According to the Department of Science and Technology (DST), India and the United Kingdom would expand their cooperation in science, technology, and innovation, including enhancing women's participation in STEMM disciplines at colleges, universities, and research institutions.
By collaborating on new initiatives like the Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions (GATI) project, the two sides will collaborate to build an enabling atmosphere for fair participation of women in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicines) disciplines.
On May 4, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson met virtually and decided on a joint vision for a modern and transformative comprehensive strategic partnership, as well as an ambitious India-UK Roadmap to 2030 to guide co-operation over the next 10 years.
The DST said in a statement that both leaders praised the signing of a new UK-India MoU on Telecommunications/ICT and a Joint Declaration of Intent on Digital and Technology, as well as the development of new high-level dialogues on technology, new joint rapid research investment in COVID-19, a new collaboration to support zoonotic research, new investment to advance understanding of weather and climate science, and the continuation of existing co-operation. They also expressed their commitment to a stronger collaboration in science, education, research, and innovation, and that they are looking forward to the next ministerial Science and Innovation Council (SIC).
The statement further added that, "They agreed to expand and enhance the existing UK-India vaccines partnership, highlighting the successful collaboration between Oxford University, AstraZeneca and the Serum Institute of India on an effective COVID-19 vaccine that is 'developed in UK', 'Made in India' and 'distributed globally'."
They emphasised the importance of lessons learned by the international community and agreed to collaborate to reform and reinforce WHO and the global health security architecture in order to improve pandemic resilience.
The two countries also agreed to "enhance co-operation between them on strengthening the role of women in STEMM at schools, universities, and research institutions and creating an enabling environment for equal participation of women in STEM disciplines through collaboration on new initiatives like Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions (GATI) project".
They also agreed to promote creativity among school students by concentrating on teacher preparation, mentoring, and sharing of global best practises through initiatives such as the India Innovation Competency Enhancement Program (IICEP).
The two countries agreed to continue to support high-quality, high-impact research and innovation through collaborative processes by building on their current bilateral research, science, and innovation infrastructure and governmental relationships.
They also agreed to form partnerships across government departments to maximise impact, leverage resources and networks, and reduce duplication across the science and innovation pipeline, from basic research to applied and interdisciplinary research, translation, and commercialization, according to the DST.
The STI cooperation will also include leveraging and building on current, long-standing bilateral collaborations in areas such as education, science, and innovation to stimulate a joint pool of talent, excellent academics, and early-career innovators, as well as exploring new opportunities for student and researcher exchanges by developing joint centres and promoting access to state-of-the-art facilities.