Mr. Hedi Ben Abbes, Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Government of Tunisia today called on Dr. Ashwani Kumar, Minister of State for Planning, Science & Technology and Earth Sciences in New Delhi to discuss further steps for strengthening the Indo-Tunisia scientific technological collaboration.
A Fresh Program of Cooperation for the period of 2012-14 was signed on 19th December 2011 during the 2nd Indo-Tunisian Joint Committee on S&T. Dr. Ashwani Kumar and H.E. Mr. Hedi Ben Abbes discussed the current Program of Cooperation which provides opportunities for bilateral S&T cooperation through exchange of researchers, training of researcher in Indian laboratories, organization of workshops and joint R&D projects.
The two countries agreed on certain specific areas of cooperation, identified for cooperation under the current Program of Cooperation. This included biotechnology, material sciences, information science (including software development), renewable energy sources, medical sciences, water technology, geospatial technolog8es and science popularization.
During the meeting, Dr. Kumar called for further consolidation of unique partnership between the two countries. He informed Minister Abbes, that India is committed to faster, sustainable and more inclusive growth by harnessing its knowledge and potential in science and technology and that innovation is a key focus area for the government. The government proposes to enhance its total R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP to 2% by the end of 2012. Dr. Kumar informed Minister Abbes that India had expended S&T cooperation with technologically advanced countries like Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, USA, UK and Korea and also with the EU. Government has taken steps to build national capability and capacities in the area of supercomputing, open drug discovery, national geographical information systems (GIS) etc. As a result of indigenous efforts India has emerged as a country with advanced defence and strategic capabilities.
The Tunisian Minister conveyed that his country was committed to strengthening S&T ties with India and assured of increased collaboration between S&T establishments of the two countries.
Tusinia and India have a long standing relationship in the field of Science & Technology Bilateral collaboration in the area has been strengthened over time through the projects undertaken by the Indo-Tunisia cooperation conducted mainly under India’s Technology Diplomacy Policy.