Secretary Department of Science and Technology Prof. Ashutosh Sharma underlined the increasing attention given by India to sharing of scientific data as was evident from India’s National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (INDSAP) and an open government data portal, at the Science & Technology Ministerial Roundtable, organized in the 17th annual Science Technology and Society (STS) Forum.
“Scientific data sharing is being considered for inclusion in the New S T I P 2020 being framed. Data is the new water, and we do want to share it as global partners,” Prof. Sharma emphasised.
The online Science & Technology Ministerial Roundtable organised on 3rd October 2020 and hosted by Japan, deliberated on the role of international R&D collaboration, social sciences & humanities, and open science. It saw the participation of S&T heads from about 50 countries around the world and explored the opportunities arising from international collaborations in science and technology to address the challenges posed by COVID 19.
Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary Department of Science & Technology who represented India at the Ministers’ Roundtable, highlighted India’s major initiatives in S&T collaboration, social sciences & open science. He said that India gives extraordinary importance to international cooperation in S&T for development and for addressing challenges of health, water, energy, environment, climate change, communication, and natural disasters.”
He spoke about India’s active S&T collaboration with over 40 countries in the world. “We are also part of all the major multilateral and regional S&T platforms and groupings such as the EU, BRICS, ASEAN, G20, Africa Initiatives, UN and OECD S&T platform as well as international mega-science projects such as ITER, TMT, LIGO and so on. Coalitions for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, International Solar Alliance and Mission Innovation are India’s global initiatives in the management of disasters and clean energy,” he added.
Prof. Ashutosh Sharma highlighted that vaccines for coronavirus are in advanced phases of trial, and India has the capacity to supply the vaccine to a major part of humanity.
The high-level ministerial meeting witnessed participation from countries like Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, India, Iraq, Russia, South Africa, and others.
The forum community highlighted critical role of S&T in fighting the current pandemic situation and agreed that strong international collaboration in the field of science & technology, cutting edge science, and open science were the most important tools to solve the current crisis and prepare for the upcoming crisis of the future.
Science and Technology Ministers’ Roundtable is held along with the STS forum every year. The STS forum aims to provide a new mechanism for open discussions on an informal basis and to build a human network that would, in time, resolve the new types of problems stemming from the application of science and technology.