New Delhi: Aiming to enhance academic and research partnership with US-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology, India today proposed exchange of scientists with MIT on flexible terms and widening the scope to include industrial research.
Science and Technology Minister S Jaipal Reddy said the scope of the present collaboration in area of biotechnology with MIT can be increased to include other areas of mutual interest.
"We have an ongoing partnership with MIT, particularly in the area of biotechnology. I propose the exchange of scientists from India to MIT and from MIT to India on highly flexible terms, also an understanding between CSIR and MIT," he told reporters here after addressing the Rai Foundation Luncheon Talk organized by ASSOCHAM.
Reddy said that MIT's collaboration with Indian institutions will enhance the research base for both the countries.
"It is important for us to note that original research in India is still almost completely funded by the government. We have real talent in these government funded laboratories. We appreciate that. I think we will strengthen our collaboration with MIT," he said.
The function was attended by MIT's President Dr Rafael Reif who is visiting India to explore opportunities for academic and research collaborations. Lord Swraj Paul was also present on the occasion.
Asked about any particular area of research India is interested in promoting with MIT, Reddy said, "Right now, as I said, collaboration is going on in the field of biotechnology.
It can be extended to other areas such as industrial research."
Reif told reporters he is open to collaboration with the Indian institutions, both in public and private sectors.
There are very important global challenges that MIT wants to work on. The best way for us to make contribution is to find collaborators to work with and explore Indian institutions and individuals that I can collaborate with," Reif said.
He replied in the negative about the possibility of MIT opening a campus in India.
"We would like to establish collaborations. We believe in working with collaborators and make each other stronger. I don't have any intentions or plans to come to India and say we are going to establish an MIT campus here. That is not the plan," he said.
Asked whether he is looking to collaborate with institutions like IIT and AIIMS, Reif said, "I am open. All I need is to identify areas where we are seeking collaborations in institutions and entities and establishments. It is an open book right now. Just find the domain area that we have interest in and try to work on those."
He made a reference to a three-way collaboration involving public, private and academic institutions.
"It is all open. Whether it is with the public sector, the government or the private sector. Or it is a three-way private, public, academia enterprise. I am here to talk and engage and I would like us to do something together," he said.
Reif also said that the total worth of annual research volume in MIT is USD 680 million, out of which 70 per cent is contributed by the federal government and rest 30 per cent comes from industrial and non-US government fundings.
Source :Press Trust of India