PIB News 28th Oct, 2020


(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

 

Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2020- streamlining of the requirements related to filing of Form 27 and submission of verified English translation of priority documents
Patentee would get flexibility to file a single Form-27 in respect of a single or multiple related patents. This will ease compliance burden & boost innovation
Authorized agents would be able to submit Form-27 on behalf of patentee. This will lead to greater ‘Ease of Doing Business’ for innovators
For filing Form-27, patentees would get 6 months, instead of current 3 months
If the priority document is available in WIPO's digital library, the applicant would not be required to submit the same in the Indian Patent Office
 Streamline the requirements related to submission of verified English translation of priority documents

Consequent to Delhi High Court's Order dated 23-04-2018 in writ petition No. WPC- 5590 of 2015 in the matter of Shamnad Basheer Vs UOI and others, stakeholder consultation was undertaken in order to streamline the requirements related to submission of statement regarding the working of a patented invention on a commercial scale in India (Form 27).

The Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2020, which came into effect on 19 October 2020, have further streamlined the requirements related to filing of Form 27 and submission of verified English translation of priority documents, which is not in English language.

Important changes with reference to Form-27 and Rule 131(2) are as follows:

  1. Patentee would get flexibility to file a single Form-27 in respect of a single or multiple related patents
  2. Where a patent is granted to two or more persons, such persons may file a joint Form-27
  3. The patentee would be required to provide ‘approximate revenue / value accrued'
  4. Authorized agents would be able to submit Form-27 on behalf of patentees
  5. For filing Form-27, patentees would get six months, instead of current three months, from expiry of financial year
  6. Patentee will not be required to file Form-27 in respect of a part or fraction of the financial year
  7. While on one hand the requirements in Form-27 regarding submission of information by patentees have been eased, it may be noted that Section 146(1) of the Patents Act, 1970 empowers the Controller to seek information from the patentee, as may be deemed appropriate.

Important changes with reference to Rule 21 are as follows:

  1. If the priority document is available in WIPO's digital library, the applicant would not be required to submit the same in the Indian Patent Office
  2. Applicant would be required to submit verified English translation of a priority document, where the validity of the priority claim is relevant to the determination of whether the invention concerned is patentable or not.

These changes will streamline the requirements related to submission of statement regarding the working of a patented invention on a commercial scale in India (Form 27) and the submission of verified English translation of priority documents.

 

(General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management, Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.)

 

Dr. Harsh Vardhan highlights need for long term solutions for management of biomedical waste
The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has underlined the need for long term solutions for management of biomedical waste so as to ease the pressure on Health and Environment, specifically in a pandemic like situation. His message was read out at a recent webinar.

“The need for biomedical waste management is quite significant today, there is a need for strict compliance of the rules and regulations already in place for safe disposal of such biomedical waste”, he added while thanking India Water Foundation (IWF) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for supporting member states, including India, through an environmental strategy to protect people.

The high-level webinar on ‘The Future of Liquid Waste Management amidst COVID-19: What lies ahead?’ was jointly organized by the India Water Foundation (IWF) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) supported by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India and Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti recently. The webinar focused on the future of liquid waste management and effective management of biomedical waste. 

The main objective was to have a holistic understanding on various facets of waste management in context of COVID-19 along with socio-environmental impacts. The sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 has imposed massive health and economic burdens on communities around the world and affected every sector of society, including the waste-water sector. Among all the categories of biomedical waste, liquid wastes pose a serious threat to human health and the environment because of their ability to enter watersheds, pollute groundwater and drinking water when improperly handled and disposed.

Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST, highlighted about innovations to tackle this waste that have been developed in the last 4-5 months like garbage bins with virus neutralizing inner lining for hospitals by institutions like Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology, Trivandrum. They are now being produced commercially.

Prof. Sharma explained the connection of water with a range of sectors. “75% of the water goes to Agriculture, and there is also a nexus between water and health, especially in the times of COVID 19. Even when the COVID 19 would disappear from the world, water problems would still be there. Science & Technology is not the limiting factor to prevent the use and abuse of water. There are a whole lot of factors like economics of situation, public behaviour, and awareness in the society which need to be focused to prevent the abuse of water,” he pointed out.

“The upcoming Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, 2020 with a very wide stakeholder consultation will address many of the issues connected to water,” added Prof. Sharma.

Speakers highlighted the lack of reliable data on sewage generation, treatment of sewage, and capacity utilization of the existing sewage treatment infrastructure.

The webinar was attended by experts like Dr. Arvind Kumar, President, India Water Foundation, Mr. Atul Bagai, Head of Country Office UNEP India, Ms. Payden, Deputy World Health Organisation Representative to India, Dr. Muralee Thummarukudy, Chief of Disaster Risk Reduction, UNEP, Dr. Mushtaq Ahmed Memon, Regional Coordinator for Resource Efficiency(UNEP), Mr. Shiv Das Meena, Chairman Central Pollution Control Board, Dr. Rajnarayan R Tiwari, Director of ICMR- NIREH (National Institute for Research in Environmental Health), Mr. Swapan Mehra Vice President (Waste to Wealth), Invest India. Policymakers, practitioners and technical experts, professionals, UN and international agencies, development partners involved in waste management, bio-medical waste, sewage, finance, and circular economy, civil society organizations interacted with participants from UNEP, India Water Foundation, and other organisations at the technical session.

 

(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

 

NITI Aayog, QCI Launch National Program and Project Management Policy Framework Initiative to Transform Infrastructure Sector in India
NITI Aayog and Quality Council of India today launched the ‘National Program and Project Management Policy Framework’ (NPMPF), envisaged to bring radical reforms in the way infrastructure projects are executed in India.

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Nitin Gadkari unveiled the Indian Infrastructure Body of Knowledge (InBoK), a book on the practice of program and project management in India, and launched the framework, along with Union Minister Piyush Goyal, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, and QCI Chairman Adil Zainulbhai. Dignitaries from across the government, infrastructure sector, global project management companies, large contracting firms such as L&T India, PSUs, global and Indian development banks, etc., also participated in the event.

Lauding the initiative, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said, ‘NPMPF will help in realizing the Prime Minister’s vision of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat by building a stronger India, in which we would need good quality infrastructure; we would need to reduce costs and waste material, without compromising on the environment and ecology. We also need to ensure time-bound and result-oriented delivery of projects.’

Recognizing the significance of program and project management tools and techniques for mega projects like Bharatmala and Sagarmala, which are already in use, he added, ‘The use and adoption of such techniques and practices to incorporate innovative financing with hybrid annuity models are already underway.’

The minister also stressed on accountability, monitoring, transparency and a corruption-free system, along with a fast-track decision-making process. ‘We need to find out ground reality problems, work on technical and financial qualifications, and ensure performance audit.’ He appreciated the importance of InBoK to serve as a common reference for all practitioners of the industry.

Union Minister for Railways, Commerce and Industry, and Consumer Affairs Piyush Goyal touched upon the importance of infrastructure building for national development and improving the quality of life. ‘With Indian Railways adopting landmark reforms, and mega projects in the pipeline and investment worth Rs 50 lakh crore and more by 2030, this initiative is most opportune to bring about more transparency in procurement, enabling public-private partnerships through appropriate risk-sharing and establishing robust project governance.’ He also underscored that capable and certified professionals with an in-depth understanding of InBok would enable a transformation of the infrastructure landscape of India. ‘Monitoring and accountability will determine the fate and success of the project,’ he added.

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant led the inaugural address, emphasizing on the significance of challenges to infrastructure in India and the importance of program and project management in addressing those. He stressed that the adoption of these practices will help achieve economic objectives through the coordination of multiple projects.

India will require an investment of around $4.5 trillion by 2040 to develop the infrastructure for sustaining its economic growth. However, the challenges in infrastructure development that often obstruct the smooth execution of projects can be a detriment. Therefore, along with numerous initiatives by the Government and guidelines advocated by NITI Aayog towards improving performance of infrastructure projects, a task force was also constituted to lay down a national program and project management policy framework.

This framework aims to formulate radical reforms in the way large and mega infrastructure projects are managed in India, with an action plan to: 

  1. Adopt a program and project management approach to infra development
  2. Institutionalize and promote the profession of program and project management and build a workforce of such professionals,
  3. Enhance institutional capacity and capability of professionals

Quality Council of India Chairman Adil Zainulbhai presented the closing remarks with a vote of thanks to all the guests and gave a few details of the framework developed. He explained that the certification system under the framework links the scale and complexity of projects to competence of professionals. A self-paced learning system, rigorous and comprehensive exam at each level with continued professional development will serve as pillars of the framework.

In the future, InBoK is envisioned to have extensions, which will be specific to each domain or industry for infrastructure, for example, a dedicated extension for roadways that captures issues and best practices specific to that sector.

Lastly, to ensure this initiative maintains its momentum and makes an impact on projects being planned and implemented currently, a capability development program to create awareness around program and project management, as well as to provide capsule training for mission-critical projects, is imperative to increase the uptake and adoption of the practice.

 

(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

 

NITI Aayog, Rockefeller Foundation & Smart Power India Launch Electricity Access & Utility Benchmarking Report
NITI Aayog, Ministry of Power, Rockefeller Foundation, and Smart Power India launched the ‘Electricity Access in India and Benchmarking Distribution Utilities’ report today.

Based on a primary survey conducted across 10 states––representing about 65% of the total rural population of India and with a sample size of more than 25,000, including households, commercial enterprises and institutions––the report assesses 25 distribution utilities.

Aimed at capturing insights from both the demand (electricity customers) as well as supply side (electricity distribution utilities), the report seeks to:

  • Evaluate the status of electricity access in India across these states and distribution utilities along all dimensions that constitute meaningful access
  • Benchmark utilities’ capacity to provide electricity access and identify the drivers of sustainable access
  • Develop recommendations for enhancing sustainable electricity access

Key findings of the report:

  • As much as 92% of customers reported the overall availability of electricity infrastructure within 50 metres of their premises; however, not all have connections, the primary reason being the distance of households from the nearest pole.
  • Overall, 87% of the surveyed customers have access to grid-based electricity. The remaining 13% either use non-grid sources or don’t use any electricity at all.
  • The hours of supply have improved significantly across the customer categories to nearly 17 hours per day.
  • Nearly 85% of customers reported to have a metered electricity connection.
  • Access to electricity is observed in 83% of household customers.
  • A satisfaction index was created to assess the overall satisfaction level of customers with utility services. The study suggested that a total of 66% of those surveyed were satisfied––74% of customers in urban areas and 60% in rural areas. 

During the launch, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar said, ‘The report highlights the benefits of government-led schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana, which have been well received in rural as well as urban areas.’ He advised Rockefeller foundation to focus on solving issues highlighted in the report in close partnership with the Ministry of Power, and highlighted three key areas: learnings from DBT schemes in Punjab; tariff simplification and rationalization; and best practices from high-performing Indian discoms.

He emphasized that the key recommendations provided in the report in the areas of policy and regulation, process improvement, infrastructure and capacity-building of utilities would be gainfully utilized for improving the power distribution sector.

He added, ‘Some of the recommendations––such as prioritizing the release of new connections for non-household customers; transfer of subsidies or other benefits directly into a customer’s account; enhanced technology-driven customer service; ensuring 100% metering of customers; segregation of feeder lines––are ongoing programmes of the government, but we would like the concerned ministry to expedite these to maximize the benefits.’

Adding that the report exemplifies India’s commitment to energy access by ensuring affordable and reliable electricity for all, Ministry of Power Additional Secretary Sanjay Malhotra said, ‘The Government of India has been working tirelessly to improve the health of public electricity distribution utilities. However, certain bottlenecks––such as regulated tariffs and inadequate infrastructure––continue to hinder efforts in providing 24x7 electricity to all.’

Smart Power India CEO Jaideep Mukherji added, ‘India’s achievements in enabling electricity connections underline its commitment to tackle the challenges of ensuring reliable, quality, 24X7 power supply to all customers connected to the grid.’

The report underlines some best practices adopted by the better-performing electricity distribution utilities in India and provides key recommendations to enhance sustainable electricity access. The data from the survey provides evidence that the infrastructure of providing electricity across sectors has improved over time. It also shows that reforms undertaken by the Government have been appreciated by the stakeholders.


 










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