Citizens' Issues
New IPR policy to boost innovation, patent filings
While domestic applications to the Indian patents office had remained low at about one-fifth of the total filings, a new policy on intellectual property rights (IPR) should help the situation, a top official said on Wednesday.
 
"I am concerned that domestic filings of patent applications have remained static in the past few years at about 20 percent of total filings," Amitabh Kant, the secretary of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), said here at an IPR Conference hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
 
"Considering that the country has one of the largest reservoirs of scientists and technologists, it seems extremely unjustified that the levels of patent filings are still fairly low," he said, adding there was need to widen the awareness about intellectual property (IP) in the country.
 
The national Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policy, currently being prepared, would help India become an innovative economy over the next decade, he said.
 
"We expect it to be a visionary document that can guide the journey of India towards becoming an innovative economy in the next 10 years." 
 
A draft policy was placed in the public domain, inviting comments from stakeholders and others interested, he added.
 
Kant, however, stressed the importance of creating an innovative ecosystem which would support translation of inventions into commercial use.
 
"This innovation ecosystem can only be created and nurtured through initiatives of the government in collaboration with industry," the secretary said.
 
He also urged organisations to protect their trademarks as it would help them leverage their brand value towards development of the business.
 
Kant said Indian IPR laws were amended in compliance with the World Trade Organisation, which had led to a comprehensive, legislative, administrative and judicial framework to safeguard IPRs.
 
He also said that the government has taken several measures to improve the delivery of services provided by IP office, such as processing of applications.
 
Nearly 250,000 patent applications and 532,000 trademark registrations are pending with the government owing to shortage of manpower.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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All diesel vehicles to be checked for emissions: Minister
The central government on Wednesday said that it will carry out extensive checks on all diesel passenger vehicles in the country within the next six months to ascertain if any violations of emission norms have taken place.
 
The decision to go in for a massive drive to check all the diesel passenger vehicles across the country came a day after Volkswagen Group India admitted to have violated emission norms.
 
The company also announced one of the largest voluntary recalls of diesel passenger vehicles. 
 
Citing the emission norms violation as a "well-thought-out crime", Heavy Industries Minister Anant Geete said the government will ask the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) to check out all the diesel passenger vehicles across the country within the next six months.
 
"Over the next six months, we will carry out checks on emission levels of all diesel passenger vehicles in India," Geete said here.
 
On Tuesday, Volkswagen Group India announced a voluntary recall for updating all cars fitted with the EA 189 engines in the Indian market. Till November end, approximately 323,700 cars of Volkswagen, Skoda and Audi in India were equipped with EA 189 diesel engines.
 
The company had presented its observations, findings and outlined possible solutions on the EA 189 diesel engines to the heavy industries ministry and ARAI. 
 
"The recall will encompass cars from the Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda model range which carry the software that requires to be updated," the company was quoted as saying in a statement.
 
"The Volkswagen Group India will first present the technical released solution to the ministry of heavy industries and ARAI. Once approved from the competent authorities, the respective brands of the Volkswagen Group in India will carry out necessary actions in a step-wise manner."
 
According to the company, existing installed software does not affects the handling, technical safety or roadworthiness of the cars. 
 
As per the company records from 2008 till end of November 2015, approximately 198,500 cars from Volkswagen, 88,700 cars from Škoda and 36,500 cars from Audi across various models sold in India have been equipped with the EA 189 which includes 1.2-litre, 1.5-litre, 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre diesel engines. 
 
"All the owners of vehicles with EA 189 engines will be informed by Volkswagen Group India through the respective brands about the technical measures that will be implemented in their cars. All necessary technical measures will be implemented in the vehicles at no cost to the customers," the statement said. 
 
"Volkswagen Group India remains fully committed to the Indian market and will not deviate from its future planned investments, product plans and launches. All brands of Volkswagen Group in India will work strongly towards regaining the customer confidence and trust."
 
The automobile manufacturer was served a notice by the government last month over the alleged charges of manipulating emission norms in India, as it has done in the US.
 
The company had to respond to the notice issued by the ARAI by the end of November. The ARAI has been authorised by the central government to conduct an investigation into the matter. 
 
The ARAI is a research association formed between the automotive industry and the ministry of heavy industries.
 
Subsequently, a high-level team headed by the top brass of the Pune-based ARAI submitted its preliminary findings to the government on September 30.
 
The investigation in India was started after the automobile manufacturer was caught fudging emission data of its diesel powered cars to bypass strict emission norms in the US.
 
The fudging scandal began unfolding in the last week of September, when the European car giant said it had used a software in the US to provide false emission test results.
 
Several countries around the world and Europe had started independent inquiries to find out whether the fudging practice also took place there.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Ram

1 year ago

Its looking like a big joke. Checking vehicles should come in the second stage. In the first stage by just glancing the moving vehicles we can say they are causing pollution or not. By seizing the vehicles which are polluting even by naked eye stds, pollution will come down by half in India.

Rains, floods devastate Chennai, army rescues people
 Life in the Tamil Nadu capital was virtually crippled on Wednesday as fresh downpour worsened an already disastrous flood situation, posing danger to thousands in low-lying areas.
 
 
Soldiers joined the rescue and relief work and rescued 65 men and women till Wednesday afternoon, officials said, adding that more troops were on their way to Chennai from Bengaluru.
 
Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said in New Delhi that the situation in Chennai was "unheard of and unprecedented", and promised all help to the beleaguered city and other area.
 
Residents and officials admitted that almost everyone in Chennai, a sprawling city with over 4.6 million people, had been affected one way or the other by the devastating floods caused by torrential rains.
 
Thousands of passengers were stranded at the now shut Chennai airport and the railway stations. 
 
Electricity supply snapped in many areas. Telephone services too were hit. 
 
With schools and colleges shut, and vast areas under sheets of water, most buses went off the roads and suburban train services were suspended after waters flooded the tracks.
 
Auto-rickshaws and taxis plied in some parts of Chennai but fleeced commuters. A taxi driver reportedly charged Rs.4,500 to ferry three people from the airport to a hotel on Anna Salai, the main arterial road.
 
Several parts of Anna Salai were under water.
 
Steady rains through Tuesday night -- it continued to drizzle on Wednesday -- kept people in Chennai awake due to concerns over the rising water levels, residents said.
 
Unlike in the past, even up-market localities like Shastri Nagar, Anna Nagar, Alwarpet and Mylapore were flooded.
 
Schools and colleges have been shut for over 15 days. Schools in Chennai functioned only for two days last week before the rains hit again.
 
Hutments along the Adyar river bank have submerged till their roofs. With the river overflowing, traffic over the Adayar bridge near Saidapet was closed for safety.
 
Surplus water from Poondi reservoir, which supplies water to Chennai, was released, causing more misery. Water level in the Chembarambakkam, Puzhal and Sholavaram reservoirs have also touched the danger mark.
 
The Southern Railway cancelled 13 trains out of Egmore station and four trains from Chennai Central. Ten trains from other stations too were axed.
 
But some still dared to conduct weddings.
 
"Today is an auspicious day for marriages. In our hall a wedding was conducted as planned," K.M. Kannan, manager of the AVM Rajeshwari Kalyana Mandapam in south Chennai, told IANS.
 
But Kannan added: "I have sent my family to Erode as water was threatening to enter our house. There has been no power supply in our area since yesterday."
 
Several private establishments have declared a holiday. Some government offices were closed on Wednesday.
 
The Hindu and Business Standard newspapers did not come out on Wednesday due to heavy rains, said an employee of one of the dailies.
 
Police blocked the wide stretch of Chennai beach as a precaution.
 
According to officials, the Chennai airport has been shut till Thursday morning and all flights have been cancelled after the runway got flooded.
 
"Water entered our apartment and we had to shift to our neighbour's house on the first floor," Revathi Vasan, a resident of west Mambalam in the heart of Chennai, told IANS.
 
"Another family on the ground floor has also shifted with us," she said. "There is waist deep water around our apartment."
 
In suburban areas, flooding was severe with water levels covering ground floors and threatening to enter the first floors of housing apartments.
 
Fortunately, people living at higher levels were opening their doors to strangers, several residents told IANS. Movie theatres and malls too came to the rescue of the flood-affected.
 
Major markets like in Anna Nagar could not escape the flooding.
 
In many areas, people made makeshift boats by tying up empty barrels to reach safer places.
 
Hotels were swamped by frantic calls from residents and visitors for accommodation.
 
Suresh, who works with a private company, said: "In my area (Villivakkam), the water has reached chest level. I waded through rain water for a couple of kilometres to reach my work place."
 
The unprecedented rains, the worst in 100 years, have battered Tamil Nadu's northern districts such as Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram and Cuddalore.
 
In the last spell of rains, around 180 people died in the four districts.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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