US-India Partnership in S&T, Environment and Health

November 2, 2007 - 12:00pm

Today, the US-India strategic partnership is rooted in shared values and is broad in nature and scope, with our two countries working together on global issues, including economic prosperity and trade, energy security and clean environment, global safety and security, supporting innovation and technological advances, and promoting public health.  Clearly, S&T, environment and health are important elements of this framework, and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Indian S&T Minister Kapil Sibal, signed an agreement on S&T cooperation between the two countries in October 2005.  Subsequently, in March 2006, recognizing the unique and expanding role of S&T in Indo-US relations, President Bush and Prime Minister Singh agreed to form a Bi-National S&T Joint Committee that would provide a framework for a vigorous public-private partnership aimed at serving as a bridge for dialog, fostering R&D and scientific exchanges, encouraging joint R&D for commercial products for mutual benefit of both countries and commercialization of new technologies, and identifying and promoting reduction of regulatory and bureaucratic barriers in both countries.  Also announced was the establishment of a Joint Endowment Fund to help accomplish these goals.  While these steps take our S&T engagement to new heights, US-India collaboration in S&T is not new and has been ongoing for several decades, principally through agencies like the NSF/NIH/EPA etc., the PL480 US India Fund, and the Indian Diaspora in the US.  In this context, several ongoing activities in energy, space, environment/wildlife, health and education, along with some new initiatives, will be discussed.

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