India-US science body seeks removal of visa problems

June 13th, 2012 - 12:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 13 (IANS) The Indo-US joint commission on science and technology has unanimously recommended that the two sides work together to remove impediments in visa matters and biological material transfer required for bilateral S&T; programmes.

The recommendations were announced Tuesday after the joint commission meeting here co-chaired by Vilasrao Deshmukh, Minister for Science & Technology & Earth Sciences and Dr. John Holdren, Science Advisor to the US President.

The joint commission also recommended several new directions of cooperation including research in the areas of high energy particle physics and gravitational wave detection under the ‘Discovery Science Agreement’ between Department of Atomic Energy and US Department of Energy (DOE).

In Basic and Applied sciences, materials research, computer sciences and neurosciences have been identified as potential areas of future engagement.

In Health & Medical sector, environmental health, diabetic research, stems cell and regenerative medicine are the new focus areas of cooperation.

In Earth & Environmental sciences, hydrological cycle studies, fisheries and algal bloom and deep ocean drilling project in the Arabian Sea have been proposed to be initiated.

The joint commision recognised that the participation of women in science and programmes on STEM education should be encouraged across all sectors.

The Commission also appreciated significant progress made since the first JCM held in June, 2010.

A “Virtual Institute on Mathematics and Statistical Sciences” has been established by the Indian Department of Science and Technology and US National Science Foundation (NSF).

Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in partnership with NIH have added several new collaborative R&D; programmes on low cost diagnostics, bio-medical innovation and brain research.

The Ministry of Earth Sciences has established the Monsoon Desk in the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which will add predictive and modelling capabilities for monsoons.

India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has engaged with Mayo Clinic working together on Cancer Chemotherapy. Indian Ministry of S&T; and the US DOE have committed $50 million for establishing a virtual Indo-US Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Centre.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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