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Location: Hyderabad /Herndon VA USA , Andhra Pradesh, India

Fellow of National Academy of Engineering Fellow of Institution of Engineers, M.Tech., Indian Railway Service of Engineers (1970-2005) Former MD/ Konkan Railway Corporation

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Technology War

BR/Intellectual Property/12/8/2005     Dt.December 8, 2005

My dear Ketan,

     Sub: Intellectual Property and consequent technology development to commercialise the patents-handling Technolgy war

While leaving the organization, I had the good fortune of inventing and assigning to Konkan Railway Corporation ,Intellectual property worth more than Rs 10,000 cr- depending upon how successfully the organization is able to complete the technology development.

During my tenure I personally have to nip in the bud, attempts by the well known Multi national and influential companies to take away the knowledge I created in the name of commercialization.

The main object of my work is to show that India can produce technologies which deliver more value for money, because of our intrinsic intellectual strength. The moment you allow the pure exploitative large companies from outside our country, to take away the knowledge, the same companies will sell to us at much exorbitant prices and hijack the property, because of their better financially  strong lobby strength.

It is to benefit our people and the mankind at large that the next generation technology like ACD Raksha Kavach has been created by my effort. We are more advanced in every way and the road map of development threatens almost all the existing established players. We want to create wealth for our country and others want to create wealth for their country.

It is a Technology War!

Most of our Government officers and systems like audit and vigilance, which are designed for mere procurement, engineering and operational services, are inadequate to handle this challenge of fighting a technology war.

Very innocently they can walk into the trap of “collaboration”, an euphimism, actually to take away your hard earned developed technology!

To protect against such loss of very precious property that Konkan Rly got from me, I have been thinking since that case of GE trying to enter Konkan Railway to collabotate on ACD, was referred to me.

A policy protection is needed for the officers who are dealing- as well as for the organization to guard against this technology war.

First and foremost is that is there a conflict of interest in such proposal? If with our technology we can achieve better results than the company who wants to come in, then for what value addition we are considering the case?

Is there any proprietary technology being offered to you, which you cannot do without, to enhance our technology? If yes, then only one may consider after due diligence, but other wise, why choose a company who wants to access into your technology?

Taking the specific case of GE, more as an example, on what basis this company is chosen? Normal Government prudence dictates that some objective bidding process is required to do any business- else open offers to collaborate have to be made! Then what is it that Konkan Railway is looking for specifically- has to be defined and value additions made out and proprietary nature of the offer of technology established with due diligence and certifications by the concerned officers, for audit and vigilance trail.

World’s first technology development effort will always be sought to be sabotaged or hijacked by the competitors, and if our officers are not vigilant enough, the country’s interest will be compromised.
Technology development is hard work and there is no soft option. The procures’ mentality and systems are inadequate for this effort.

To protect interest of our company and people of our country, to whom I have given this property, I tried to create a system in which stakes are created for the principal technology custodians- technology cannot be developed with in house resources, after all, service officers are not having these skills- to get the IT inputs, hardware sourcing, improvements and fine tuning the hardware components to meet our requirements, integrating the software with the hardware, needed multifarious skill and expert inputs, a government organization can ill afford. But when we use private agency, danger of losing the technology is dominant. To protect against such eventuality, I consciously created stakes for working with Konkan railway only- and assure a continuing business relation ship with one chosen partner. While choosing the partner, a competitive offer was made within our country- more informal which included an MNC too, and production of reasonable prototype within a short three months, was treated as the success criterion to have a chosen partner.

In fact the problems and concerns of such cutting edge technologies, where specifications are fluid and development process redefines continuously the designs and specifications- are detailed in a note of mine filed in the office. Normal procurement policy cannot apply to innovations and development.

Once the development process reaches a take off stage, then too many pressures will come to steal the property, and innocently our own officers fall into the trap.

It is all the more dangerous if new entrants are there in the company, making decision with pure railway background, who will try to take a decision, without realizing that actually, they are fighting a technology war!

Once our officers realize that they are in war to create wealth for our country, with those who want to create wealth for their country, then they will be more careful to protect our intellectual property.

Obviously, this property being our country’s, the arms of Government agencies charged with the responsibility of protecting Government interest, certainly watch out. I request that our good officers may be counseled in writing with this letter, so that innocently, they may not walk into a trap, not following even the minimum requirements of procurer’s diligence of covering the Vigilace and audit concerns.
Technology development by us, when commercial interests of established major foreign companies are adversely affected, the organisation has to be doubly careful, to protect the self-interest.

Yours sincerely,


Dr K.K.Gokhale
Managing Director/ Konkan Railway Corp.
Navi Mumbai


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