|Image from here|
Around two weeks ago, I received an email from Srinivas Rao, editor of Bio-Spectrum, asking me for permission to use some of the information that I had unearthed from CSIR using the RTI Act, 2005. The two specific posts that he wanted to refer to are: “CSIR finally discloses details of patent licensing: More than 400 patents licensed over last ten years” and “CSIR provides misleading information; aims to hide revenues from patent licensing”.
I obviously thought that he was going to present a balanced and transparent story discussing how CSIR had potential for innovation but that it was behaving in a terribly suspicious manner when asked to reveal details on royalties from patent licensing.
To my utter shock I realized that when the article was published last week, available over here, Biospectrum made absolutely no mention of how CSIR had suspiciously backtracked on its earlier decision to share information regarding patent royalties. Instead Biospectrum, cherry-picked some of the statements that I had made in one post, while ignoring the two later posts and presented them completely out of context and may I add in an article titled: Is CSIR the fountain head of innovation in the country?”. The magazine completely ignored statements that I had made in two other posts, available over here and here.
Just the mere fact that CSIR has licensed 400 patents is of no relevance until we can determine the value of those deals. The most damning fact however is that CSIR had agreed to share royalties before backtracking. This is the issue which is at the heart of the story – why is CSIR so scared of revealing their patent royalties? Was there corruption involved or was it just a case of maladministration. These are the questions you expect a journalist to be asking CSIR.
If Biospectrum wants to be play the role of CSIR’s cheerleader, they are free to do so but they are not at liberty to present my quotes out of context. Selective journalism of this sort is dangerous and reduces the credibility of journalists all around.