Proceedings of the Last Day of the Roundtable
Today’s session ‘Enhanced Sectoral and Bilateral Collaborations in Science and Technology’ witnessed an animated debate on the state of science and technology research in India and also the many areas research councils needed to work and improve upon. The Chair Toffazal Hossain, Member BCSIR, Bangladesh underlined the importance of regular consultation and co-ordination on social science and science research.
The first discussant Dr. Jagdish Chandar, Department of Science and Technology (S&T) of the Ministry of Science and Technology, India shared details of various initiatives his department has been working on. He stressed on the need for the countries to pool in resources to navigate the cost because challenges are developing global characteristics and hence research in science was increasingly becoming an expensive affair.
While shedding light on the shift in India’s S&T policy, he said that initially a lot of premium was placed on excellence in science but the new S&T policy that was introduced in January, 2013, focused on innovations. The idea, he said, was to work towards solutions that would address the need of inclusive growth.
Dinesh Bhuju, from Nepal, spoke about the challenges faced in partnerships and collaborations. Stating that “research scholarship was not a choice but a deemed necessity,” Bhuju went on to list some of the hiccups partnerships could face. These included varying levels of abilities and the possibility of difference of priorities between partners. He suggested forging relationships based on a common interest to find new methodologies to help countries, requires the conception of a new paradigm to view partnerships.
As a model of emulation, he suggested the Nepalese case wherein research activities placed a pronounced onus on involving young graduates. He also talked about the importance of moving from bilateral to multilateral partnerships and the need to emphasise on ‘trans-boundary’ issues like ecology. The session was followed by a brief discussion where participants recommended ways of improving collaborations and S&T research.
The concluding session facilitated by IDRC members, Ambika Sharma and Phet Sayo, saw a range of opinions, comments and suggestions emerge that touched upon various themes discussed through the two day conference. The participants also gave inputs on various aspects of the two day programme that they could take back and implement in their home countries.
The Roundtable ended with the Valedictory Address delivered by Prof. S M Sajid, officiating Vice Chancellor, JMI. In his brief speech, he thanked the organisers – CCMG and IDRC – for their remarkable work. He expressed hope that the event would also be the beginning of a fruitful and long-term engagement with IDRC. He also urged to explore avenues for institutional growth and ways for collaboration between centres and departments of the university.
Prof Biswajit Das, Director, CCMG gave a brief outline of the two day round table and gave the vote of thanks.