Government says no to entrepreneur's nuclear technology

Monday, 26 February 2007, 06:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: The government has refused to make use of a "cost-effective" technology to produce heavy water developed by a researcher as the Atomic Energy Act of 1962 bars it from accessing any privately developed technology in this sensitive field.

Following Durga Prasad Mishra's petition, the Delhi High court has asked the government to permit the entrepreneur to have his technology to produce heavy water, utilised in nuclear power generation, patented abroad.

Justice B.D. Ahmed Thursday directed the government to clear the application of Mishra, who claimed to have developed a cost-effective technology to produce heavy water, if he sought for permission to apply for patent of the technology abroad.

"If the petitioner makes such an application for permission, the central government, as provided under the Atomic Energy Act itself, shall consider the application in accordance with the law," said Justice Ahmed in his four-page order.

Responding to the court's show-cause notice, the government had earlier said, "The heavy water is a controlled and regulated item for its exclusive use by the government. Experimentation pertaining to such technologies cannot be permitted for research or exploitation by any individual for its industrial use."

The government had added that the ministry of science and technology had considered Mishra's proposal in the 77th Technology Screening Committee meeting on Nov 14, 2006 and had it rejected. "It was considered to be beyond the purview of the Technopreneur Promotion Programme and the committee recommended for its closure," the government said.

The Technopreneur Promotion Programme examines individuals' technological discoveries and products for their veracity and further use.

Government counsel Gaurav Duggal told the court that the centre had directed Mishra to approach the Mumbai-based Heavy Water Board for guidance.

"Mishra, however, refused to seek guidance and preferred to have his technology patented," said counsel Anoop Kumar Srivastava appearing for Mishra.
Source: IANS
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