Immense potential for multilateral scientific cooperation between CIS Countries and India emerged out of the deliberations of a seminar held at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC) on February 20, 2013.
The Seminar “Realities and Prospects of Scientific Cooperation between CIS Countries and India”, aimed at marking the Day of Russian Science, was organised by the RCSC, jointly with Vigyan Prasar, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India and the Embassies of CIS Countries in New Delhi.
While making his observations as the Moderator of the Seminar, former Rector of Jawaharlal Nehru University Prof. Ramadhikari Kumar dwelt at length upon the gamut of bilateral cooperation right from the Soviet times. In this connection, he referred to the launching of the Integrated Long-Term Programme of Cooperation in 1987, which paved the way for concrete cooperation in the field of science and technology. Prof. Kumar cited the formation of Joint Working Groups spanning different spheres of science, research and development, exchange of delegations, etc. He also noted the significance of the Indo-Soviet Inter-Governmental Joint Commission on Economic, Trade, Scientific and Technological Cooperation of 1972. Emphasis was made on the joint projects on defence and space research.
Earlier, in his welcome remarks, Mr. Andrey Andeev, Deputy Director, RCSC, described the seminar as an important forum to discuss the significant topic of scientific cooperation between CIS Countries and India aimed at solving the challenges like pollution, climate change, sanitation, poverty, and others.
Making an overall description of the salient features of bilateral cooperation between India and Russia, Mr. Sanjeev Kumar Varshney, Director/Scientist ‘F’, International Cooperation, Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, spoke specifically on the achievement of bilateral scientific cooperation and its future prospects. He said that the consistent measures taken by the two sides identifying new areas of cooperation, within the framework of the meeting between the leaders of our countries, have given a new momentum and impetus to the stronger scientific and technological bond. He added that effective interaction, follow-up and assessment of results on research and development have enabled both sides to improve upon the activities. Mr. Varshney also pinpointed certain areas of cooperation India has with CIS Countries.
With the help of a multi-media presentation, Mr. Er. Anuj Sinha, National-Level Monitor, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, made his address on the new opportunities in science and technology communication between India and CIS Countries. He threw light on the intrinsic points of science and technology and innovation policy 2013, public awareness and accountability, science communication trends in India, developmental focal areas, future science communication, and other areas of relevance.
In his extensive briefing on the realities and prospects of bilateral cooperation in science and technology, Mr. Andrey Shelukhin, Counsellor (Science & Technology), Embassy of the Russian Federation in India, laid stress on the objectives of cooperation within the framework of the present Integrated Long-Term Programme of Cooperation in Science, Technology & Innovation. He related the significant success of cooperation in peaceful nuclear energy and military know-how to the strengthening of the strategic nature of relationship. “The leaders of Russia and India consider research and innovation is the key to a better future for a developing world, but limited resources and new wave of the economy crises demanded a new form of cooperation—BRICS became that one, while such cooperation would also be dependent on the resources each country could commit”, Mr. Andrey Shelukhin pointed out. Keeping in view of meeting the new challenges, he made a clarion call on joint research and innovative economic development in the framework of BRICS Member States and Shanghai Organization Cooperation.
Ms. Lucy Tovmasyan, Consul, Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in New Delhi, said that her country is willing and prepared to have cooperation with India and Russian Federation in different fields, particularly astrophysics, computer and electronics, industrial development.
Mr. Serdar Shikhiev, First Secretary, Embassy of the Republic of Turkmenistan in New Delhi, while explaining the needs for development in his country, pointed out that there is immense possibility of cooperation in the field of seismology, education, IT and health care.
Ms. Maya Rusetskaya, First Secretary, Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in New Delhi, referred to the agreement her country had signed with Indian National Science Academy. She also cited the priority areas of Indo-Belarus scientific cooperation, particularly information technology, energy, micro-electronics, environment, etc. She expressed the readiness of her country to develop scientific cooperation with India.
Mrs. Kinkini Dasgupta Misra, Scientist ‘E’ & Head, Gender and Technology Communication Division, Vigyan Prasar, made a presentation on the activities of the Department of Science and Technology for the promotion of international cooperation and innovation in science and technology.