India, Sri Lanka extend S&T cooperation for next three years

“India and Sri Lanka have a great legacy of intellectual, cultural and religious interaction and relationship of more than 2,500 years. Trade and investment and cooperation in education and other sectors have gone up in recent times, and in this line, cooperation in science and technology becomes very critical,” S.K. Varshney, Advisor and Head, International Cooperation, Department of Science and Technology (DST), said at the India-Sri Lanka 5th Joint Committee on S&T Cooperation.

“This platform will provide an opportunity for discussing various other facets which are possible for collaboration in the domain of S&T. India offers fellowships like India S&T fellowship, e-ITEC and both the countries can work through a number of multilateral platforms like BIMSTEC, which they are part of,” Varshney, who led the delegation and was the Indian co-chair, said.

The co-chair from Sri Lanka and also the Secretary of the country’s Ministry of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research & Innovations, Deepa Liyange, reiterated the well-established bilateral relationship between both the nations and welcomed India’s cooperation in S&T sectors and research areas for boosting scientific knowledge in the country.

The Deputy High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka, Vinod K. Jacob, highlighted that as part of India’s Neighbourhood First’ policy, which guides the country’s cooperation with Sri Lanka, this meeting would help build on the existing collaborative work and help them reach greater heights.

The Indian side presented the overall STI policy and priority areas by showcasing the core mandates of DST, multi-stakeholder base of DST, India’s recent progress in S&T, as well as focus on securing India’s future in technology through various missions.

The Sri Lankan side also highlighted the scope and status of S&T in their country and its application in various areas of national importance, a release from the Ministry of Science & Technology said.

The board mutually agreed to extend the Programme of Cooperation (POC) for another three years between both countries and identified new areas such as waste-water technologies, industry and biotech, sustainable agriculture, aerospace engineering, robotics, big data analytics, and artificial intelligence to be included in the POC, the release said.

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