Indian government’s Intellectual Property Bureau to be reorganized to boost transparency

The Intellectual Property Department of the Ministry of External Affairs is planning to re-organize itself to help with transparency, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

The department will no longer have a centralised structure for issuing licenses and issuing orders, and will instead be led by a team of officials with “specific expertise” and the mandate to oversee licensing and ordering, the statement said.

It said the team would focus on the protection of intellectual property rights, as well as information-sharing among the ministries.

The move comes at a time when India is facing a series of corruption scandals involving top officials, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

The ministry said its decision to revamp the department will also help it “better manage its digital platforms and increase transparency”.

The move was welcomed by the India Institute of Technology-led group of digital rights activists.

“The creation of a new department that will provide digital governance and transparency services to the government is in line with our long-held belief that transparency is essential to an open and inclusive society, said Vipin Narain, executive director of the India Initiative.”

India has long been a pioneer in developing a functioning government through a transparent, accountable and responsive process,” he said.