News and Current Events


CSIR-WIPO workshop on Negotiating Technology Licensing Agreement

CSIR Programme on Youth for Leadership in Science

Digital Database on Genetic Resources of India

Visit of High-level Five-Member South African Delegation to NISCAIR


CSIR-WIPO Workshop on Negotiating Licensing Agreement

July 4-8 2005

A workshop was organized by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in cooperation with CSIR. The objective of the workshop was to provide  basic knowledge, understanding, and guidance in negotiating technology-licensing contracts and to give a valuable insight and a competitive edge to personnel dealing with technology transfer and licensing agreements within  CSIR. Inaugurated by Shri Kapil Sibal, Minister of State for Science & Technology, it was attended by  scientists from various CSIR Labs situated across the countries. It was able to provide practical knowledge in the field of technology transfer and licensing negotiations to CSIR personnel thus contributing to more effective transfer of technology. (Full Proceedings)

SAARC Workshop

December 27-28 2004

 A Workshop of the SAARC Traditional Knowledge Task Force was be held by SDC on 27th and 28th December, 2004. It was attended by 3 members from each of the SAARC Traditional Knowledge Task Force from each Member State.

CSIR Programme on Youth for Leadership in Science (CPYLS 2004 at NISCAIR)

February 16 - 17, 2004

The CSIR Programme on Youth for Leadership in Science (CPYLS) seeks to excite, attract and motivate bright school students to choose science as a career pursuit. The top 50 students at the secondary school examination (X class) at the state level (both local Board & CBSE) are invited (along with a guardian), at CSIR expense, to visit for 'two open days', the nearest CSIR laboratory. The top five have the option to visit two additional CSIR laboratories of their choice. On the two 'open days' the laboratories organise events and activities such as lectures by eminent S&T personages, recount through audiovisual and film media the contributions of Indian scientists besides giving the participants a guided visit of the laboratory and holding interactive sessions.

NISCAIR’s CPYLS Programme (2004) was held on the 16th and 17th of February 2004. Sixteen students attended the programme.

Prof. Rajesh Kocchar, Director, National Institute Science Technology And Development Studies (NISTADS) delivered the much-appreciated Inaugural Lecture. In his humour-laced, straight-from-the-heart talk, Dr Kochhar told the participants that their life ahead would be a little like the game of snakes and ladders that they had played as kids. However, in life there was no hard and fast rule that a snake had to be a snake and that a ladder had to be a ladder. He said that, it was a person’s attitude to a situation that could turn a snake into a ladder and vice-versa. An opportunity wasted would mean that a ladder had been turned into a snake, whereas a learning experience even if it were a bitter one, would qualify for the reverse phenomenon.

Dr A. R. Verma, former Director, National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi and recipient of the Padma Bhushan, delivered a talk entitled, “Precision Measurements Live For Ever.” His very lively talk pointed out that precision measurements in science are absolutely mandatory. He gave the example of Lord Rayleigh, who in 1892, found that oxygen was always 15.882 times denser than hydrogen, no matter how it was prepared. When he tried to extend this work to nitrogen, he found that nitrogen isolated from air was denser than nitrogen prepared from ammonia. Any other person may have given up exploring this minor discrepancy but not Lord Rayleigh. He and Ramsey later jointly announced the discovery of a new element, which they named argon from the Greek word meaning the "lazy one" because this gas refused to react with any element or compound they tested. The entire new group of inert gases was discovered subsequently, all because a minor discrepancy had to be explained. This shows how precise measurements have honed (and are honing) our understanding of science.

Dr B C Sharma, Scientist F and Head, Popular Science Division, delivered a talk entitled “Overview of NISCAIR Activities”. In his talk Dr Sharma gave the participants a brief yet tantalizing glimpse into NISCAIR’s multifarious activities and its societal significance. Dr Sukanya Datta, Associate Editor, Science Reporter pointed out the nuances of popular science writing in her presentation.

As part of the CPYLS programme a CD highlighting 60 major achievements of CSIR in its Diamond Jubilee year was screened as was the CD entitled Raghunath, which traced the rise of Dr R A Mashelkar, DG CSIR, from humble beginnings to the stellar heights of success.

There was a lively interactive session just prior to the Valedictory Function with the students and their teacher/guardian airing their views. The Programme concluded with a vote of thanks.


Digital Database on Genetic Resources of India

January 27 - 30, 2004

A joint meeting of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) and NISCAIR was organized during 27th-30th January 2004 at NISCAIR, Pusa Campus in connection with exploring the development of a digital database on Genetic Resources of India on the lines of TKDL. The focus of the joint meeting was to decide on the strategy to be followed keeping in view the resources of BSI and NISCAIR.

    The BSI team comprised Dr. D. K. Singh, BSI, Dehradun; Dr. D. P. Venu, BSI, Coimbatore; Dr. J. R. Sharma, BSI, Dehradun; Dr. V. Sampathkumar, BSI, Kolkata; and Dr. P. G. Diwakar, BSI, Pune.

     The Indian team was led by Mr V.K. Gupta, Director, NISCAIR. Shri D. D. Verma, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests was a special invitee to the Opening Session.

     In his welcome address, Director NISCAIR emphasized that the creation of such a database would be invaluable for R&D in the areas of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. NISCAIR has already provided a solution in the case of Ayurveda and is in the process of extending the work to Unani, Siddha and Yoga systems of medicine.

     Shri D. D. Verma, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, also welcomed the initiative. He emphasized that it was in the national interest that a mechanism for setting up a linkage between conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of biological resources should be found. TKDL could act as a catalyst in this direction. He added that a National Biodiversity Authority has already been set up and work on preparation of guideline for Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) in respect of genetic resources was in progress. A database on national genetic resources would be a national asset in the context of international negotiations relating to CBD.

     A number of presentations were made by NISCAIR and BSI teams to exchange information on the existing information resources, methodology perfected for TKDL, patent classification system and technological requirements for such an initiative

     Mr. V. K. Gupta, Director NISCAIR, outlined a stepwise approach to the creation of the proposed database. He suggested that a classification structure for the plant-related information proposed to be covered in the database has to be formalized in the first step. Next, parameters to be included in the database should be agreed upon and then a concordance with the IPC classification system has to be built. These steps would be followed by creation of database structure and assessing the cost and time parameters at later stages. For this purpose, it was decided to form different teams comprising BSI and NISCAIR Scientists.


It was also agreed that the database should be named as the TKDL (Genetic Resources) keeping in view the potential of including information on animal and microorganism species at later stages and the important applications of such a database.


Visit of High-level Five-Member South African Delegation to NISCAIR

December 2003

A workshop on ‘Creating Collaborative Framework between India (CSIR) and South Africa (DST) for Establishing TKDL for South Africa’ was organized at NISCAIR during the first week of December 2003. The workshop was attended by a high-level South African delegation led by Ms Leratho Thahane, Deputy Director General and Group Executive, Technology for Development, Department of Science and Technology, Pretoria, South Africa. The other team members included, Dr Mogege Mosimege, Director, Indigenous Knowledge Systems; Tom Suchanandan and Otsile Ntsoane, Deputy Directors, Indigenous Knowledge Systems; and Mr Neville Gawula, Head, Legal Services, DST, South Africa. Mr V.K. Gupta, Director, NISCAIR chaired the workshop. The workshop was also attended by TKDL Team Members and Scientists of NISCAIR.


    The discussion in the workshop focused on the need for creating TKDL not only to protect traditional knowledge but also to carry out advanced research for creating new healthcare products. It was emphasized that the creation of TKDL was the first step towards the acceptance of TK as a valid system of knowledge. The ultimate aim of TKDL was to create a Golden Triangle connecting traditional medicine, modern medicine and modern science. And in this endeavor, TKDL creates a bridge between traditional medicine and modern science.


    The South African delegation was optimistic that close cooperation between the two countries could be achieved for setting up a digital library for South Africa similar to TKDL built at NISCAIR. There was a consensus that the two organizations should collaborate in this area in a manner mutually beneficial for the two countries.


    With such future collaborative projects in the emerging area of Traditional Knowledge, NISCAIR/CSIR is likely to emerge as a leader in the technology, not only in providing technical support but also in protecting the interests of the developing countries in the area of traditional knowledge.


    The delegation also visited the CSIR laboratories -- NBRI, CDRI and CIMAP -- located at Lucknow.