23 Jan 2008

Microsoft Intellectual Property Scholars announced

Building up the pool of legal talent in India (not surprisingly most of which migrates to other countries in search for more and better opportunities), the first winners of scholarships awarded by Microsoft have been announced. Supporting development in legal arena in its field, Microsoft has launched this “Microsoft Intellectual Property Scholar Program” two years back in 2006 with an “initiative set up for capacity building and creating a pool of specialists in the area of IT and Intellectual Property (IP)”, as a press release from Microsoft India announces.

Originally starting with NALSAR, the scope of the program has been expanded nation-wide to almost all major law colleges and universities across the country. This year 33 students have been granted a scholarship (which amounts to Rs. 80,000/- per student which is not a major amount to pursue masters degree abroad but yes is substantial for seeking opportunities in India itself) and these 33 students come from 11 colleges, which are;

  1. Army Institute of Law (Mohali)
  2. Government Law College (Mumbai)
  3. Hidayatullah National Law University (Raipur)
  4. ILS Law College (Pune)
  5. NALSAR University of Law (Hyderabad)
  6. National Law Institute University (Bhopal)
  7. National Law School of India University (Bangalore)
  8. National Law University (Jodhpur)
  9. National University of Juridical Sciences (Kolkata)
  10. Symbiosis Society's Law College (Pune)
  11. University School of Law and Legal Studies, GGS Indraprastha University (New Delhi)

The awardees were felicitated by none less than the Union Minister of Law & Justice, Mr. H.R. Bharadwaj (another committed person to legal education in India, the details of which I will write some other time) along with Managing Director of Microsoft India, Ms. Neelam Dhawan. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister was quoted as saying, "The goal of promoting intellectual property law represents a fundamental attempt to promote the overall technological, innovative and artistic capacity of the nation. Also, a stronger IP legal community in India helps us take on violations of our intellectual property abroad, ensuring Indian inventions are protected and worked domestically and internationally” “I am happy that today Microsoft has increased the scale of the program to a national scale to cover most law schools and universities."

The selection for these scholarships was made by the IPR team of Amarchand Mangaldas (law firm) office. However what surprises me is that the names of the award winners have not been made notified in the release. I took time to search for the names of the awardees in Google but to no avail. It would be really worthwhile if someone could inform me who the lucky ones are !!!

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