India, US fund, commission for S and T cooperation
New Delhi, Mar 2: Heralding a new era in Science and Technology cooperation, India and United States today decided to set up a Bi-National Science and Technology Endowment Fund and a standing Science and Technology (S and T) Joint Commission.
An official statement said the issue figured in the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting US President George Bush and both them expressed their desire in this regard.
These initiatives will accelerate cooperation in many technical fields of mutual interest and benefit the economy and well being of citizens of both the countries.
Both the initiatives build on the S and T Cooperation Agreement signed on October 17 last year.
The Bi-National S and T Fund will have contribution from India and the United States. Additional contributions are anticipated to be added from private sources. Income from the fund will support joint research and the development of India-US S and T projects selected through a competititve process.
Projects considered for funding will include biotechnology, health and infectious diseases, advanced materials and nanotechnology science, climate science, clean energy technologies, clean water technologies, hydrology and watershed management, cyber security, natural resource and wildlife conservation management, basic space, atmospheric and earth sciences and marine sciences.
The proposed Joint Commission would provide a framework for a vigorous public-private partnership aimed at serving as a bridge and forum for dialogue between the government science and technology agencies in both countries. It would foster Research and Development and scientific exchanges between government, universities, research institutions, and the private sectors and encourage the joint research and development of fast and medium S and T projects for commercial products for mutual benefit of both countries through mutually agreed mechanism.
The Commission would oversee Indo-US cooperation in science and technology implemented through existing and emerging arrangements, besides encouraging commercialisation of new technologies and identifying and promoting reduction of regulatory and bureaucratic barriers in both countries.
The Commission will be appointed and serviced by the Department of State of the United States and the Government of India, co-chaired by senior leaders from each country, and composed of representatives from the scientific community, government and industry.