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PRESS RELEASE - Second Indo-US S&T Joint Commission Meeting concluded in Washington D.C. on June 11, 2012

The 2nd  Indo-US Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) was held on June 11, 2012 in Washington D.C. Mr. Vilasrao Deshmukh, Minister for Science & Technology & Earth Sciences, Co-chaired the JCM along with Dr. John Holdren, Science Advisor to the US President. In her inaugural remarks, Indian Ambassasdor, Mrs. Nirupama Rao described the Indo-US S&T Cooperation as the bed rock of bilateral strategic relationship.

The Joint Commission reviewed the considerable progress made in the S&T Cooperation since, the first JCM held in June, 2010. The Commission appreciated significant progress made during this period across all the sectors of global common goods generation. A “Virtual Institute on Mathematics and Statistical Sciences” has been established by the Indian Department of Science and Technology and US National Science Foundation (NSF) . Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in partnership with NIH have added several new collaborative R&D programs on low cost diagnostics, bio-medical innovation and brain research. The Ministry of Earth Sciences has established the Monsoon Desk in NOAA which will add predictive and modeling capabilities for monsoons. CSIR has engaged with Mayo Clinic working together on Cancer Chemotherapy. Indian Ministry of S&T and the US DOE have committed US Dollar 50 million for establishing a virtual Indo-US Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center.

Innovation for societal impact has been supported by the India-US Endowment Fund through projects in areas of 'Healthy Individuals' and 'Empowering Citizens'. Indo-US S&T Forum, a bilateral agency has played significant role in catalyzing the cooperation by supplementing the governmental efforts.

At the end, the Joint Commission recommended several new directions of cooperation including research in the areas of high energy particle physics and gravitational wave detection under the ‘Discovery Science Agreement’ between Department of Atomic Energy and US DOE. In Basic and Applied sciences - materials research, computer sciences and neurosciences have been identified as potential areas of future engagement. In Health & Medical sector - environmental health, diabetic research, stems cell and regenerative medicine are the new focus areas of cooperation. In Earth & Environmental sciences - hydrological cycle studies, fisheries and algal bloom and deep ocean drilling project in the Arabian Sea have been proposed to be initiated. JCM recognized that the participation of women in science and programs on STEM education should be encouraged across all sectors.

The JCM unanimously recommended that both sides along with the respective federal agencies and the scientific community should work together to remove impediments in visa matters and biological material transfer required for the smooth implementation of bilateral S&T programs.