Taking part in the debate on the National Institute of Design (Amendment) Bill 2019 in the Lok Sabha, Tharoor said, "The legislation was a missed opportunity as it confers the status of institutions of national importance to National Institutes of Design in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Haryana but does not define institution of national importance."
He said the design was crucial for enhancing India's soft power.
Referring to India's Mars orbiter Mangalyaan, he said it was made in the budget which was less than that of Hollywood movie Gravity and showed how Indians can embrace frugality to design.
However, he said India was being "outpaced in intellectual property registrations."
He said in India's registrations in industrial design were 2.9 per cent of US and 1.23 per cent of China.
The bill seeks to declare the National Institutes of Design in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Haryana, as institutions of national importance.
The Bill seeks to amend the National Institute of Design Act, 2014, which declares the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad as an institution of national importance.
At present these institutions do not have the power to grant degrees or diplomas and can do so after the bill is passed by Parliament.