India must expand knowledge base: HRD Minister

There is a need to create intellectual property with proprietary rights by enhancing the knowledge base, Union HRD Minister MM Pallam Raju.

Last Updated: Jan 03, 2013, 23:49 PM IST

Hyderabad: There is a need to create intellectual property with proprietary rights by enhancing the knowledge base and help the country emerge as a major power, Union HRD Minister MM Pallam Raju said on Thursday.

Speaking after inaugurating a building of the School of Life Sciences at the University of Hyderabad, he said this could be done by expanding the knowledge base.

"If you look at the information technology area today in India, we are creating a lot of intellectual property rights but it all belongs to somebody else.

"So, we have to reverse the trend. We have to start creating intellectual property that the country truly owns. That can only be done by commitment, dedication and also to a large share in our research and development side," he said.

"Today we only spend 0.8 per cent of our GDP on R&D. The Prime Minister has assured he would enhance it to two per cent. This spending is not only from the public sector but also from the private sector. We have to combine our efforts and see what we can do for the nation. We have to undertake research and development that is relevant to our needs."

Raju said he was appalled to know recently none of the Indian universities figure among the top 200 global varsities.

He stressed the need to enhance collaboration between universities and industry to promote research and eventually benefit the society at large. "We have always been saying that our research is strong but our industry linkage is weak. That is why we need industries to be more active participants in universities and vice-versa."

"Universities have to step into industry environment, see what is happening there. We have to work together on a seamless transfer between universities and industry," he said.

Citing the example of US, he said a lot of research is funded there by the industry and the expanded knowledge base gets converted into products that are useful to the society.

The products are the intellectual property of the universities and also industry, he said.

Responding to slogans raised by some student groups at the event, Raju said "this government and this Minister is not for making profit out of education."

He, however, added that a healthy partnership with private sector is necessary.