The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Shourie for tech audit

New Delhi, April 26: Union communications minister Arun Shourie has asked all the departments under the ministry to list the details of various technologies used by them over the last 10 years and may initiate a vigilance inquiry into those that have failed.

In a move to track the technologies that have sucked the government exchequer but have missed out on targets, the communications minister has shot off letters to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd, department of post and department of information technology seeking the information.

Speaking on the sidelines of a function to mark World Intellectual Property Day, Shourie said, “I have asked them to list the technologies that have been used by the departments over the last few years and to identify that have failed to perform or have become defunct before the target have been achieved.”

“I am not for any vigilance inquiry but if there are cases show evidence of malpractice, the department will take the requisite action,” Shourie added.

Commenting on the importance of intellectual property for the Indian software and bio-tech industry and also other sectors, the minister stressed that those in the area of promoting intellectual property should strive to promote the cause, since it is more of a mindset that needs to changed.

He also stressed the need to re-educate the police, security forces and legal fraternity about the growing legal question of intellectual property rights.

“The police and legal fraternity need to be updated about the problems posed by the loss of ideas or intellectual property created by the ideas which can be a major problem for the country’s economy. In order to stop piracy of any kind in the IT sector, stringent penal action needs to be given. Speedy resolution of such cases is also needed,” said Shourie.

He stressed that the private sector should encourage those with ideas to transform them into commercial ventures. Investment in R&D will grow only when the intellectual property is safeguarded. The government will soon launch a pilot project for electronic filing of patent application.

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