Strengthened cooperation in Science, Tech key to accelerating COVID-19 response: India, Japan

UNITED NATIONS, July 11:
India and Japan at the UN have said that a strengthened cooperation in science, technology and innovation is key to accelerating the collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic which has infected over 12 million people and killed more than 560,000 globally.
Scientific Secretary, Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Indian government Dr Arabinda Mitra, delivering a joint statement at a session on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) here on Friday, said that Japan and India organised a series of bilateral and multi-stakeholder meetings last month.
“We believe that a strengthened STI cooperation is key to accelerating our collective response to COVID-19, as well as to achieving the human security, by building on the foundations for inclusive and sustainable development,” Mitra said on behalf of Japan and India at the 2020 High-Level Political Forum session STI.
As the members of the global pilot programme on STI for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) roadmaps, the two countries organised the meetings.
Japan and India offer to extend their collaboration in applying frontier technologies in several SDG areas, including to collaborate with the UN Interagency Task Team on STI… in supporting pilot countries from Africa and other countries in the region, in formulating and implementing their STI for SDGs roadmaps, he said.
Mitra said this will be enabled by sharing of experience, knowledge and capacities in the spirit of South-South and Triangular Cooperation.
India and Japan also reaffirm that STI for SDGs roadmaps is a valuable working tool to strengthen national efforts on mapping and international cooperation on knowledge sharing, technology transfer, capacity-building, governance, networks and finance for countries to better address global challenges including those posed by the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring access, equity and inclusion.
New Delhi and Tokyo call for enhanced multi-stakeholder partnerships by launching “Partnership in Action” and leveraging more dedicated and diversified financing resources, he said.
“We further commit to work together to foster closer scientific and technological collaborations by integrating research (knowledge creation), with education (knowledge dissemination) and innovation (knowledge application),” Mitra said.
India has played an important role in the negotiations for introduction of a UN driven Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM), as an inclusive and equitable tool for SDG delivery based on affordable, accessible and available technological innovation, he said. (PTI)
The global pilot programme on STI is inspired by the collective commitment of both the Japanese and Indian governments in harnessing the prowess of Science and Technology for promoting inclusive development, keeping in mind the needs and aspirations of people and towards delivery of a larger global good through building international partnerships, Mitra said. (PTI)
A global pilot programme on STI for SDGs roadmaps was announced during the high-level political forum last year, focusing on five pilot countries: Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, India and Serbia.
Sources said that Japan and India, taking forward their close partnership in the area of science and technology, have agreed to extend their collaboration to the area of SDGs through the programme.
The two countries have decided to leverage the Society 5.0 Plan of Japan and the Artificial Intelligence (AI) for All strategy of the Indian government to share the best practices that address the resolution of social problems through the application of technology.
According to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, the contagion has infected over 12 million people and killed more than 560,000 across the world.
The COVID-19, which originated in China’s Wuhan city in December last year, has also battered the world economy with the International Monetary Fund saying that the global economy is bound to suffer a “severe recession”.
Scientists are racing against time to find a vaccine or medicine for its treatment. (PTI)