India will host the 8th BRICS Summit, in Goa on 15-16 October 2016 during its Chairmanship of BRICS, which it assumed on 15 February 2016.As the precursor the same, the 4th BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Ministerial Meeting was convened on 8 October, 2016 at Jaipur to further strengthen the collaboration amongst the BRICS countries in the areas of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). The meeting was chaired by the Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan. The Vice Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation of Brazil, Mr. Álvaro Toubes Prata; Deputy Minister of Federation of Russia, Mr. Alexey Lopatia; Vice Minister of S&T of Peoples Republic of China, H.E.Mr. Jiang Hua; Minister of Science and Technology of South Africa H.E. Madam Naledi Pandor led their respective country delegations.
While welcoming the BRICS country Ministerial delegates, Dr Harshvardhan elucidated; “During our Chairmanship we are adopting a five-pronged approach, viz. Institution Building, Implementation, Integration, Innovation and Continuity. Our emphasis is on institution building, implementation of previous commitments, tapping synergies of the existing BRICS cooperation mechanisms, exploring some new areas of cooperation and maintaining continuity in the existing areas.”In alignment with the theme of India’s Chairmanship - Building, Responsive Inclusive and Collective Solutions, the Jaipur Declaration was unanimously adopted by all the BRICS countries. The member countries resolved to intensify, diversify and institutionalize STI cooperation through the BRICS research & innovation initiative.
During India’s Chairmanship, significant progress have been achieved in joint knowledge creation in the areas of Photonics; Material Science & Nanotechnology; Biotechnology & Biomedical Sciences; Energy; Geospatial Technology; Astronomy; Prevention & Mitigation of Natural Disaster, Water and Solid State Lighting.In fulfillment of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi’s special attention on engagement of youth, who comprises 65% of workforce of BRICS countries together, India hosted the 1st BRICS Young Scientists Conclave at Bengaluru and Hampi last week. More than 40 young scientists from BRICS countries participated in the event and discussed some exciting ideas in the field of affordable healthcare, energy solutions and computational intelligence. In order to stimulate and encourage young minds, BRICS Innovative Idea Prize for Young Scientists has been instituted.In order to harness the innovativeness of the youth, India’s proposal to establish a BRICS Science and Technology driven Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnership Programme was agreed by all the member countries.