Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation, Professor Mark Walport, is on a two-day visit to Delhi, at the invitation of Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, Professor K. VijayRaghavan met and addressed the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC).
Chaired by Professor K. VijayRaghavan, the PM-STIAC is an overarching body that assesses specific science and technology domains in India, and formulates interventions and roadmaps. It advises the India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on all matters of science, technology and innovation.
Professor Mark met the PM-STIAC and delivered a lecture on the creation of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), one of the most significant reforms in the UK’s research and innovation funding landscape in the last 50 years. Launched in April 2018 as an independent, non-departmental public body, UKRI brings together the functions of the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and a new organisation, Research England.
The PM-STIAC monitors the implementation of the Prime Minister’s vision for the nation. Speaking at the recent the 106th Indian Science Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said ‘Science is universal, but tech must be local’ and coined the phrase ‘Jai Anusandhan’ , emphasising the importance of research and innovation.
In October 2018, UKRI India office celebrated a decade of India-UK research and innovation partnership, which is transformative and changing lives for people both in India and the UK, creating new shared economic opportunities through research and innovation, one of the fastest growing bilateral areas of collaboration.
Professor Mark Walport, said: “In a world that depends on science and innovation to help address shared challenges, the creation of Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation and Innovation Advisory Council comes at an exciting time for both India and its international partners. The UKRI-India collaboration has come a long way to provide solutions through its high-quality joint programmes and to prepare for future challenges.”
Professor K. Vijay Raghavan, said: “The ultimate goal of building a prosperous society and economy can be achieved through effective quality research, innovation and policies. As most of the challenges faced today are global in nature, it is important that India effectively leverages international science and technology collaboration to address these issues. Science and technology as major drivers that help transform a nation, PM-STIAC is committed to taking India into the next era of its science excellence.”
“The ultimate goal of building a prosperous society and economy can be achieved through effective quality research, innovation and policies. As most of the challenges faced today are global in nature, it is important that India effectively leverages international S&T collaboration to address these issues. Science and technology as major drivers that help transform a nation, PM-STIAC is committed to taking India into the next era of its science excellence.
The PM-STIAC members include Dr VK Saraswat, Member NITI Aayog, Dr AS Kiran Sharma, former Chairman ISRO, Professor Ajay Kumar Sood, IISc, Major General Madhuri Kanitkar, Dean, Armed Forces Medical College, Professor Sanghmitra Bandopadhyay, Director, Indian Statistical Institute, Professor Manjul Bhargava, Princeton University, Professor Subhash Kak, Oklahoma State University, and Shri Baba Kalyani, MD Bharat Forge.
Secretaries of most of the Indian research funding agencies, such as the Department of Agricultural Research & Education, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Biotechnology, Department of Defence Research & Development, Department of Higher Education, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Space Indian Council of Medical Research, and Ministry of Earth Sciences are also part PM-STIAC.
Professor Mark accompanied by Dr Tim Wheeler, Director International UK Research and Innovation, will also visit three Newton-Bhabha joint research projects that highlight the joint efforts of research communities working on optimal use of agricultural nitrogen, promotion of solar energy and the effects of air pollution on human health. The Newton-Bhabha fund is a partnership that brings together UK and Indian scientists, researchers and innovators to find joint solutions to global challenges. It is delivered by 7 UK delivery partners in collaboration with their Indian counterparts through equal partnership and matched resources.