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May 25, 2021

Review: “Traditional Knowledge System- A Key to MSMEs Growth After Covid-19 (2020)” by Sowmya D N and Dr. P. Paramashivaiah

Author: Intern - Yamini Gurjar

Citation: D N, Sowmya and Paramashivaiah, P., Traditional Knowledge System – A Key to MSMEs Growth after COVID-19 (May 14, 2020). Juni Khyat ISSN: 2278-4632 (UGC Care Group I Listed Journal) Vol-10 Issue-5 No. 14 May 2020, Available at SSRN: <http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3652013>


The above captioned article has been written by Sowmya D N, a Research Scholar at the Department of Studies in Research and Commerce at Tumkur University and Dr. P. Paramashivaiah, a Professor & Research Supervisor, Department of Studies in Research and Commerce, Tumkur University. The article  discusses how the implementation or use of traditional knowledge for marketable determination might help MSMEs grow and develop holistically. MSMEs can continue with innovation and skill enhancement for sustained growth in India, according to the writers, if Traditional Knowledge (TK) is treated as commercial growth.

Status of Traditional Knowledge in India

The writers draw attention to how important traditional knowledge is by firstly addressing an analysis by World Health Organization that shows that most of the world’s population (80 %) relies on TK, which is heavily reliant on ancient medical methods to cure ailments. They further point out how TK can be misused if not protected properly and all these issues have been addressed by Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL). The writers use examples of neem (for medical uses) and jeewani (known by the Kani tribe for its medical uses and benefits, also particularly known for the aarogyapacha) to show that various kinds of TK have protection in India. The writers further refer to the well-known Turmeric Case as an example to show exactly why such protection is required.  The writers also point out that as many as 344 products in India carry the GI tag.

Salient Statistics about MSMEs in India

The writers highlight salient statistics about MSMEs in India:

  • 33% of GDP is contributed by MSMEs to the Indian economy.
  • 35% to Indian industrial exports are contributed by MSMEs Sector.
  • India has more than 106 Lakh MSME units with an investment of more than Rs 1 Lakh Crore.
  • There are 11 million MSMEs in India.  
  • MSMEs in India produce more than 8,000 types of products 
  • The MSME sector contributes 40% of the range of products produced in India. 
  • India’s MSME base is the largest in the world after China.

After analyzing this data the writers believe that India would profit from supporting and funding required R&D, as well as from improving the dimensions of businesses to leverage existing knowledge. MSMEs in India are more than simply businesses; they are a significant element of the culture, tradition, and way of life.

Challenges for Indian MSMEs 

The writers believe that there is a lack of understanding of TK and IPR protection in India. They say that there are various challenges due to the upcoming environmental threats and consequences because of the dualistic development impact on resource scarcity. The writers  strongly believe that the country is underachieving in the potential aspects of research and innovation, which further has an impact on long-term and large-scale industrial competitive and economic growth. The other challenge put forth by the writers is that 90% of Indian workforce that is working in the unorganised sector are underemployed, have low-productivity and engage in low-skill activities. They pin this on the lack of infrastructural and financial resources for innovation along with the lack of skilled labour resources and labour attrition problem. The writers also point out that the flow of traditional knowledge is not focused on by the younger generation due to the dilemma of acceptance. Also, there exists a deficiency of convenient capital (both Human and Financial resources) and how there is an issue with a technology upgrade.

Opportunities for Indian MSMEs from Traditional Knowledge 

The writers agree that India will highly benefit by commercializing knowledge by establishing a strong ecosystem to create the capacity of smaller enterprises to engage it. The writers found the following outcomes after a conceptual study:

The government is encouraging MSMEs to get themselves registered on the National stock exchange. India’s growth drive is under threat due to the dualistic development through division of urban-rural, environmental threats that lead to scarcity of resources. The potential areas for increasing the competitiveness of MSMEs include technology, procurement, skills development and finance. The regime has to work with thin capital reserves. Government should help MSMEs by providing working capital facilities and providing employment and payment of wages. The small business that earns excess capital has taken out that excess capital of the businesses and applied it to personal assets because of the COVID situation.


The article is a review of the status of Traditional Knowledge in India and how MSMEs can help protect this TK along with monetizing it for the benefit of the country. The writers have analysed the various gaps that are created due to the non-seriousness and lack of knowledge about TK.

Disclaimer: Views, opinions, interpretations are solely those of the author, not of the firm (ALG India Law Offices LLP) nor reflective thereof. Author submissions are not checked for plagiarism or any other aspect before being posted.

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