On 13th November 2020, the Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education organised the virtual meeting of the 8th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Ministerial Meeting. The S&T cooperation among the member countries was discussed in the meeting. The BRICS STI Declaration 2020 was unanimously adopted at the meeting. The Russian Federation is the chair of the 12th BRICS Summit.
- Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare represented India in the virtual STI Ministerial meeting.
- Similarly, the 10th STI Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) was held on 12th November 2020.
- India offered to host the 9th BRICS STI Ministerial Meeting and the 11th BRICS STI SOM in 2021.
Participants of the BRICS STI Ministerial Meeting:
- Valery Falkov, Minister of Science and Higher Education, Russian Federation.
- Marcos Pontes, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Federative Republic of Brazil.
- Huang Wei, First Vice Minister of Science and Technology, People’s Republic of China.
- Dr. Bonginkosi Emmanuel Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Republic of South Africa.
The dignitaries from the member countries also participated in the meeting.
BRICS STI Declaration 2020:
i.The member countries reaffirmed the commitment to advance suitable development and ensure innovation and technology to enhance the welfare of the citizens of BRICS countries.
ii.The BRICS STI Calendar of Activities 2020-21, in complement of the BRICS STI Work plan 2019-2022, was also adopted at the meeting.
iii.A Booklet “BRICS STI Overview” – describing the progress achieved in STI through BRICS cooperation since 2015 was released.
i.The 8th BRICS STI Ministerial meeting was met in accordance with the BRICS Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) on Cooperation in STI signed in Brazil in March 2015 and the Brasilia Declaration, adopted at the XI BRICS Summit, held in Brazil on 14 November 2019.
ii.The year 2020 marks the 5th anniversary of the adoption of the BRICS MoU on Cooperation in STI.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan in 8th BRICS STI Ministerial meeting:
i.He highlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that multilateral cooperation is the key to solve global challenges.
ii.He also informed on India’s integrated response to COVID-19 pandemic,like the development of vaccines, diagnostic and therapeutic formulations based on traditional knowledge, establishment of research resources among others.
iii.He also highlighted the launch of SERB-POWER (Science and Engineering Research Board-Promoting Opportunities for Women in Exploratory Research)Scheme, to support and encourage the women researchers to undertake Research and Development activities in Science and Engineering.
Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science & Technology(DST), India participated in the 2nd session of the 8th BRICS STI meeting on “Report of Working Group’ Meetings in 2019-2020 (including COVID-19 pandemic coordinated call, results of the BRICS STI Steering Committee activity) and the results of the 5-year implementation of MoU on STI”.
Recent Related News:
i.On September 17, 2020, the 6th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Communication Ministers Meeting was hosted by Maxim Parshin, Deputy Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of Russia in a virtual format where India was represented by Sanjay Dhotre, Minister of State (MoS) for Communications, Electronics & Information Technology and Education.
ii.On October 27, 2020, Lok Sabha Speaker, Om Birla virtually addressed the Sixth BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China & Republic of South Africa) Parliamentary Forum. Theme of the meeting – “BRICS partnership in the interest of global stability, general safety and innovative growth: parliamentary dimension”. Chairman of the 6th BRICS Forum – Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of Russia, Vyachaslav Volodin.
Members– Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Chairmanship (2020)– Russia (India will assume the Chairmanship of BRICS in 2021)
The theme of Russian Presidency (2020) is “BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth”.