India proposes special Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) fund for Brazil, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) to the tune of USD 2 million. Minister of State for Science and Technology, Earth Science and Planning Commission Dr. Ashwani Kumar today announced India’s support at the Summer Davas conference at Dalian, China organized by World Economic Forum and Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).
Dr. Ashwani Kumar said that India would be willing to contribute an initial sum of USD 2 million as its share of the contribution to the proposed 10 million USD BRICS STI Fund and also offered three key proposals.
In his Keynote address at the meeting, Dr. Ashwani Kumar emphasized the need for collectively harnessing the scientific and technological knowledge to address the challenges of this century that humankind faces in common like hunger, malnutrition, pandemics, climate change, energy, food security and many more. Talking about the potential areas for STI collaborations among BRICS countries he opined that the BRICS countries the Minister said that the BRICS countries are large in size and their energy requirements are likely to scale new proportions with the growth of their economies. New sources of clean energy based on second generation bio-fuels developed through recourse to biotechnology could form an important program for co-investment. Energy efficient transportation and civil aviation needs are also bound to increase many fold, he commented. Shri Ashwani Kumar informed about India’s eight missions under National Plan on Climate Change and emphasized that the challenge to balance between the responsibilities to mitigate emission of green house gases while maintaining our GDP growth momentum is common to all BRICS nations. This is an area where BRICS countries could all cooperate and global problems could be countered best through collaborative excellence, he mentioned.
The three key proposals include various fields. One, India will pursue BRICS STI cooperation activities in the areas of shared priorities such as Energy, Water, Health, Natural Disaster Management, ICT, Basic research in emerging areas of S&T, Industrial clusters especially involving MSMEs. Second, India is in favor of setting a BRICS Framework of STI Cooperation that promotes some common objectives to be overseen by BRICS STI Working Group. And the third, creation of a “BRICS STI Fund” with annual contributions from each member country for supporting cooperation activities under the BRICS STI framework. Mr. Kumar announced that to begin with, the initial contribution could be to the tune of US$ 2 million per member country and India is prepared to undertake its share of commitment.