Department of Biotechnology and Research Councils Uk Sign Agreement to Work Together

Department of Biotechnology and Research Councils Uk Sign Agreement to Work Together in Climate Change, Agriculture, Antimicrobial Resistance and Vaccine Development. 

Image: Prof Jane Elliott and Prof VijayRaghavan after signing the letter of intent

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India and Research Councils UK (RCUK) India have signed a letter of intent to work together in Climate Change and Agriculture, Antimicrobial Resistance and Vaccine Development. This new initiative was announced during the India Prime Minister’s visit to the UK last week and was endorsed by British Prime Minster Shri David Cameron and Shri Narendra Modi. This letter of intent was now signed by the Prof Vijay Raghavan, Secretary to India’s Department of Biotechnology and Professor Jane Elliott, RCUK’s International Lead and Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) at an event on Friday 19.11.2015. This event is organized as a part of a series of events leading up to the 30th Foundation Day celebrations of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), in February 2016.

One such DBT’s key celebratory events in the build up to their Foundation Day was a networking evening in partnership with Research Councils UK (RCUK) India, held on Thursday 19th November 2015 at the British High Commission to showcase the highly successful India-UK collaborative research portfolio.

The event brought together senior representatives from the UK and India such as, Prof Sir Mark Walport, Government Chief Scientific Adviser in the United Kingdom, Dr. R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India;along with senior researchers and policy makers.
Prof Vijay Raghavan in his key note address commented, “Collaborations between extraordinary scientists such as Dr J C Bose and Sir Walter Raleigh were followed in institutions building udders under the leadership of those such as Homi Bhaba who were trained in the UK. Support by organisations like the British Council and Department of Science and Technology for exchange programmes have led to bonding and exchange of ideas, which then developed into major collaborative programmes. We are moving on those foundations to develop new programmes which India should take up in collaboration with the UK. “
Since 2008, RCUK India has facilitated an impressive portfolio of joint research between DBT and partner Research Councils in the UK. The DBT-RCUK joint research programmes contribute significantly towards cutting edge research in the areas of life sciences, biotechnology and interdisciplinary research that addresses global challenges– such as food security, energy, health and well-being. 

Research Councils UK (RCUK) India, launched in 2008, brings together the best researchers in the UK and India through high-quality, high-impact research partnerships. RCUK India, based at the British High Commission in New Delhi, has facilitated co-funded initiatives between the UK, India and third parties exceeding £200 million. The research collaborations are often closely linked with UK and Indian industry partners, with more than 90 partners involved in the research. RCUK India is actively involved in co-funded research activities with seven major Indian research funders on a wide array of research themes addressing global

India International Science Festival (IISF) 2015 to be held at IIT, Delhi from 4th to 8th December 2015 
The First India International Science Festival (IISF) is being organized at IIT Delhi from 4th to 8th December 2015. The event is jointly being organized by the Ministries of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Govt. of India. Technology Information, Forecasting & Assessment Council (TIFAC) has been chosen as the nodal government institution to organize the mega event in collaboration with Vijnana Bharati, an NGO that works for promotion of Science & Technology.

In order to promote access and spread of knowledge to wider audience, IISF 2015 targets to involve and include commoners with a view to improve their scientific understanding, temperament and appreciation for various feats in science & technology by showcasing Indian achievements.

The objectives of IISF 2015 are as follows:

• Exposing the fruits of Science & Technology to the masses

• Building strategy to instil scientific temper among the masses

• Showcasing Indian contributions in the field of S&T over the years

• Providing platform to young scientists for exchange of knowledge & ideas

• Supporting flagship programs like Make in India, Digital India, Start-ups, Smart Villages, Smart Cities, etc. initiated by the Govt. of India

Approximately 3000 young scientists from the country are expected to participate as delegates in this Festival, which has the following components:

a) Young Scientists' Conference

b) Techno-Industrial Expo

c) Science Film Festival

d) National Level Exhibition & Project Competition (NLEPC) showcasing innovative models under ‘INSPIRE’ Programme of DST

e) Industry-Academia Conclave

f) Largest Practical Science Lab Demo

g) Interactive Workshops & Informative Sessions

The Techno-Industrial Expo associated with IISF will witness participation from major Research Organisations, Industrial Units, Technological Institutes, Laboratories, Educational Institutions, Public/private sector companies apart from Govt. Departments and Councils.

India has made invaluable contribution in generating and distributing scientific knowledge and has made many landmark scientific achievements. In the present day scenario, India has a huge number of technically qualified professionals, yet scientific temper is not absolutely evident across the nation. Hence, fostering scientific temper is considered far more relevant today than ever before. Diffusion of science and technology across the entire societal fabric shall help foster scientific temper and reinforce a rational attitude. Today we need path-breaking inventions to support flagship programs such as Make in India, Digital India, Smart Villages and Smart Cities that were initiated by the Prime Minister. Listening to the voice of young scientists from the country on the topics of relevance to our global world is considered essential to fulfil these initiatives for a better tomorrow. It is with these objectives that the 1st India International Science Festival is being organised in Delhi from 4th to 8th December 2015.

As a run-up to this event, and to inspire the general public to use green energy, Shri. Syed Sajjad Ahmed is undertaking a journey from Bangalore to Delhi by a ‘Solar-powered Car’. The journey from 1st November to 2nd December 2015 is planned from Bangalore to Delhi via Bengaluru – Hindupur – Anantapur – Kurnool – Mahaboobnagar – Hyderabad – Bhopal – Itarsi – Jhansi – Agra – New Delhi. 

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