What are the essential clauses for any cooperation MoU/ Agreement?

Material Transfer Agreements (MTA) involving export of material from India should include the below clause. The Term ‘Partner County’ to be replaced with the name of the proposed country.

“The parties agree to comply with Partner County and Indian export control laws and regulations pertaining to the export of technical data, services and commodities. The Partner County Recipients understand that sharing controlled technical data with non- Partner County persons is an export to that person’s country of citizenship that is subject to Partner County export laws and regulations, even if the transfer occurs in the Partner County. Partner County Recipients or Indian provider will obtain any necessary Partner County government or Indian government license or other authorization required pursuant to the Partner County or Indian export control laws and regulations for the export or re-export of any commodity, service or technical data covered by this Agreement, including technical data acquired from Provider pursuant to this Agreement and products created as a result of that data".

What are the documents / information required to be sent to ISTAD for seeking necessary approvals?

The below information should be sent to ISTAD (if already not covered in the MoU/Agreement) along with the mutually agreed text of the MoU

  1. Areas/projects for partnership
  2. Clear objectives and plan of their execution
  3. Modes/forms of Partnership (such as exchange of students/ scientists, implementation of projects, setting up centres, etc.)
  4. Source of funds for implementing planned activities
  5. Measures for protection and sharing of background Intellectual property (IP) and the IP expected to generate under this collaboration.
  6. Expected benefits and advantage to CSIR / India from this cooperation.
  7. CSIR / India’s loss if the MoU does not get signed and implemented as informal partnership continues.
  8. Number of similar MOUs / cooperation arrangements singed by the institute and present implementation status of each such arrangements
  9. Involvement of any security / sensitivity issues related to location of joint activities (involvement of prior reference countries (listed on MHA site) or sensitive areas in India need MHA clearance which would be processed by ISTAD), exchange of sensitive materials (human, plant, geographical; prior clearances from GOI authority will be obtained by the laboratory).
What are the various Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) coordinated by ISTAD?

ISTAD coordinates all bilateral and multilateral MoUs proposed to be signed by either CSIR or CSIR Laboratories with the partners abroad. These MoUs could be in the form of Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA), Material Transfer Agreements (MTA), Letter of Intent, Letter of Agreement (LoA), Intellectual Property Management (IPM) Plan, Memorandum of Cooperation, Memorandum of Agreement etc where no business transaction is involved.

What are the essential clauses for any cooperation MoU/Agreement?
  1. Clearly mentioned names of the partner organizations alongwith their legal status
  2. Clearly defined objectives
  3. Scope of cooperation
  4. Modes/forms of cooperation activities
  5. Management of Cooperation; It may include the method proposed for review and coordination of cooperation activities (joint committee, nodal contact points, etc.
  6. Financial implications and administrative terms (Article 5)
  7. Defining Confidential Information and its usage/non-usage rights and provisions
  8. Defining the usage, sharing and ownership of the Intellectual Property, both background and foreground
  9. Applicability of Governing Laws and Arbitration in case of doubts/disputes
  10. Force Majeure
  11. Other general terms, validity and termination clauses
What is the approval process for different types of MoUs/Agreements?
  1. NDA – the NDAs are approved by DG CSIR. If required, comments of LA CSIR and IP Unit may be obtained, based on the terms and conditions mentioned in the NDA
  2. Secrecy Agreement, Intellectual Property Management (IPM) Plan under a collaborative projects approved by the competent authority: The Secrecy Agreement are approved by DG, CSIR. Comments of LA CSIR and IP Unit may be obtained, based on the terms and conditions mentioned in the Agreement.
  3. MTA – The CSIR Lab proposing to execute a MTA for the transfer of biological materials should obtain necessary approvals from ICMR (for human biological material) or National Biodiversity Authority (for plant biological material). The MTA along with the necessary approval should be sent to ISTAD for further approvals.
  4. Letter of Intent, Memorandum of Understanding, Memorandum of Cooperation, Memorandum of Agreement – the following standard approval process will apply to these MoUs/Agreements.
    1. Evaluation of the draft MoU/Agreement by ISTAD in consultation with CSIR-IPU and CSIR Legal cell wherever applicable for examining the IPR and legal issues involved.
    2. Obtaining GOI clearances (MEA, DPIIT, MHA as applicable).
    3. Obtaining approval of Secretary, DSIR and DG, CSIR.
    4. Obtaining approval of VP, CSIR and Hon’ble Minister where MoUs (bringing the Union into relation with any foreign country) are to be signed/exchanged/ announced during VVIP (PM / President / Minister level) meetings
How much time does the approval process take?

Since the MoU is sent to DPIIT and MEA, it may take anywhere around 4-6 weeks. In some cases, it may also take longer, especially if MHA clearance is also required.

Do CSIR laboratories need to send a copy of the signed MoU to ISTAD?

Yes, a copy of the signed MoU/Agreement should be sent to ISTAD for record and reference within one month of its signing

How CSIR Labs come to know about the existing cooperation arrangements of CSIR with foreign research and technology organization ?

List of MoUs /Agreements signed by CSIR with foreign partners is available on CSIR website or can be requested from Head, ISTAD.

What are the documents required for Deputation Proposals?

The following documents are required for processing the deputation proposals

  1. Filled in proforma (complete in all respect) applicable for the visit
  2. Invitation with dates
  3. Quantifiable benefits to CSIR of the visit
  4. Brochure of the conference/workshop if applicable
  5. Funding details
  6. If funds are provided by other institution: institute consent letter
  7. If funds taken from project: Project name, project sanction documents, expenditure statement of project (signed by FAO)
  8. Mandatory information of funding of last two year visits on 5 October 2015 letter format
  9. Vigilance clearance proforma as per the format prescribed by CVO, CSIR
  10. Details of last three years foreign visits
  11. Last deputation report
  12. Brief CV
  13. Day to day detailed programme
  14. Pay level, official email id and mobile no (for Director)
  15. Detailed itinerary
  16. Prior permission from FCRA (MHA) for accepting foreign hospitality in kind or cash (if applicable)
  17. Annual Property Return
  18. Annual Property Return of officiating Director (in case of Director’s visit)
What are the requirements for Organizing International Conference/ Workshop/ Symposium etc. by CSIR Laboratories?

International events have to be processed in accordance with the procedure outlined in the Ministry of Finance (Deptt. of Expenditure)’s OM No. F.No. 7(1)/E.Coord/2010 dated 31.5.2010 (revised vide OM No. 19(36)/E.Coord/2018 dated 30.05.2018). In-principle approval of the Minister-in-charge should be taken 4-6 months in advance.

Proposal may be submitted by the CSIR institutes along with the following details for processing the necessary GOI clearances and the approval of the Competent Authority:

  1. Statement of total expected expenditure of the event with Breakup, duly vetted by the local Finance of CSIR Lab/Institute (e.g. Expenditure on Travel, Local Transport, Accommodation, Food & Catering, Venue booking, Printing & Publication, Registration kit/bag etc.). Please note this should conform to the rates prescribed under CSIR/GoI financial/expenditure management norms/guidelines circulated by CSIR time to time.
  2. Statement of expenditure (with breakup) involved on Government part, if any (i.e. funds from CSIR/GOI Department etc.) duly vetted by the local Finance along with the copies of firm support letters from the Govt funding departments/organizations indicating quantum of funds approved.
  3. Statement of funds received/proposed to be received from External sources (Non GOI sources like Registration fee/industry sponsorship etc ), duly vetted by the local Finance along with copies of firm support letters from funding/sponsoring agencies indicating quantum of funds approved.
  4. Confirmation about the funds of the event being operated from the existing bank a/c of the Institute. If separate account has been opened, provide details thereof along with the permission of FA, CSIR (The necessary instructions issued by CSIR vide OM No.30-2(37)12011-IFD dated 11.11.2014 regarding opening of bank account and its operation may be referred)
  5. Details of the role, responsibilities and other support to be provided by external agency (ies) (both national and foreign), if involved, in organizing the event. Please provide copy of firm support letter from them.
  6. Copies of RC approval.
  7. Details of the person/agency who will issue the invitation letters to the participants.
  8. Details of the expenditure on Travel/Accommodation of the foreign participants, if involved, along with the list of the foreign participants who will be provided travel/accommodation by CSIR Lab/Institute.
  9. As prescribed in the Ministry of Finance OM No. 19(36)/E.Coord/2018 dated 30.05.2018, Commitment for bearing travel/ accommodation cost on participants from foreign countries should be kept to the barest minimum. Ministries/Departments shall exercise utmost economy and austerity in this regard.
  10. If no such expenditure is involved, kindly provide a statement, duly vetted by the local Finance, indicating that “the event does not involve expenditure on travel/accommodation of foreign delegates from GoI/CSIR/Laboratory sources”
  11. Hosting of conferences in 5 - Star hotels is not permitted owing to austerity measures as per the directives issued by the Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India.
  12. Full and final list of the expected foreign participants as per the enclosed proforma (i.e. passport details, contact details, birth place, nationality etc.). Please note that the MEA and MHA always insist on full and final list. Partial/incomplete lists are not considered and the clearance process takes minimum 6-8 weeks.
  13. Details of the foreign participants from Prior Reference Category (PRC) countries (i.e. Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, foreigners of Pakistani origin and Stateless persons), are to be provided separately. Please submit Full details of such participants, if any, SEPARATELY in the attached proforma (MS Excel Sheet) as they require specific clearances of MEA and MHA.