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Prowess of scientific, technological cooperation can be leveraged by building bridges: Deshmukh

New Delhi, Thu, 01 Mar 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Mar 1 (ANI): Asserting that India-Africa cooperation needs to be built on principles of shared vision, and mutual understanding, Union Minister for Science And Technology Vilasrao Deshmukh on Thursday said that the soft prowess of scientific and technological cooperation can be effectively leveraged by building bridges between the scientific communities of both the nations.


Addressing the two-day conference of India Africa S and T Ministers here, Deshmukh said: "We have assembled here to develop a new platform and a concrete road map of cooperation in science, technology and innovation with African countries. This value based cooperation needs to be built on principles of shared vision, mutual understanding and goodwill."


He further said that there are several 21st century challenges, which India and African nations have to meet together in their journey for economic development.


Science, Technology and Innovation could play an effective role in meeting some of these common challenges. For instance the requirements for food, energy, water and affordable health care are common challenges. The adverse impact of climate change is a shared global concern. Inclusive growth is a priority need of both India and countries in Africa," he said.


"Building inclusiveness and rapid growth based on equity is not an easy task. Sustainable development in the world of economic imbalance and disparity is even a greater challenge. Current IPR regime in a competitive world order becomes a factor for denial of affordable technologies. New paths may be required to develop corrective models through partnership," he added


Urging all to popularize the fellowship scheme in their respective countries, Deshmukh said: " We need to achieve the full utilization of the opportunities provided under the fellowship program. The infra-structure in our laboratories is being strengthened. Most of our R and D and academic institutions are now actively engaged in international collaborations with allows mobility of students and researchers."


"I see here an opportunity for science and engineering students at the Masters and PhD levels from Africa to undertake student internships in Indian research institutions. Through this exposure we can connect the young scientists and build bridges between next generations. While brain-drain to other developed countries may be an issue for developing economies, I can assure you that while sending your students to India, such concerns may not be relevant!," he added.


Asserting that today the challenges faced by humanity are global in nature and no nation alone can face and mitigate these issues, Deshmukh said: "At this forum where leaders and policy makers are represented, we must make a collective effort to identify some of the areas of mutual interest in research which we can address together."


"We should aim to devise effective ways through which we can pool our scientific resources, infra-structure and human intellect," he added. (ANI)


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