On Tuesday, April 26th, 2023 in NITI Aayog, New Delhi, Dr. Chintan Vaishnav, Chair Startup20, G20, and Ms. Durga Jasraj, Founder of Pandit Jasraj Cultural Foundation, together launched “UPAJ: A Festival of Innovations in Arts” in honor of World Intellectual Property (IP) Day. The commemoration of World IP Day, which included the event, was carried out by the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks. The G20 Sherpa, Shri Amitabh Kant, addressed the crowd via video message at the start of the inauguration, “This work will inculcate the awareness of the importance of the IP and copyrights for India’s rich cultural heritage.”
India is no foreigner to the world of Art and Culture; in fact, throughout history, our country has been laced with a versatile range of unique and beautiful artworks, which are often in tune with the culture as well. During a speech at the event, Dr. Chintan said, “When it comes to Art and Culture, India is a powerhouse. The platform we have launched today is born with the intention of celebrating artistic expression and creating an ecosystem to support those who are innovating in the field of art.”
A panel discussion on the significance and difficulties of safeguarding innovation in the performing arts was also held concurrently by the Atal Innovation Mission and NITI Aayog during the event. Participants in the conversation included a variety of stakeholders working in related fields, including legislators, ecosystem builders, artists, inventors, and specialists in intellectual property rights.
Dr. Chintan Vaishnav moderated the discussion; the discussion was graced by a diverse group of intellectual and competent participants like Prof. Amogh Dev Rai, Executive Director, Sanrachna Foundation; Ms. Durga Jasraj, Founder of the Pandit Jasraj Cultural Foundation; Mr. Neeraj Jaitly, Founder of the Pandit Jasraj Cultural Foundation; Maestro Niladri Kumar, Sitar, and Zitar musician; Dr. Dinesh Patil, Deputy Controller of Patents and Designs and Head of Office (Technical); Dr. Prithpal Kaur Sidhu, Deputy Registrar of Trade Marks and G.I., Head – Copyrights Office, Delhi; and advocate Saveena Bedi Sachar, Founder, and Managing Partner – Lawhive Associates.
Dr. Chintan also emphasized the contradiction while announcing the festival, “at one level originality and creativity is existential for arts to exist, but at another level purity and authenticity is what we value of the art forms.” He further said, “This field is evolving with time and experimentation, and like with other fields, arts is also transformed by technological evolution. A forum like this hopes to celebrate those people who are advancing the field with their innovations.”
The panel discussion proved to be fruitful, the success of which can be attributed to the presence of proficient panelists. Maestro Niladri Kumar also expressed his opinions, “Intellectual Property Rights not only ensure that the originality of artists’ work is recognized, but also incentivize innovation in the industry by providing a legal framework for us artists to protect & profit from our work.”
During the discussion, Ms. Durga Jasraj, “Innovation goes hand in hand with art. It is because of technology that artists across the lengths and breadths of the country are able to find their voice. Further digital forums play the crucial role of taking art to the masses.”