India and Egypt today signed an agreement for an ambitious programme on cooperation in the field of science and technology especially in the vital sectors of biotechnology and nano-technology.
Under the Executive Programme, which will be valid for the period 2015-2018, the two countries will arrange joint research and development projects, exchange of visits by scientists and training programmes and scientific workshops and conferences.
It will focus on cooperation on vital sectors of biotechnology (agriculture biotechnology and enzymes bio-technology); nano-technology (material sciences and sensors); and information and communication technology (e-Health, e-Education and e-Governance).
The documents were signed here in the presence of Egyptian Minister of Scientific Research Sherif Hamad and India's Ambassador to Egypt Navdeep Suri, according to an official statement.
The Executive Programme was finalised at the end of the 3rd Joint Committee Meeting on Science and Technology held here on December 22-23.
The Indian delegation was led by Arabinda Mitra, Advisor and Head, International Bilateral Cooperation, Department of Science and Technology, while the Egyptian side was led by Hazem Mansour, Assistant to the Minister of Scientific Research.
The two sides also agreed that the 4th Joint Committee Meeting will be held in India in early 2016, the statement said.
Welcoming the "positive spirit" of the bilateral discussions and the ambitious framework of the Executive Programme, Hamad said, "It would provide an excellent platform for enhancing bilateral cooperation in science and technology and would help in finding common solutions to various problems that people are facing." Ambassador Suri applauded the efforts of the two sides and drew attention to the emergence of India as a global hub for frugal engineering.
Suri also emphasized on the importance of implementing the provisions of the executive programme in a time-bound manner and encouraged pro-active use of video-conferencing to bridge the physical divide. Suri also presented the Minister a copy of the book 'The India Idea' which profiles some of the path-breaking innovations from India.