New Delhi, Dec 17 – Drawing lessons from a bruising legal battle on turmeric, the government has digitised traditional Indian remedies and healing systems to prevent international pharmaceutical companies from claiming patents on them, parliament was informed Thursday.
‘The Traditional Knowledge Digital Library contains details of all known Indian remedies and healing processes and the manner in which herbs and other items are used to effect this,’ Prithviraj Chavan, the minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said during question hour in the Rajya Sabha.
‘We have translated this into five languages and put it in the public domain. We are more than willing to share this knowledge with scholars but pharmaceutical companies won’t be able to claim patents on this,’ he added.
‘We learnt our lessons from the haldi (turmeric) episode,’ he said, referring to the the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR) prolonged legal battle to prevent the US Patent and Trademark Office from granting a patent for the product to a US firm.