Apropos of the article ‘Is the Indian patent regime weak?’ (FE, March 4), in 1959, the Ayyangar Committee report recommended that 'patent protection should be set in line with the level of technical development of the country'. Though it is true that innovator has to be well-compensated but at the same time it is important to ensure that innovation serve the public interest. Section 3(d) of the Indian Patents Act regulates the secondary patents or ever-greening and role of compulsory licensing (CL) comes when the prices for medicines, for which product patents have been granted, are exorbitant. Canada is one of the examples where CL has been effectively used, what is crucial is to have a straightforward, transparent and fast CL procedure in India. It ensures the lowering of prices through competition and also ensures space to generic companies for their long-term sustainability.
In his column "Committee on Insecurity" (FE, March 3), Shekhar Gupta has explains how the UPA rendered the Cabinet Committee on Security, with its who's who of the Cabinet, powerless. Whether the UPA government goes down in history as one with a spineless PM and helpless FM or not, the accidents in the Navy that led to the resignation of the Navy Chief are to be taken seriously. We should have a second look at our arms and military equipment, not just in the Navy but also in the Army and the Air Force. Why should the largest democracy in the world, with talented and highly qualified scientists and experts, be the largest importer of arms also? We have been doing it for the past 66 years without giving any serious thought, spending huge amounts in foreign exchange and running up big fiscal and current account deficits while the economy suffers. Defence purchases are often clouded by scams but we go on purchasing from the global market without adequately investing in updating our own weapons technology.