India to develop people-centred technology with BRICS partners

New Delhi, Feb 16: India will collaborate with the four other BRICS countries in science and technology to generate new knowledge and develop innovative products, services and processes, critical to its and the grouping’s growing economies.

Science and technology ministers of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) met at Kleinmond, southeast of Cape Town, South Africa, last week and agreed to promote partnerships also with other strategic actors in the developing world.

They zeroed in on five sectors of climate change and mitigation of natural disasters; water resources and pollution treatment; geospatial technology and its applications; alternative and renewable energy; and astronomy to share experiences and complementarities.

India would thus drive geospatial technology and its application, while Brazil will lead climate change and natural disasters. Russia would head water resources and pollution treatment.

New and renewable energy and energy efficiency would be led by China while South Africa would steer astronomy.

Thirumalachari Ramasami, secretary, department of science and technology, represented India at the first ministerial on “A Strategic Partnership for Equitable Growth and Sustainable Development”.

The ministers reached a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) — a copy of which is available here — to stimulate joint investment in the development of high technologies, create common technology platforms and set up centres of applied research and innovation laboratories.

The MOU, officials said, will serve as the “strategic inter-governmental framework” that would be signed by the heads of state and government at the 6th BRICS Summit scheduled for July in Fortaleza, Brazil.

The Feb 10-11 meeting, held as per the “eThekwini declaration and Action Plan” adopted at the Durban Summit last year, also ensured complementarities vis-Ã