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BRICS countries should join hands to innovate affordable scientific solutions: Jitendra Singh

Singh said that in order to resolve these challenges, it is imperative for the countries to join hands to innovate affordable scientific solutions. (ANI)Premium
Singh said that in order to resolve these challenges, it is imperative for the countries to join hands to innovate affordable scientific solutions. (ANI)

  • The minister said that Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) face many similar challenged such as ensuring food, affordable healthcare and energy access for its people and addressing environmental problems like climate change, and biodiversity loss

NEW DELHI : Union Minister of state for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh called for a joint fight against common challenges on Tuesday. 

Addressing the 10th BRICS meet of Science and Technology ministers through virtual mode, the minister said that Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) face many similar challenged such as ensuring food, affordable healthcare and energy access for its people and addressing environmental problems like climate change, and biodiversity loss. 

Singh said that in order to resolve these challenges, it is imperative for the countries to join hands to innovate affordable scientific solutions. “There are several areas where the lives of our people are directly benefited from our mutual cooperation like the establishment of a vaccine R&D centre, BRICS network university, establishment of shred satellite constellation and mutual recognition of pharma products." 

He added that BRICS young scientist conclave, BRICS youth summits, BRICS sports and increase in exchanges among the scientific organizations, researchers and civil society have also strengthened the people-to-people contact. 

“BRICS countries must deepen cooperation in areas like health, agriculture, water, renewable energy, biotechnology, electric mobility, ICT, AI, robotics and environment. The network of BRICS countries can collaborate to develop joint science and technology (S&T) solutions, commercialized to fit their local economies," the minister said. 

Singh said that India will support BRICS efforts in developing innovative and inclusive solutions, including digital and technological tools to promote sustainable development and facilitate affordable and equitable access to global public goods for all. “In time to come, BRICS will hold global importance for being the most populated marketplace, driven by the knowledge economy and underlined that they can collaborate to develop joint S&T solutions suited to local economies." 

He said that in the last eight years the Indian government’s R&D expenditure has almost doubled. For 2022 budget, Rupees 14,800 Crore has been allocated for Ministry of Science and Technology. A budget of 5,000 crore has been allocated for the creation of a National Research Foundation (NRF). “As a result of increased investment, India has reached 3rd position in scientific publication as per NSF database. The country has featured within the top 50 innovative economies globally, as per Global Innovation Index (GII). It has also reached 3rd Position in terms of number of PhDs, in size of Higher Education System; as well as in terms of number of Start-ups." 

Singh added that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is poised to disrupt our world and India, being the fastest growing economy with the second largest population in the world, has a significant stake in the AI revolution. “Recognizing this, we have established 25 Technology Innovation Hubs (TIHs) in the country. International collaboration is embedded in it and we welcome researchers from foreign countries for collaborative research and sharing knowhow." 

In the closing session, the minister said that the advancing BRICS innovation enterprises, developing next generation BRICS scientific leadership and enabling resource sharing should be our guiding strategy of BRICS STI partnership. 

“The BRICS Innovation Action Plan 2022-23 adopted would help sharing best practices and networking among BRICS Innovation ecosystem and innovation actors. India looks forward to deepen the BRICS collaboration in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation," he said. 

Wang Zhigang, Minister, Ministry of Science and Technology, China, Bonginkosi Emmanuel Nzimande, Minister, Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, South Africa, Paulo Alvim, Minister, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Brazil, Valery Falkov, Minister, Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Russia took part in the 10th BRICS STI Ministerial Meeting along with senior officials and scientists.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Swati Luthra

Swati Luthra writes on climate change, water, environment and forest issues for Mint. A graduate in Psychology, Swati has been mapping India’s policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at CoP-26 including achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
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