The Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardha, met his Japanese counterpart Mr. Hiroshi Hase, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in Tokyo. Both Ministers recalled the long standing and close partnership in Science & Technology between the two countries, which was initiated in 1985. In the present context, the two knowledge driven economies have vast complementarities that creates boundless opportunity for using the tools of Science & Technology for providing innovative and affordable solutions for societal challenges. Both the Ministers agreed that the two governments should therefore make concerted efforts to step-up the science and technology cooperation agenda.
Recalling the successful collaboration between Department of Biotechnology (DBT) of India and National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan in establishing the joint DIALAB focusing on drug development and therapeutics diseases, the two Ministers agreed to set-up India-Japan Joint Laboratories in partnership between Department of Science & Technology (DST) and Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Japan in topical areas such as Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Analytics.
Recalling the establishment of the Indian beam line at the Synchrotron Photon Factory at KEK, Tskuba as a flagship S&T partnership, both sides agreed to launch the next phase of the Indian beam line for initiating studies on advanced materials with focus on energy research. DST committed a funding of Rs 19 crores over a period of five years for this cooperation. A Letter of Intent to this effect was concluded by Indian Ambassador, Ms. Deepa Gopalan Wadwa in the presence of the visiting Minister.
Further, in order to connect the next generation of researchers, DST India and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) agreed to launch a reciprocal Fellowship programme for exchange of Doctoral and Post Doctoral researchers to undertake research work in each other laboratories.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan emphasized the need to initiate collaboration in the area of marine science and technology in cooperation between Ministry of Earth Sciences of India and Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) Japan. The Japanese Minister agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the area of climate research and marine biology.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan also visited the newly established Japanese Agency for Medical Research & Development (AMED) where it was agreed to enhance funding for joint projects in the areas of biomedical devices and diagnostics tools. Dr. Harsh Vardhan assured the commitment of the Govt. of India to support this innovative initiative.