This is so true…
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India has a huge medical repository that is not available online anywhere. In some cases the knowledge is not even written down but is passed verbally from teacher to student. For example there was a Vaidh (Ayurvedic Doctor) in my mom’s village who was an expert but none of his knowledge was ever written down. Unfortunately his son wasn’t interested in medicine so when he passed away all his knowledge was lost.
This initiative will help document the repository of knowledge and prevent bio-piracy from happening. So now that the database is up the people providing the patents will know that the healing properties of “Neem” for example are well known for thousands of years and they can’t award a patent on it.
Here’s some background information on how the database came to be created and was set up:
The genesis of this maiden Indian effort dates back to the year 2000, when an interdisciplinary Task Force of experts was set up by AYUSH and CSIR, to devise a mechanism on protection of India’s traditional knowledge. The TKDL expert group estimated that about 2000 number of wrong patents concerning Indian systems of medicine were being granted every year at international level, mainly due to the fact that, India’s traditional medicine knowledge exists in languages such as Sanskrit, Hindi, Arabic, Urdu, Tamil etc. and was neither accessible nor understood by patent examiners at the international patent offices due to language and format barriers.
The TKDL breaks these barriers and has been able to scientifically convert and structure the information available in languages like Hindi, Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Urdu and Tamil, in open domain text books into five international languages, namely, English, Japanese, French, German and Spanish, with information contents in 30 million A4 size pages, with the help of Information Technology tools and a novel classification system – Traditional Knowledge Resource Classification (TKRC).
What I would love to see happen (which is probably not going to) is that this database be opened to the public also so anyone can search through it and see the medical advances that India had/has made in the past few thousand years. Afterall most of the stuff in there is already “common knowledge”
Additional Information: PIB Press Release
Thanks to Open… for the link.
Last Saturday we went for a trip to the Sultanpur Bird sanctuary from work. The trip started at 6 am for me as thats when I left home to pick up Ashwani, Harish O, Harish T and Ram Awadh from the office. On the way to the office I inaugurated the birdwatching by spotting a chicken on the road.
Surprisingly everyone was on time and we made it to Nehru Place which was our meeting point for the rest of the group at 7:15am there we hot tea while we waited for the rest of the group (Dhiraj, Shobhna and Angad) to join us in Angad’s car. After a quick snack we left for the bird sanctuary picking Sanjay and his wife and son on the the way.
The drive there was a long one. Unfortunately there were no road sign’s anywhere telling us how to get to the place so we kept having to ask people for directions. For some weird reason people kept pointing us to the long route to the place. About 3/4th of the way there we found out that the route we were following was impassable because a bridge was being constructed on it. So we had to turn back and drive 15 kms back on the way we came and take an alternate route.
On the way we stopped at a field and took pics there. Once we made it to the Sanctuary we had a great time. We saw a lot of the birds and no I don’t know their species. All I can remember now is that we saw Peacocks, Parrots, A few kinds of white birds and a couple of black birds.
I had taken a boomerang with me and we all tried to get it to come back to us. Harish T was the only one that managed to do that. Thankfully it didn’t get stuck in the tree’s.
I had also taken my Remote Controlled place with me, but unfortunately the built in battery in the plane was almost dead so we couldn’t really fly it. So we decided to go with the old faithful and had a cricket match.
On the way back we found a direct road to Gudguan. Though calling it a road is a bit of a stretch as it was more like driving on a dirt trail than an actual road. There was a lot of construction going on so that probably was the reason why this road was so broken. Hopefully the fly-overs will be completed soon and the road will get a bit better.
This post was delayed for so long as I was procrastinating putting up the photos on the photogallery but luckily Shobhna is less lazy than I am so she has put up the photos from the trip here: http://picasaweb.google.co.in/shobhna.sharma/SultanpurOfficeTrip2009
In the near future I will probably also post the photos on my site. In the mean time enjoy.
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