The Indian Patent Office, now celebrating its centenary, has had a relatively uneventful career. The reason for this is to be found in the fact that scientific progress in this country has been restricted by the kind of education imparted to the youth; and our industrial undertakings have been content with copying methods evolved in the West some decades ago.
This has meant a large gap, particularly in the technological field, between the industrialised countries of the west and India. Not only has the Indian mind been slow with gadgets and machines, our industries also suffer because of the reliance on outdated mechanisms.
Till now much of the work of the
Patent Office has been connected with the registration in this country of
foreign patents, mostly from the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States. Perhaps we can claim that the Ambar Charkha is a landmark in our inventiveness, but the world today is not in the age of the spinning jenny, but of the atom.
We are on the threshold of an industrial revolution; we have to face competition; from much advanced nations. Whether we succeed in maintaining industrial prosperity will depend on our technological progress.
When the workshop ceases to be a labour-extracting factory, there will be greater enthusiasm among the workers to experiment and invent short-cuts. In the new status that has been given to labour in the Second Plan, here are some incentives to bring out the best in every worker.
(EDIT, March 5, 1956.)