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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 16th October, 2015

  • October 16, 2015
  • 14
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis, IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs October 2015, International, UPSC
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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 16th October, 2015

 

ECONOMICS

 

TOPIC:  General Studies 3

  • Issues relating to intellectual property rights (IPR)

Legally Knotted ‘Innovations’

  • A tremendous growth has been exhibited by the Indian IT Industry; right fromIPR-min the inception of large number of start-up’s as well as growth and advancement of the existing software companies.
  • Today, they are not just focussed on offering their services but have gone ahead to a different paradigm, getting involved in the discovery and development of new innovative software products for the market. This innovation thus, exhibits a streak of a ‘protective policy’ from the innovator’s end to safeguard their products and exercise monopoly over the same.
  • These patents thus, block any development of the features by software developers for a period of 20 years which, by many means can lead to disruption of seamless flow in the work due to incompatibility experienced.
  • Countries like USA, Australia and Singapore favour patent protection for software innovation but India and European nations have formulated laws related to the same, in a much stringent manner.

In India ::

  • The Amended Patent Act in 2005 and the Patents Manual, 2011 effectively deny software patents. Also, the software innovations that fall under Section 3(k) are non-patentable.
  • Section 3(k):
    • It states that a patent cannot be granted for “a mathematical or business method or a computer programme per se or algorithms”.
    • The inclusion of ‘per se’ was for a combination satisfying criteria’s like innovation, industrial applicability, etc. and that which can be patented, provided it exists either in the combination as a whole or outside of the software.
  • Patents (Amendment) Act of 2005:

A patent should not be denied if a claim directed primarily at

  • Software, establishing industrial applicability of the invention
  • Novel software, with known hardware that goes beyond the normal interaction with that hardware and that affects a change in functionality of the hardware

Also, Parliament had rejected:

  • Amendments that could have an effect of further narrowing the exception created by the section, thereby increasing the scope of patenting software
  • Proposals to permit software to be patented when industrial or technical application was demonstrated or when in a combination with hardware

‘Innovative’ hurdles:

  1. Monopoly: Little choice + No incentive to work on the complaints as the market is capture, damaging society’s development
  2. ‘Costly’ Affair impeding Innovation: Diversion of funds from productive R&D towards litigation and discovery/licenses
  • Restriction on Technological Progress& Legal Risks: More number of false claims, thereby diverting energy of innovators towards defending and not producing/discovering which, in turn, affects their creativity.
  • Low Inclusion of Indians: World Intellectual Property Organisation statistics states that only about 22 per cent of all patents granted by the Indian Patent Office were granted to Indian residents thus, questioning the strategic as well as economic sense behind the protection that excludes Indians from benefiting from it.

IASbaba’s Views:

  • Clearly, the risk towards innovation is visible in its ‘darkest shade’. With programs like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skilling India’, where India is looking forward to creating an atmosphere of multi-fold innovations, the innovative small business stands to lose out much more and get severely hurt, if India does not change its stance.
  • This will undoubtedly strengthen the market position of the Multinationals and exclude Indians from being able to access knowledge that is vital for their growth, stunting the success of the schemes by the Government, away from the path of development.

 

Background:

Intellectual property (IP)

  • It is a term used to refer to creations of the intellect for which a monopoly is assigned to designated owners by law.
  • Some common types of intellectual property rights (IPR) are copyright, patents, industrial design rights and trademarks. It also covers music, literature, and other artistic works; discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs. Intellectual property rights are themselves a form of property, called intangible property.
  • The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is an international agreement administered by the WTO that sets down minimum standards for many forms of intellectual property regulation as applied to nationals of other WTO Members.It was negotiated at the end of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1994.
  • The TRIPS agreement introduced intellectual property law into the international trading system for the first time and remains the most comprehensive international agreement on intellectual property to date.
    • Process + Product patents (allfields of technology)
    • Term: 20 years
    • Limited compulsory licensing as well as scope for its usage by Government

 

Types Legislations in India
Patents Indian Patents Law, 1970Amended Thrice: 1999 + 2002 + 2005
Designs The Designs Act , 1911 now enacted as The Designs Act, 2000
Copyright Amended: 1983 + 1984 + 1992 + 1994 + 1999;Copyright Rules 1958
Trade Mark The Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958; Enacted again in 1999
Geographical Indications The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act 1999.
Layout Design of Integrated Circuits The Semiconductor Integrated Circuit Design Act 2000

 

Connecting the Dots:

  • What is TRIPS plus agreement?
  • Do you think Indian Patent Law is regressive?
  • Write a short note on:
    1. Ever-greening
    2. India: Pharmacy of the Poor
    3. Novartis case and India’s stand

 

NATIONAL

 

TOPIC:  General Studies 2

  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector or Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

 

‘The perils of e-fixation’: Students, Computers and Learning

India, has had a long tradition of well-established educational system that spans across from the era of Upanishad or earlier. But the present predominant thrust of the modern educational system is projected as one of ‘technocratic-meritocratic’ learning.

OECD’s Observations:

  • Countries which have invested heavily in information and communication technologies (ICT) for education have seen no noticeable improvement in their performances in PISA results for reading, mathematics or science.
  • Ensuring that every child reaches a baseline level of proficiency in reading and mathematics will do more to create equal opportunities in a digital world than solely expanding or subsidising access to high-tech devices and services
  • Students who use computers moderately at school tend to have somewhat better learning outcomes than students who use computers rarely. But students who use computers very frequently at school do much worse, even after accounting for social background and student demographics.
  • Technology is the only way to dramatically expand access to knowledge. To deliver on the promises technology holds, countries need to invest more effectively and ensure that teachers are at the forefront of designing and implementing this change

Striking similarities with ASER Survey, 2014:

The survey exhibits the failure of the student’s performance to go up despite improvement in facilities provided by the rural schools of India. For example, in 2009, 60.2% of children in Class VIII could read simple sentences in English but in 2014, this figure was 46.8%.

Need for Technological Revolution:

  • To widen access at all levels
  • To raise the quality of the outcomes
  • To keep costs low, maximizing the value of their investment of public funds

 

The Learning Conundrum:

Paper & Pencils

There exists an intimate connection between the physical hand on the paper and the words on the page but computers help them in easily editing the work, exhibiting improvements in their writing making it highly qualitative.

Information Highway

Expectation of easy access to information and instantaneous answers has become the modern day concept of research and is considered acceptable, at large. This leads to a tendency towards skimming and not in-depth understanding and analysis. With an off shoot of concentration problem and disorganized memory, this multi-tasking generation hurts itself by deteriorating intellect.

 

Designing Technology for a Democratized Learning

1. A big NO to replication of Traditional learning & digitizing traditional Methods:

Technology should be used to create new learning avenues and new methods of learning. The ‘simple digitization’ encompasses within itself its own set of failures and thus, can never enable a better learning environment for the learners.

 

  • Bridging the Linguistic Divide:

Drawing up an ICT plan for Indian Languages, to include platforms and databases for dissemination of resources for higher education and digitising the languages

  • E-basta in India:

Selection of books can be made and kept at one place (eBasta) with full access to various materials by school (Interactive + Dynamic Content) which can be downloaded and kept at one place for usage. Therefore, accessibility, portability, availability and ‘no’ burden on the shoulder gets ensured.

  • ‘Magic’ of Failure:

Getting the wrong answer isn’t a failure; just a step ahead to go deeper into the required understanding

The present generation is exposed to a whole new level of innovation and discoveries, every single minute. A ‘sense of touch’ exists, employing newer levels of creativity with the things they see, they feel and they want to feel. This type of learning is known as ‘Learning how to learn’ through trial and error and persistence.

  • No ‘one’ is ‘All’: Gravest mistake committed

If children may not learn the way we teach, we must teach them the way they learn

Every child comes from a different background, their gene strains are the perfect proof to that. They grow up in a different background with different circumstances and different interest’s altogether. Therefore, treating all learners the same, hosting the same schedule of studies for all, not allowing learning to vary per student and then going ahead and building upon on what they didn’t/couldn’t learn at all is pushing the ‘learning spree’ of a child in grave danger.

  • Blended Learning- “Learning Positioning System”

Learning the learner as the learner learns

This initiative provides students to architect their own learning process and master them. Every child has unique learning needs and when a technology-based application is connected with the learning process, this engine collects behavioural information and the different (individual) process of learning. Thus, engagement according to their own learning needs is ensured without stigmatizing the student.

How should we be using technology in schools?

It is not the technology itself that is important, it is how effectively and efficiently it is used that creates a marked difference

  • Exchange: swapping traditional ways of doing things with ICT
  • Enrich: engaging learners with a richer mix of media
  • Enhance: encouraging deeper learning through the use of ICT
  • Extend: encouraging students to take their learning further
  • Empower: giving students control over their own learning

 

2. Perfect combination of 2 “T’s”: Teacher & Technology

Capitalize:

There is a need to capitalize on the enthusiasm shared between the teachers and students about technology. More flexibility in the way one learns can be infused and personalization would take place. Proper guidance as per needs can then take place. After all, learning is not about content, it is about creation.

Training:

Policy makers should formulate policies for a better relationship that should be established between teachers and technology. Specialized and regular trainings about the ICT methods and efficient usage can boost up their confidence and can enable the educator to bring in a surge of changes in the education level of her students, also with respect to making the most of the opportunities presented by technology. This will help them go from being a “sage on the stage to a guide on the side”.

IASbaba’s Views:

  • Fine-tuning and reflecting upon the lost opportunities should be the first step taken towards shaping the road ahead for education. It would make more sense to adopt a balanced viewpoint and identifying the key issue here, rather than letting the argument oscillate between technology’s potential and its drawbacks.
  • Purchase and supply of technology should be complemented with proper handling and guidance which can only be achieved by empowering the teachers and training them to become in-sync with the methods and development.

 

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