Indian Minister clinches landmark science & tech pact on UK visit

Indian Minister clinches landmark science & tech pact on UK visit

Dr Jitendra Singh, India’s Minister for Science & Tech, Earth Sciences, is on a visit to the UK this week to enhance the scale of bilateral collaboration with the UK in the field of scientific research and development and has signed a landmark pact following a meeting of the India-UK Science and Innovation Council in London.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) on research was signed by Dr Singh and George Freeman, UK Minister in the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, to enable quicker and deeper collaboration on science between the two countries in order to drive economic growth, create skilled jobs and improve lives worldwide. Programmes covered by the MoU include the establishment of a new UK-India Net Zero Innovation Virtual Centre focusing on industrial decarbonisation and launching the first ever UK-India scientific deep sea voyage.

Dr Singh said: “The theme of India’s presidency of the G20 this year is Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – world as a whole. When we look around for the partners in this world as a whole, UK is one of our natural partners, having shared a very warm traditional relationship.

“Under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership, there has been a visible outreach as a result of which the world is now looking up to India in the field of research and innovation.”

The aim of the new UK-India MoU is to facilitate new joint research schemes aiming to deliver progress on some of the biggest issues facing the world, from climate change and pandemic preparedness through to AI and machine learning.

Minister Freeman noted: “India is rapidly building on its phenomenal software and innovation sectors to become a global powerhouse in science and technology.

“With our extensive trading and cultural links, shared democratic values and interest in urgent global issues from green technology and agri-tech to biosecurity and pandemic preparedness, we have very strong platforms for deepening research collaboration… This partnership will grow the sectors, companies and jobs of tomorrow for the benefit of both our countries and the globe.”


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Other UK-India agreements made at the Science and Innovation Council meeting this week include:

·       The creation of UK-India Net Zero Innovation Virtual Centre, hosting the Hydrogen Valley and Industrial Decarbonisation Living Lab – to help decarbonise manufacturing and transport

·       Several UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Indian Department for Science and Technology (DST) joint research calls, including programmes on sustainability and solid earth hazards

·       An intention to launch a partnership for decarbonising India’s pharmaceutical and fine chemicals industries

·       A programme of UK-India university partnerships, including one between Aston University and CSIR Dehradun on sustainable biofuels.

·       The Fourth annual meeting (and second in-person meeting) of the RS/INSA Yusuf Hamied programme, a scheme designed to promote relationships and knowledge exchanges between UK and Indian researchers


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