Major India-German science and technology initiative launched

Major India-German science and technology initiative launched


New Delhi, India, 27 September 2006: India and Germany have launched a new initiative in collaborative Science &Technology (S&T) programme that will strengthen as well as expand their S&T cooperation.

Following the sixth meeting of the Indo-German Committee on Science and Technology that concluded here on September 25, officials of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST) identified focal areas for cooperation.

These will include nanotechnology, biotechnology, disaster management, production technology, space technology of remote sensing applications, climate change, clean and efficient energy research as well as medical research on cancer and infectious diseases and brain studies.

Briefing the media, Thomas Rachel, Parliamentary State Secretary of the German Ministry, said the new government under Chancellor Angela Merkel was keen on enhancing partnership in S&T globally and India figured prominently in that perspective.

To date, a March 2004 MoU 2004 between the DST and the DFG, the flagship German Research Foundation, governs inter-governmental research programmes. In addition, there are bilateral institutional arrangements with German institutions such as the Max Planck Society and the Helmholtz network of research institutions.

Mr. Rachel said that even within the existing framework of cooperation, India ranked second only to the United States in the number of publications with German collaborators, according to bibliometric data compiled by Forschungszentrum Julich, a research centre in Germany.

The new initiative also assumed significance in the context of the ongoing “India year in Germany,” he said. During Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s visit to Germany in April, a joint statement was issued highlighting the importance of improving scientific cooperation. The Science and Technology Minister of India, Kapil Sibal, who accompanied Dr. Singh, held a meeting with German Federal Minister of Education and Research Annette Schavan.