were used for oral diseases in Indian systems of medicine," it added.
 
"In addition, other third party observations also made submissions against the claims."
 
The ministry said various institutions of the CSIR had filed applications for 14 patents in India and 22 abroad, of which one was granted in India and 14 abroad.
 
Colgate-Palmolive is an American multinational consumer products company.

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Delhi to get 'aam aadmi canteens'
Delhi will soon get "aam aadmi canteens" -- a la Tamil Nadu -- where "good quality, hygienic and nutritious food" will be available for up to Rs.10, it was announced on Thursday.
 
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal formally approved the proposal by the Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC), its vice chairman Ashish Khetan told the media.
 
The food would be sold at "reasonable rates -- with the maximum amount being Rs.10", said Khetan, an Aam Aadmi Party leader who had contested the Lok Sabha election in 2014.
 
He said the food would be nutritious and the menu at the canteens would have variety.
 
The canteens target the lower strata of the society including an estimated 10 lakh construction workers, five lakh street hawkers and over four lakh slum dwellers in the capital, Khetan said.
 
He said the model was prepared after a survey was conducted in Tamil Nadu and Odisha where such canteens operate.
 
In Tamil Nadu, at the hugely popular "Amma Canteens", a plate of idly with sambar is sold for just Re.1 while pongal -- staple rice and lentil food -- costs Rs.5.
 
Khetan did not divulge the approximate cost of the project.
 
"It will be our plan to set up these canteens within the next one or two months. In the first phase, we will set up the aam aadmi canteens at hospitals, industrial areas, colleges and commercial hubs," Khetan added.
 
The canteens would be run by the Delhi government's department of food and supplies.

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Russia chooses Anil Ambani for 'Make in India' frigates
With India close to choosing Grigorivich frigates for its navy, Russia is partnering Anil Ambani-led Pipavav Defence to build these ships under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Make in India" initiative, official sources said on Thursday.
 
They will be upgraded versions of Talwar-class ships, or the Russian equivalent of Krivak-III.
 
Confirming this to IANS, at least two senior defence officials said a team from Russia evaluated three-four private and state-run shipyards as they were keen on an Indian partner if the ships were to be built in India. This will be a pre-condition for the order valued at $3-$3.5 billion.
 
The sites evaluated were Pipavav's yard in Gujarat, Larsen and Toubro's unit at Ennore, and the state-run Cochin Shipyard in Kerala. Pipavav, a majority stake in which was acquired by the Reliance Group a few months ago, emerged the winner.
 
"The Prime Minister's Office is closely watching the development," one of the two officials told IANS. "This is likely to be an order that will be placed on the government of Russia by our government."
 
Incidentally, the development comes against the backdrop of the navy vice chief, Vice Admiral P. Murugesan, stating on Tuesday that India was exploring the possibility of getting upgraded Talwar-class ships and was in talks with Russia for its Grigorivich frigates technology.
 
"As per our maritime perspective plan, we have to build a certain number of ships in a certain time. We are exploring the possibility to expedite the acquisition of certain number of ships," Murugesan told reporters here. "But this will not be an import. It has to be made in India."
 
The idea is to have a 198-ship naval force by 2027, up from the current 137 vessels. Already, 48 warships are under construction at Indian shipyards, including aircraft carriers, frigates, destroyers, submarines, corvettes and fast-attack craft.
 
India has been stressing on domestic defence production under the "Make in India" programme, an important aspect of which is to get technology transfers and inviting foreign firms to manufacture in India.
 
The Grigorivichs are improved variants of the six Talwar-class frigates the navy obtained between 2003 and 2013.
 
In March, the Reliance Group had announced its acquisition of a 18-percent stake from the then promoters of Pipavav Defence, apart from a 26-percent mandatory open offer.
 
Pipavav's facility is at the location by the same name on the Gujarat coast and claims modern, versatile engineering and fabrication facilities with shipbuilding infrastructure that is also suitable for the construction of a wide range of warships and submarines.
 
The company is said to be a strong contender for a tender, potentially worth Rs.60,000 crore, to build six advanced submarines for the navy along with five other private and state-run firms such as Larsen and Toubro and the state-run Mazagon dockyard.

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