ICAR gives top award to scientist without checking patent claims

ICAR has asked for Rs 245 crore to promote intellectual property rights but is not doing due diligence on patent claims

 
By Latha Jishnu
Last Updated: Monday 17 August 2015

The award was given for ‘patented work on innovative superchilling technology and vacuum packaging’ for improving the shelf life of meat (file photo)

THE Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has once again tripped up on the issue of patents while handing out one of its top awards. In the annual awards presented in July this year for exemplary research done in 2013, it gave the Lal Bahadur Shastri Outstanding Young Scientist Award to a scientist who had merely filed some patent claims –some of dubious merit –whereas the citation talks of his patented work that is in great demand.

In July this year, ICAR handed out one of four Outstanding Young Scientist Awards to M B Naveena, a senior scientist at the National Research Centre on Meat (NRCM) in Hyderabad for his “patented work on innovative superchilling technology and vacuum packaging” for improving the shelf life of meat. It goes on to say that this technology has “huge demand among meat processors”.

A quick check with meat industry sources revealed that such technology has long been in use, specially by the top exporters in the country who sold 1.56 million tonnes of buffalo meat in 2013 and made India the top exporter of carabeef.

Another application for a patent filed by Naveena and his colleagues at NRCM is for a pickle of chicken with gongura, a leafy plant. Chicken-gongura is a traditional Andhra dish that is made in most homes, restaurants and is also marketed by companies selling pickles and other processed foods (see ‘ICAR chases patents for pickle’

None of these patents have been granted as yet. Naveena told Down To Earth: “The merits, novelty and final granting of patents will be known once they go far examination. As an inventor if someone challenges my work, I will be happy to provide the reply.” He did not respond to questions as to why he was pursuing a well-known pickle recipe for patenting or about its commercial potential.

For those who have been watching how ICAR chooses scientists for its awards there is a sense of déjà vu. In 2009, it bestowed its most prestigious award, the Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award, to K C Bansal of the National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology who claimed to have filed three patents for a novel gene discovery. One of these, he claimed, was for a transgenic brinjal. It turned out to be a figment of Bansal’s imagination (see ‘Maya of Indian science’) since no such patent had been filed when he was given the award.

Sources in ICAR say the council’s push for intellectual property rights (IPRs) has resulted in an invidious situation. Scientists, they say, at times file patent claims for processes that are neither novel nor have any industrial application. This is because ICAR gives two to three marks to those scientists who hold patents or have been able to commercialise their work. This is a major advantage when senior appointments are being considered or when prized research projects are being handed out. 

On the face it, ICAR appears to follow a careful process of screening the applications, involving “many steps of meticulous planning and diligent efforts”. According to the citations booklet released on 29 July, 499 applications/nominations were received from 16 institutions at the end of December 2013. These were scrutinised by 16 awards committees consisting of three to six experts in different disciplines and chaired by “an eminent scientist of national stature”.  These committees then met between April and July for finalising the awards.

Clearly a lot is amiss in the procedure since committees are not looking through the applications carefully enough or seeking validation of the claims that have been made.

IPRs have become a focus area for ICAR which is hoping to capitalise on the work of its nearly 5,000 scientists. In 2011, it set up, through its parent organisation, the Department of Agricultural Research & Education (DARE), a “for profit” company called Agrinnovate India Ltd with an authorised capital of Rs 100 crore. The idea is to monetise the fruits of the research of ICAR’s close to 100 institutions.
 
In the 11th Plan a separate fund of Rs 49 crore was earmarked to promote IPRs and ICAR has been passing this on to its top institutes, of which the 17 national research centres (NRCs) constitute the cream. Research institutes have the autonomy to decide which work qualifies for patents once they go through the due processes. For the 12th Plan, ICAR has sought funding of Rs 285 crore to promote IPRs.

According to ICAR guidelines, all its affiliates have to set up institute research committees and research advisory committees to evaluate the authenticity and novelty of the work. After that it goes to institute technology management committee which will then get the application ratified by the project monitoring and evaluation cell followed by approval by the director.

It is an impressively bureaucratic process but quite often such committees are not formed, scientists confess. As a result there is no due diligence being conducted by the institutions on what is patentable. Neither, it seems are, are the legal firms that have been hired by ICAR to pursue IPRs.

NRCM director V V Kulkarni did not respond to Down To Earth about Naveena’s patents.
 
Although instances of shabby award selection have dented the reputation of ICAR, it has not taken corrective action. Bansal, for instance, heads the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources.


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  • Great work by Ms. Latha

    Great work by Ms. Latha Jishnu in bringing out a forgery in science.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • The scientists are doing

    The scientists are doing everything other than science and research in NRC Meat as each scientist earns an average Rs 1.5 Lakh per month. They will do anything for award.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • We can't totally blame ICAR.

    We can't totally blame ICAR. The monitoring of research and technologies in the form of IRC, RAC and QRT are well structured. But in the institute level few directors are not implementing. As mentioned ICAR is having 100 institutions and nearly 6000 scientists. It is a difficult and tedious process to monitor each and every scientist. The director has to do the job. NRCM Director is from State Agricultural University and he may not be aware of all these procedures. In this institute lots of group politics are also going on. ICAR must take severe action against these involved scientist and also must punish the director for encouraging a false claim and fooling ICAR,

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • Oh my God!!! is ICAR

    Oh my God!!! is ICAR sleeping? Hope the responsible authorities take corrective measures to fix such manipulations.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • ICAR is having very good

    ICAR is having very good scrutiny mechanisms. Its not easy to chart unless the institute director supports.
    1. IRC has to approve the project
    2. RAC will once again verify them
    3. In patent filing ITMC will come to play
    4.The technology must be proved before expert as novel and viable.
    5. Then only it can be filed.

    But to promote some scientists lot many unwanted things violating the procedures are going on. Dr. BM Naveena may be close friend of the director Dr VV Kulkarni. So without verifying the records he simply forwarded his application for a highly acclaimed award. Both the awardee and the director must be punished for scientific cheating.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • It is extremely difficult to

    It is extremely difficult to get any information about NRCM. Even if any material sought by RTI they won't provide easily. All credits goes to the author who put pain in collecting all these materials and exposing a big fraud in patent filing and also receiving award falsely.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • For furnishing false

    For furnishing false information for a reputed award and for knowingly forwarding the application both the scientist Dr BM Naveena and the director Dr VV Kulkarni must be removed.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • NRC Meat is known for

    NRC Meat is known for research scandals. ICAR has conducted several investigation in this centre. These scientists have great rapport with meat exporters and making lots of money. These export meat lobby is helping them. Another scientist in the name of traceability of meat only did animal identification and completed the project with the help of the same director. This centre is having 15 scientists. But three scientists are ruling the centre and their bio data is 10 times bigger than any other scientists but all are working for 8 hours only. The director gives all the favours to these three scientists only. The director without following any rules, he is helping these scientist to lift their career out of the way. one of them is Dr BM Naveena who can do anything in that centre.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • Dr.S.Ayyapan DG ICAR will not

    Dr.S.Ayyapan DG ICAR will not take this issue lightly. He will punish the scientists involved in this patent fraud.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • After reading the article I

    After reading the article I searched patent office website and read the entire claim of Dr BM Naveena. In super chilling he provided manipulated data which is visible from the graphs. He mentioned that he did experimental analysis such as TPC, WHC, Drip loss and pH for 3 months for 3 different treatments namely freezing, super chilling and refrigeration with vacuum. Freezing is okay for 3 months; Super chilling is also questionable. But refrigerated meat also he conducted unto 90 days with 10 days interval. After a maximum of 20 to 25 days vacuum packed refrigerated meat will be spoiled. 30th day there will be slime, 35th day yeast and mild will grow and 40th one cannot approach the refrigerator and 50th day entire institute will have foul smelling if a meat is stored after 50th day. This is the cycle of storage and spoilage of meat in refrigeration even under vacuum. How could Dr BM Naveena got data for such meat at 90th day? It is a total manipulation. He is cheating the entire nation wasting government money. These scientists are not only involved scientific cheating they also did financial looting of government money. Punishment only is the answer.
    Patent No: 2334/CHE/2012
    http://ipindiaonline.gov.in/patentsearch/search/index.aspx

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • In addition to salary the

    In addition to salary the scientists of NRCM do lots of private practice to meat processors in and around Hyderabad. Emu meat is a loss making enterprise and these scientists are making false propaganda that it is profit making.

    http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/take-the-money-and-fly/article3995715.ece

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • The award must be withdrawn.

    The award must be withdrawn. The scientist and the director who forwarded this application without verification must be punished.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • ICAR is giving marks for

    ICAR is giving marks for promotions even if an patent application is filed. ICAR must give marks only for granted patents. If a scientist is close to the director, he is filing any nonsensical procedure as invention and the director facilitates patent filing for promoting that scientist. It seems Dr B.M.Naveena and the director are very close, so closing his eyes he forwarded his application for a prestigious award. Both the awardee and the director must be punished as both are equally guilty.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • Highly unacceptable. Award

    Highly unacceptable. Award must be withdrawn. Awardee and the concerned director must be punished.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • Two years back another

    Two years back another scientist from the same centre got the same award for conducting traceability. He did not do one tracing. He simply went to 2 government farms and tagged them with some numbers and collected blood samples to separate DNA. These animals are for milk production. When will they go for slaughter and when will he trace? Traceability means tracing the animal from farm to consider fork. When these dairy animals reach consumers fork then only the project ends. But he already concluded that he completed traceability. What he did was simple animal identification. This also needs investigation.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • DISHONEST SCIENTIFIC

    DISHONEST SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY.
    SPOILING INDIAN RESEARCH IN WORLD SCENARIO.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • Severe punishment is the

    Severe punishment is the remedy.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • http://www.thehindu.com/today

    http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/young-scientist-award-for-dr-naveena/article6274335.ece

    The link above shows the news about Dr B.M.Naveena receiving Lal Bahadu Sastry award. In that m=news it reports that 4 patens published and 40 papers published.
    There is only granted or not granted of a patent. Publication has no value. It need not be granted,

    Another important issue is from the annual reports of NRC Meat only since 2008 the research setup like IRC RAC and QRT were made for this centre by ICAR. But between 2001 to 2008 Dr B.M.Naveena and the same group of scientists published nearly 12 papers. As per ICAR guidelines these are not followed any of the set procedures. 40 papers from 6 years at the rate of 6.8 papers per annum is extremely higher than the national average of publication of one scientist which goes 1.2. So there is something wrong in these publications. It needs investigation. Many publications were made without the knowledge and approval of PME cell of the centre which is a serious finding. ICAR must take serious action on the scientists involved in this frauds.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • Shame on agricultural

    Shame on agricultural research. These scientists must be punished and the award must be withdrawn. The director to forward this false application for award must be removed. This is cheating the nation.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • I have read both the articles

    I have read both the articles of Madam. Latha Jishnu.
    Her criticism about publication of patent as used by Dr B.M.Naveena is absolutely correct. One cannot claim credit for patent office to publish the application for examination. It can be rejected also. Only if granted he can claim that he is having granted patents not published patents. The language used by Dr B.M.Naveena is only cheating the nation and misguiding the award committee. Hope ICAR will take action for receiving such a prestigious award by furnishing false information in the award application.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • DEAR EDITOR, It is a great

    DEAR EDITOR,

    It is a great exposure of scientific fraud in agricultural research. The Director of the centre who forwarded the application without verifying with the PME cell of the centre whether the furnished details of the application or true or not must be punished. If the director was vigilant in the institute level itself the application might have been rejected for providing false information and there itself action might have been initiated. But here the director wanted the applicant to somehow receive the award. So without verifying the records from PME cell he might have forwarded. When the director forwards, most of the time the award committee also trust.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • Why can't these scientist

    Why can't these scientist initiate any research on improving the municipal slaughterhouse hygienic status all over India? Because it is an unhygienic job they are not interested? They are meant for improving that. Why can't they come up with a plan for hygienic retail meat shops rather than pickles which has no impact. How their big salary is justified? Only after reading this article I came to know there is a research centre for meat under the central government control. There is no traces of its presence as the centre did not make an impact on the society so far.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • Normally these kinds of high

    Normally these kinds of high profile awards are fixed well before screening the application, otherwise the director might have not forwarded such wrong informations to the award committee.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • The awardee may be highly

    The awardee may be highly influential in ICAR otherwise it can not happen with an ordinary scientist with the kind of stringent monitoring procedures laid down by ICAR for research publication and patent filing.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • If Dr Naveena's award

    If Dr Naveena's award citation is read, he specifies three things. He claims he is a pioneer in proteomics, then he claims he invented super chilling which is another area, then he claims he is an emu expert. One scientist will focus on one particular field. The award citation itself proves Dr B.M.Naveena is not expert in any of these. How is it possible for one scientist to keep his legs in all the field of science? There are serious mistakes going on in this centre on research.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • Two years back from the same

    Two years back from the same centre another scientist received the same LB Sastry award on traceability. He went to some government dairy farm, tagged 200 animals and claimed he completed traceability. He created one website also which is never dynamic. When this dairy animals will be slaughtered, exported or domestically traded and traced? 7 years will take for a dairy animal to reach slaughter. In this also big fraud is there.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • DTE did a great job in

    DTE did a great job in bringing out a research scam.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • Severe punishment must be

    Severe punishment must be given for cheating.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • Dr B.M.Naveena is very

    Dr B.M.Naveena is very influential. He will try to retain the award.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • Only two scientists will do

    Only two scientists will do everything in the centre. Other scientists are simply spectators. In a single year these two make almost 15 travels officially in air. Even principal scientists are not getting one single opportunity. Any new projects, student guidance, institute assignments, in charges are only with these two. They won't allow others to survive there.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • THERE MUST BE INVESTIGATION,

    THERE MUST BE INVESTIGATION, UNDER WHICH PROJECT PICKLE WAS MADE? WHO IS THE PRINCIPAL RESEARCHER OF THE PROJECT? WHO ARE INVOLVED IN THE RESEARCH TEAM? HOW EACH INVOLVED SCIENTIST CONTRIBUTED IN GONGURA CHICKEN PICKLE PREPARATION? WHETHER RESEARCH COUNCIL APPROVED THIS? WHETHER PROJECT MONITORING SECTION HAVING THE RECORDS OF THIS TEAM OF RESEARCHERS AND THEIR ROLE? WHETHER NOVELTY WAS DEMONSTRATED BEFORE TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER COMMITTEE? WHETHER WORTHINESS OF PATENT ASSESSED? WHETHER THE AWARD APPLICATION CHANNELED THROUGH PME CELL? IF ANSWERS FOR THESE QUESTIONS ARRIVED THE FORGERY WILL BE REVEALED.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • Dr Naveena claims in his

    Dr Naveena claims in his award citation that thousands of emu farmers got benefitted from his published papers. The number " thousand" looks extremely exaggerated. I dont know why director did not check all these numbers while forwarding the application for a prestigious award. In entire AP the emu farmers are less than 100 only. In the last couple of years more there 50% closed their farms. How he quantify thousand must be investigated.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • Strange thinking by these

    Strange thinking by these scientists to go for pickle patent with no worth.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • header line trade marks

    header line trade marks registry
    header line
    Patent Search Engine Help

    Welcome to IPAIRS Version 2.0
    Granted PatentsPublished ApplicationsApplication StatusAgent Register

    One of the 4 patents claimed to be published by Dr B.M.Naveena was withdrawn by patent office under Section 11b (4). Public money is wasted. But Naveena got awards and promotions. The details collected from patent office is given below:

    APPLICATION NUMBER 2724/CHE/2010
    APPLICANT NAME INDIAN COUNCIL OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH (ICAR) /NATIONAL RESEARCH CENTRE ON MEAT
    DATE OF FILING 17/09/2010 14:42:03
    PRIORITY DATE NA
    TITLE OF INVENTION A METHOD FOR DIFFERENTIATION OF GENDER OF CATTLE (BOS INDICUS) & BUFFALO ((BUBALUS BUBALIS) MEAT BY DUPLEX POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION
    PUBLICATION DATE (U/S 11A) 20/07/2012
    Application Status
    Status Deemed to be Withdrawn U/S 11B(4)


    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • He might have influenced the

    He might have influenced the Director General, DDGs and the influential people in the ICAR who had the political patronage through out their lives.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • How ICAR can check each and

    How ICAR can check each and every patent claim filed by any scientist? I think ICAR trusts the Scientists. So blaming the ICAR may not be correct. However, the Scientists should know their limits and responsibilities, & give a thought that how much poor tax payer's money is spent on them by the Government to develop Scientific Research and thereby our beloved nation, INDIA.

    Probably, it is time for ICAR to have some monitoring mechanism entrusted to good scrupulous bureaucrats or Scientists with absolute honesty/Integrity.

    Kumanan

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • Great article on exposing

    Great article on exposing scientific Fraud.
    Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • Among all the ICAR

    Among all the ICAR institutes, NRC Meat is the worst in terms of scientific forgeries, group politics, scandals, scams etc. The visit of ICAR officials are more for enquiries of scams than for any developmental activities. ICAR spends Rs 4 crores for employees welfare and the amount used for research is than a crores with nil results. For a no output centre, ICAR is spending Rs 4 crores a year. There is no accountability. That scientist (Naveena) is also from Karnataka. DG ICAR also favours Kannadigas. So nothing will happen. He will retain the award. These are waste assignments. Nothing will happen.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • The salary of animal

    The salary of animal scientists of ICAR are one among the biggest salary category. It is so sad to see these scientists are developing pickles. I guess, someone in their home might have prepared this pickle and these scientists are patenting them using office money due to strange thinking without knowing the facts of Gongura.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • The attempt of these

    The attempt of these scientist to file a patent application for Gongura chicken indicates that there is no proper research monitoring system existing in the centre and also there is no accountability for wasting the money.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • This is a shocking article

    This is a shocking article about Indian research. The award must be withdrawn and the awardee must be punished.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • This is an exposure that ICAR

    This is an exposure that ICAR is not having proper mechanisms for patent filing. The money allotted is wasted like this. The inventors of this patent must be punished for wasting public money and their precious time.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • Its so sad state of Indian

    Its so sad state of Indian agriculture research.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • This is a great exposure of

    This is a great exposure of false patent claim by Ms. Latha Jishnu.

    It is illegal to claim a patent application which is under examination as patented work according to patent law.

    According to section 120 of the patent law these associated scientists can be penalized to a maximum of Rs. One lakh for falsely representing the status of an application which status is under examination and falsely claiming it as patented work with huge demand among meat processors.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • The root cause of this type

    The root cause of this type of fraud in ICAR is the Score Card System in ASRB. Each scientist want to grab the position by any means. There are number of such cases but ICAR Authorities didn't act appropriately.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply
  • There is a lot of group

    There is a lot of group politics going in this institute. They are lot of cheating cases filed against the scientists in police stations.The scientist and the director who applied for patents and who got the prestigious award to the dummy scientist and he want fame without any work. Therefore immediately the ICAR should appoint a genuine committee and know the realities what is going in this institute. These scientists are wasting lot of public money for their fame and development.

    The director appointed should be great administrator not the stamp pad otherwise he cannot control the scientists with a dangerous attitudes.
    The director should be genuine and have capabilities to keep the control of the institute.

    Its shame on part of NRCM scientists and Director on Fraud applications on prestigious awards and making the polices coming to the institute for their guilty.
    Already the NRCM has got a negative fame by involving the polices many times on their worst guilty activities.

    Since it is a public funded institute Please make the use of the valuable money for the sake of the society not for your selfishness and worst personal politics.

    Jaihind

    Posted by: Anonymous | 5 years ago | Reply