India, South Africa to jointly boost R&D in biotech, renewable energy, astronomy

Pune: India and South Africa agreed to strengthen cooperation in the areas of astronomy, renewable energy, advanced materials & manufacturing, and indigenous knowledge systems at the 12th Joint Committee Meeting (JCM) on science and technology which was held from 17 to 20 February in Pretoria, South Africa.

A four-member scientific delegation from India led by Dr SK Varshney, Advisor & Head of International Bilateral Cooperation participated the meeting in Pretoria, South Africa, and the South African delegation was led by Daan Du Toit, Deputy Director-General, International Cooperation and Resources, Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), South Africa. 

National Innovation Foundation (NIF) and DSI, South Africa finalized the implementation plan for the Grassroot Innovation Program which was signed after the Joint Committee Meeting attended by Dr Vipin Kumar, Director, NIF, and Nonhlanhla Mkhize Chief Director, Innovation for Inclusive Development, DSI, South Africa.

This will provide a clear strategy to develop and deploy affordable grassroots technologies to address the common challenges of food, nutrition, and health of both countries. India is part of the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) hosted by South Africa. India-South Africa Joint workshop in the area of radio astronomy has also been agreed upon to add value to the SKA partnership. 

The joint committee also appreciated the progress in the HIV-TB program and agreed to organize a final project review meeting during the last quarter of 2020. Both sides applauded the good response for the joint call for R&D projects in the area of renewable energy, biotechnology, and advanced materials. A total of 82 projects have been received from both sides. The joint committee agreed to support about 10 projects based on the basis of scientific merit.

The delegation also visited the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, and the Kleinskuur Boerdery Aquaponics and interacted with the scientists to explore further opportunities of cooperation.

This information was provided by the Communications Team at the Dept. of Science & Technology, Ministry of Science & Technology.

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The ID Staff

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