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PGT: Dr Mashelkar, this 1970’s Patents Act, for instance, there is a lot of pressure on India, in the World Trade Organization and elsewhere, to change the law, so is it decided that India rush into a global regime of Intellectual Property Rights?

RAM: My response to that would be the following: I am a firm believer in generation of strong intellectual property, protecting it, valuing it, and exploiting it. It is very clear, because if usable knowledge has to be converted to wealth, then that usable knowledge must be protected. So we must have systems within India by which we do it. While doing so we must guard our national interest, there is no question about that, and there are ways of guarding our national interest, one can get enough detail on that. But the real concern that one has, is this tremendous patent illiteracy within the country, and what do I mean by illiteracy? I mean our inability to read patents, write patents, and even know about patents. So quantitatively and qualitatively, we are not doing well. Quantitatively, half a million patents are filed every year, globally, and our contribution to that is not even 5000 patents. Qualitatively, because those breakthroughs, by which knowledge can create wealth, have not really taken place. So, therefore this entire movement in terms of better awareness of Intellectual Property, not only within industries, but in our national laboratories, in our IITs, in our universities, has to be brought in, and a new generation of innovators who understand the implications of that, has to be created.