Image credit: Narendra Modi; Twitter

Image credit: Narendra Modi; Twitter

India, Indonesia ink Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in science and technology

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Indonesia on Scientific and Technological Cooperation.

The Memorandum of Understanding between India and Indonesia covers several areas of cooperation, including research and development, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API), Information Technology (IT)-based medical equipment and healthcare services. 

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed in May, and the press statement released on 9 August by the Ministry of Science and Technology reviewed the nature of the agreement between the two countries.

According to a document released by the Ministry of External Affairs, during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Indonesia in May the officials noted that there were considerable cooperation opportunities in health and pharmaceutical sector. Therefore, they decided to organise a meeting in the second half of 2018 comprising of health officials, drug regulators and industry representatives to develop a roadmap on health cooperation, including research and development, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) and IT-based medical equipment and services.

The objective of the Memorandum of Understanding is to promote cooperation in the fields of science and technology between India and Indonesia on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. The stakeholders will include researchers from scientific organisations, academia, research and development laboratories and companies from both India and Indonesia.

The Memorandum of Understanding also covers areas of Information and Communication Technology (ICT); marine science and technology; life sciences including biotechnology, agriculture and biomedical sciences.

The Memorandum of Understanding will facilitate the exchange of health and medical experts and provide training in the mutually agreed identified areas.

Additionally, under the Memorandum of Understanding, energy research, water technologies, disaster management, space sciences, technology and applications, geospatial information, and applied chemistry are also potential areas for immediate collaboration.

The press release stated that the Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan in New Delhi, and Mr Mohamad Nasir, Minister for Research, Technology and Higher Education, in Jakarta.

The release said that signing of the Memorandum of Understanding will open a new chapter for India-Indonesia bilateral relations as both sides will now leverage complementary strengths spurred by a significant convergence of mutual interests in science and technology.

According to an official statement, the Ministry will set up a Working Group to outline and elaborate further the details of the collaboration. The Working Group will also oversee the implementation of the agreement.

Both countries signed another Memorandum of Understanding in May on Pharmaceutical, Biological and Cosmetics Regulatory Functions that covered pharmaceutical products, including Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, biological products, including vaccines, biotechnology and biosimilar. The Memorandum of Understanding also included cooperation between the countries in multilateral fora.

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