Government Schemes Current Affairs - 2020

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Cabinet approves Patent Prosecution Highway programme

Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for adoption of Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programme. It will be adopted by Indian Patent Office (IPO) under Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks, India (CGPDTM), Union Ministry of Commerce and Industries with patent offices of various other interest countries or regions.

Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programme

What is Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH)? It is set of initiatives for providing accelerated patent prosecution procedures by sharing information between some patent offices. It also permits each participating patent office to benefit from work previously done by other patent office, with goal of reducing examination workload and improving patent quality.

PPH Programme: It will initially commence between Indian Patent Office (IPO) and Japan Patent Office (JPO) on pilot basis for a period of three years only.  Under it, IPO may receive patent applications on certain specified technical fields only viz. Electronics, Computer Science, Electrical, Information Technology (IT), Physics, Civil, Mechanical, Textiles, Metallurgy and Automobiles while JPO may receive applications in all fields of technology.

Extension and Implementation: Its ambit may be extended in future, as decided by Union Commerce & Industry Minister.  The patent offices will frame their own guidelines for implementation of the programme.

Benefits of PPH programme for Indian IP office: (i) Reduce time to dispose patent applications. (ii) Reduce pendency of patent applications. (iii) Improve quality of search and examination of patent applications. (iv) Provide opportunity for Indian inventors including Start ups, MSMEs to get accelerated examination of their patent applications in Japan.

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GeM signs MoU with Union Bank of India

Government e-Marketplace (GeM) signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Union Bank of India (UBI). Through this partnership, UBI will be able to offer array of services including transfer of funds through GeM Pool Accounts (GPA), advising of Performance Bank Guarantees (e-PBG) and Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) to the registered users on the GeM portal. It will also facilitate cashless, paperless and transparent payment system on GeM portal and will create an efficient procurement system for government entities.

Background

Online integration for payments and various banking services is one of the priorities for GeM. So far, GeM has signed MoU with 14 Public Sector and private banks to enable this. It is also working with others banks, TReDs, and SIDBI to provide invoice financing and Bill Discounting to MSMEs registered on GeM. This will help MSMEs access easy credit and do better business with Government Departments.

About Government e-Marketplace (GeM)

It is an online marketplace launched by Union Government in 2018 to facilitate procurement of goods and services by various Ministries and agencies of the Government. It offers online, end to end solution for procurement of commonly used goods and services for all central government and state governments departments, public sector units (PSUs) and affiliated bodies. Its main aim is to enhance transparency, efficiency and speed in public procurement of goods and services and eliminate corruption. It provides tools for Direct Purchase, bidding and reverse auction in a transparent manner for government departments.

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