Indian Ambassador meets US Presidential Science Advisor; discusses strengthening cooperation in the field

Indian Ambassador to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu met with US Presidential Science Advisor Professor Eric Lander and exchanged ideas on strengthening bilateral cooperation in science and technology, an area key priority for the leadership of the two countries.

During Friday’s meeting, discussions focused on key sectors including health, technology, space, earth and ocean sciences, energy, emerging technologies and cooperation in the science and technology education.

“We exchanged ideas on strengthening cooperation between India and the United States in the field of science and technology, a key priority for the leadership of India and the United States,” said Sandhu said in a tweet after the meeting with Lander.

A mathematician and geneticist, Lander is the 11th director of the Office for Science and Technology Policy and scientific adviser to the President, serving in Cabinet in both functions.

Prior to joining the Biden administration, Lander was a professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School.

The meeting takes on importance in the context of health care. Lander is a dean of genomics and molecular biology in addition to mathematics. He has long been associated with scientific groups in India, in particular to promote the International Disease Alliance and the concept of Map to Mechanism to Medicine.

The meeting also follows the Indo-American collaboration offering affordable solutions to Covid-19 vaccines and drugs. A memorandum of understanding between the two countries on health and medical sciences was signed in October 2021.

There has been an ongoing intense cooperation in the field of science and technology between the two countries.

The NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite is expected to launch in 2023; there is an expansion of the Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Centers (JCERDC); and India being a major partner of Fermilab, the American laboratory for particle and accelerator physics. The Indian Department of Science and Technology and the US National Science Foundation are also in close contact.

Sandhu met with a number of senior administration officials to strengthen Indo-American relations in science and technology. In addition to his meeting with Professor Lander, Sandhu also spoke with the Under Secretary for Energy for Science, Geraldine Richmond. He reviewed current initiatives with the Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology.

The science and technology education partnership was another dimension of outreach – to connect American and Indian institutions and students. Education Roundtable held last year with the participation of a number of STEM-focused universities.

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