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The removal of Prof. N.S. Gopalakrishnan, an internationally-renowned expert in intellectual property rights, from the post of MHRD Chair Professor on IPR at Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) by the university syndicate has irked the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and queered the pitch for the upgrade of the institution into an Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST).

The Hindu has reliably learnt that the Cabinet delegation led by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy that visited New Delhi recently got an earful from the senior MHRD officials for removing Prof. Gopalakrishnan from the post.

The syndicate had terminated his deputation as Chair Professor on July 30 last and asked him to join his parent department (School of Legal Studies). The Cusat syndicate had also questioned his dual role as Director of the Inter-university Centre for IPR Studies and Professorship at School of Legal Studies.

‘Politically motivated’
Many in legal circles had viewed the syndicate action as ‘politically motivated’ as many faculty members continue to remain heads of various centres along with their teaching assignment.

A member of the expert panel of the MHRD and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion on IPR-related issues, Prof. Gopalakrishnan is the chief negotiator representing the country at World Intellectual Property Organisation on traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions since 2010. He is also one of the key members negotiating on copyright issues.

The renowned IPR expert continues to associate with the MHRD by rendering his expertise in policy making and legislative drafting. Prof. Gopalakrishnan had also played a crucial role in crafting the copyright amendments.

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