Satish Reddy | The tech-driven, growth-centric Budget offers a futuristic vision

The technology-driven Rs 45 trillion ($549.14 billion) spending Budget 2023-24 includes a futuristic “Amrit Kaal” for women, youth, members of the marginalised communities, productivity improvements, energy transition, climate action, investment finance, and major public sector investments in infrastructure led by the Prime Minister’s Gati Shakti. The Budget has strong public finances and a sound financial sector that will benefit all classes of society.

The government continues to implement numerous initiatives to support startups in India. The Budget suggested extending the date of incorporation for startups to qualify for income-tax incentives from 31.03.23 to 31.3.24. The finance minister proposed increasing the benefit of carrying forward losses for startups to 10 years. Additionally, the government will support startups with an agricultural focus. To support agri-tech entrepreneurs, a fund called the Agriculture Accelerator Fund will be established. This will help entrepreneurs to improve profitability and introduce modern technologies, in addition to providing innovative and inexpensive solutions to farmer problems. The modern, innovative, and economical solutions provided by the startups can be protected via patents. This will enable the startups to generate and file patents, which will eventually help startups to protect, enforce their intellectual capital and more profits in the national and global markets. CII has established Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) facilitation centres (IPFCs) in different parts of the country to help SMEs protect their intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, designs, copyrights, and geographical indications. CII is making commendable efforts towards providing hand-holding support to startups to protect and monetise their IPRs through these IPFCs.

The Budget proposed setting up of centres of excellence for Artificial Intelligence (AI) for realising the vision of “Make AI in India” and “Make AI Work for India”. Three centres of excellence for Artificial Intelligence will be set up in top educational institutions of India. These centres of excellence will help in conducting interdisciplinary research, develop cutting-edge applications and scalable problem solutions in the areas of agriculture, health, and sustainable cities. The research-based solutions for cutting-edge technologies can enable registering substantial amounts of intellectual property from the centres of excellence.

In order to strengthen 5G networks in India, the government proposes to set up 100 labs to effectively develop 5G services in the country for developing apps using next-gen telecom services. The 5G labs will cover apps like smart classrooms, precision farming, and transport systems. 5G is in itself a very vast field and has the capability to generate a lot of intellectual property in the field.

Budget 2023-24 has announced that lakhs of youngsters will be trained in the next three years in subjects such as coding, AI, robotics, mechatronics, 3D printing, Internet of things, drones and other soft skills under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 4.0. This will enhance skill development of lakhs of youths. These skilled youngsters will provide innovative solutions for solving problems of the country, which can eventually lead to registration of more intellectual property.

For the last 20 years, CII has actively and diligently pursued the creation and promotion of a strong IPR ecosystem in India. CII’s IP Initiative is an effort to catalyse human resource development, facilitating and providing support for IP Creation, Protection and Enforcement and also to advocate policy reforms conducive for Indian industry to do competitive business around the globe, by enabling Indian industry to attain global leadership by harnessing and leveraging IP.

So far, CII’s IPR centres have facilitated filing/protection of over 400 patents, more than 1,200 trademarks, 1,700 industrial designs, 200 copyrights and 37 geographical indications across the country.

Under the Budget, states will be urged to establish a “Unity Mall” in their state capitals or in the busiest tourist spots to promote and sell “One District, One Product” Geographical Indication (GI) goods, and other handicraft items. This action will accelerate the expansion of agricultural products with GI. Unity Malls have been conceptualised for traditional artisans and craftsmen, which will enable them to improve the quality, scale and reach of their traditional GI products.

It will encourage artisans to promote and get benefits out of the GI products within and outside India. Towards this, CII is closely working with various state governments towards the monetisation of GIs, which enable upliftment of the livelihoods of rural society through promoting rural innovations.

A new programme promoting research and innovation in the pharmaceutical industry will be implemented through the centre of excellence. With this, the pharmaceutical industry will be encouraged to invest more in research and development in areas of national priority. The government would also help select ICMR laboratories. Also, R&D in pharmaceuticals will be encouraged more via a new programme. Inter-disciplinary medical device courses are supported in existing institutions to ensure availability of skilled manpower for futuristic medical technologies and cutting-edge manufacturing and research. Many new announcements like multi-disciplinary courses for medical devices supported by existing institutions, establish physical libraries at the ward and panchayat levels will further inculcate a culture of R&D investment in the pharma industry to a great extent. In other words, boosting pharmaceutical research and development will help to fuel innovation, which will eventually have a direct positive impact on increasing IP filings in the pharmaceutical industry.

A growth-centric Budget 2023-24 will boost overall economic productivity, with long-term focus on research and development, technology, skill development, agriculture, and rural development, which will drive growth through the multiplier effect.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story