Science and Technology Ministers of India and UK reviewed the progress made in the India-UK partnership in science, technology and innovation which has been significantly intensified under the Newton-Bhabha programme. Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan, had a meeting with UK Minister of State for Science, Research and Innovation Jo Johnson in New Delhi.
Based on the shared principles of co-funding, co-development and co-creation multiple agencies both in India and UK are seamlessly contributing to the multifaceted cooperation which covers the three strands of people, project and translational research partnerships. Both the Ministers reiterated the spirit and essence of the Newton-Bhabha program which underlines that the scientific knowledge creation and its application is directed for the welfare of both the nations. In this context, Dr. Harsh Vardhan remarked that “harnessing science and technology for a better future of our people is the new spirit which drives the present Indo-UK cooperation.”
In November 2016, UK was the partner country in the Technology Summit which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Theresa May. Speaking in the event, our PM had remarked “today, the world is at an inflection point where technology advancement is transformational and it is vital that India and the United Kingdom, two countries linked by history, work together to define the knowledge economy of the 21st century”. Towards achieving this goal several major initiatives have been recently launched as a part of the multifaceted collaboration in STI between India and the UK. These include projects on Energy Efficient Building Materials as a part of green initiative with co-investment of £ 8.4 million. Indo-UK Clean Energy Virtual Centre has been established with leading academic centres in India and UK to work on advanced R&D in Solar Energy, Storage and Grid Networks.
The two Ministers welcomed the release of the scoping Indo-UK report on Antimicrobial Resistance which has been prepared to launch a virtual research centre to address the increasingly serious threat to public and animal health in both countries. To study the impact of atmospheric pollution on Human Health a programme has been launched and first campaign for taking observation in Delhi is scheduled to begin soon.
Under Industrial R&D programme India and UK have made visible progress with support to 10 joint projects led by industries from both sides towards co-development of Clean Technologies and Affordable Healthcare devises.
In the meeting between the Science Ministers, it was also informed that the India-UK Frontiers of Science Symposium is planned for summer of 2018 in UK which will bring the future science leaders across disciplines for brainstorming the future direction of the bilateral cooperation.