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Knowledge Commission set up

Sam Pitroda to head panel that will give India an edge

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has constituted the National Knowledge Commission with communication expert Sam Pitroda as chairperson to "sharpen India's knowledge edge" and promote excellence in the education system.

P.M. Bhargava will be the vice-chairperson. The other members are Nandan Nilekani of Infosys, the former Delhi University Vice-Chancellor, Deepak Nayyar, Ashok Ganguly, Andre Beteille, Jayati Ghosh and Pratap Bhanu Mehta.

The commission will identify its action programme by October 2, 2005 and complete its work by October 2, 2008, a PMO press note said on Thursday.

It will advise the Prime Minister in matters of institutions of knowledge production, knowledge use and knowledge dissemination. It will offer advice on how India can promote excellence to meet the knowledge challenges of the 21st century, promote knowledge creation in science and technology laboratories, improve the management of institutions generating intellectual property, improve protection of IPRs and promote knowledge applications in agriculture and industry.

The commission will suggest how the Government's knowledge capabilities can be made more effective, making the Government more transparent and accountable as a service provider to the citizen. It will explore ways in which knowledge can be made more widely accessible.

The commission will be assisted by a Technical Support Group, staffed by young recruits hired on contract from premier educational institutions.

The National Knowledge Commission is expected to interact with the Ministries which handle knowledge areas and encourage Ministries to generate plans to upgrade institutional capacity. The commission will be guided by a National Steering Group chaired by the Prime Minister and including the Ministers for HRD, Agriculture, Commerce and Industry, Communications and Information Technology, the Planning Commission Deputy Chairman and the Minister of State, Science and Technology.

UNI

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