Union Education Ministry will soon be launching a National IP literacy initiative. Abhay Jere, the Chief Innovation Officer at the Ministry of Education stated, “When we looked at our higher educational institutes, more than 95-97 percent of our institutes have never filed IP (intellectual property) ever, so we felt that if we have to create a culture of IP creation in these institutes we need to ensure that we make them literate, train, hand-hold them within these institutes.”

He also highlighted that annual IP filings in China are about 14 lakh, followed by the US at 7 lakh, whereas India has around 45,000-50,000 filings, out of which only 30%are by Indians. He highlighted that India has over 45,000 higher educational institutes, 10,000 technical institutes, and over 80 lakh students studying or working in various types of technologies. However, the number of IP filings is still low owing to the lack of a cohesive IP ecosystem. He added:“This needs to change, as we have 80 lakh students just studying technology and overall we have about 4 crore students who are pursuing higher education, but if you look at the IP which is coming from educational institutions is not more than 2,000-2,500 and these are getting generated in only top tier I organizations.”

IPR in Education: The Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks explained the need for nurturing the next generation of innovators. He stated that India needs scholarship schemes for meritorious students coming from poor backgrounds. He explained that such students do not risk their careers by associating with pure sciences and R&D activities and are more inclined towards taking up a job opportunity immediately after graduation. The New Education Policy will also be introducing some radical changes in this regard. A National Research Foundation similar to the National Science Foundation in the US will be formed to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in our educational institutions. The Education Ministry is also training faculties as innovation ambassadors to increase the IP filings. He also highlighted the importance of IP filings in making India a knowledge-based society and economy.

The Ministry realized that it has no clear incentive for faculties and students who get into IP filing, entrepreneurship, converting those IPs into ventures, conversion of knowledge into wealth. Therefore, the Ministry is also coming up with a National Start-up Policy for faculty members and students.