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India, Canada Renew Agreement to Collaborate on Technology

Image credit: Press Information Bureau

Earlier this week, two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were renewed at the 7th India-Canada Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee (JSTCC) meeting. The MoUs were signed by the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and National Research Council Canada (NRC), respectively, under the 2005 Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation.

According to a press release, the focus areas of the collaboration include national missions, quantum computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and cyber-physical systems, among others. An official at the event pointed out that a large number of Indian students are studying in Canadian universities and the renewal of the MoUs would help intensify the exchange of ideas and expertise between the two countries. Representatives from several ministries and research institutions from both countries attended the meeting.

India and Canada benefit from strong bilateral relations and are committed to deepening ties, with science, technology, and innovation being key pillars of the relationship, the release noted. Under the terms of the agreement made in 2005, the JSTCC meets every two years to review ongoing collaborations between Canadian and Indian researchers and set priorities for the next period in fields like agriculture and food security, healthcare and healthtech, clean technologies and environmental research, marine and polar research, quantum tech and AI, and human capacity development and researcher mobility. Both countries agreed to continue monitoring progress on key priorities in bilateral science, technology, and innovation projects during the 2022-2024 period.

India plays an active role in the global technology research and development ecosystem by facilitating academic and scientific relationships with other countries. In March, India and Finland worked out a detailed plan to establish an Indo-Finnish Virtual Network Centre on Quantum Computing, for which India has already identified the three institutes that will work with Finnish counterpart institutions. Last month, India and Israel held a two-day workshop that explored photonics-based quantum computing, sensing, encryption, quantum magnetometry, atomic clocks, and free-space quantum communication.

At the beginning of May, the Indo-German Science and Technology Centre (IGSTC) proposed setting up a joint AI initiative for start-ups, research, and applications in healthcare and sustainability. The two sides are already collaborating on electric mobility, cyber-physical system, quantum technologies, future manufacturing, green hydrogen fuel, and deep ocean research.

Most recently, India and Japan held a working group meeting to discuss enhancing cooperation in 5G, Open Radio Access Networks (O-RAN), telecom network security, submarine cable systems, massive MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output), connected cars, quantum communications, and 6G innovation.

OpenGov Asia reported that the countries recognised the need to nurture cooperation to grow the digital economy through joint digital transformation projects in areas like the Internet of Things (IoT) and AI. They also discussed providing opportunities to Indian IT professionals to work with Japanese firms. 2022 marks the 70th anniversary of India-Japan Diplomatic relations. Being a key driver of development, ICT provides opportunities for the countries to jointly build a robust digital foundation for the present and future world. The 7th JWG agreed to enhance cooperation in ICT areas under a memorandum of cooperation (MoC).


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