Annual Report 1999-2000
International S & T Programmes
The Second Meeting of the ASEAN-India Working
Group on Science & Technology was held in Singapore on
October 25-26, 1999. An 8 member Indian delegation led by
JS(ED & MER), MEA attended this meeting. A representative
from TIFAC-DST participated in the deliberations of the meeting.
Discussions were held on the ongoing projects in the specific
areas of Advanced Materials, Information Technology and Biotechnology.
In the area of Advanced Materials, Singapore and Mayanamar
showed keen interest to participate in the two specific projects
relating to Surface Engineering and Rare Earth Magnet. In
the area of Information Technology, under AIDA (ASEAN-India
Digital Archives) project, India has completed the target
of 231 multi-media elements in Phase-I of the programme. Noting
the success of Phase-I, it was decided to continue this project
further with a focus on improvement in technology as well
as quality. Thailand has been asked to prepare a concept paper
in this regard. Training of 100 ASEAN scientists through NIIT
has been another facet in the area of Information Technology.
Preparations are under way to finalise the course contents
to enable the first batch to undergo training by March 2000.
Similarly, in the area of Biotechnology, the meeting endorsed
the proposed project proposals relating to Plant Biotechnology
for crop improvement and better utilisation of natural resources
as well as Embryo Transfer Technology.
On a specific request, a presentation on India's space technology
was made by the representative of ISRO, and on Bio-informatics
and Biotechnology programmes aimed at food security was delivered
by a representative of DBT. As a follow up of these, India
was requested to prepare concept papers on these 2 themes
for consideration by ASEAN.
The Sixteenth Meeting of the SAARC Technical
Committee on Science & Technology was organised in New
Delhi in February, 1999 which was participated by all the
7 member states. During the meeting, a number of project proposals
for consideration under the proposed SAARC Technology Initiative
A separate session on Cooperation in Biotechnology was held
in which Action Plan was prepared and various member States
were assigned the work of preparation of Status papers on
various sectors of Biotechnology.
Three projects were recommended by the Technical Committee
for support under SAARC-Japan Special Fund. The Committee
also recommended carrying forward of two activities under
the Integrated Programme of Action to the current year's Calendar
which could not be conducted last year.
NAM S&T CENTRE
Support continued for The NAM S&T Centre.
The Centre organised 4 workshops / training courses in identified
areas of priority. A workshop on IPR related issues organised
in India were supported by DST. The meetings of the Bureau
of Eighth Governing Council of the NAM S&T Centre were
held in May 1999. The 9th Governing Council meeting, earlier
scheduled in Indonesia, was held in Delhi in November 1999.
A nine-member Indian delegation led by Hon'ble
Minister for HRD and S&T, participated in the UNESCO/ICSU
sponsored World Conference on Science (WCS) at Budapest, Hungary,
during June 26-July 1,1999. Secretary, DST represented India
upon its election to the 18-member drafting group established
during the conference.
As part of the statement by the leader of the Indian delegation,
India proposed launching of five new international programmes,
- Internet Enabled Science Teaching and Education.
- International Mobility of Qualified S&T Personnel.
- Publication of World Technology Report.
- Promotion of Scientific Literacy & Culture accessible
- Preservation and Utilisation of Traditional Knowledge
All the amendments proposed by India to the
Draft Declaration on Science and Draft Science Agenda, including
the proposals for launching 5 international programmes were
accepted and incorporated in the two documents adopted by
at Indian Missions Abroad
Subsequently, the Indian delegation to 30th Session of UNESCO
General Conference, participated in the General Policy Debate
at Paris during Nov.27-31,1999. Interventions were made to
seek amendments in the Major Programme II: Sciences in the
Service of Development of the UNESCO's Draft Programme and
Budget for 2000-2001 and four of these were finally adopted.
Science and Technology Wings in Indian Embassies
in Germany, Japan, Russia and USA strived hard to strengthen
bilateral, inter-agency and inter-institutional co-operation.
These Science Wings facilitated the identification and implementation
of joint S&T Programmes of mutual interest and also the
visits of Indian Scientists/Technologists to R&D Institutions
in these countries as well as the visits of Scientists/ Technologists
form these countries to Indian R&D Institutions.