BRICS STI Declaration 2020 Adopted
The 8th BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Ministerial meeting has unanimously has adopted the BRICS STI Declaration 2020 recently.
The meeting was held through a virtual platform. During the virtual meeting Science and Technology cooperation were discussed among the member countries including the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. During the meeting, Science and Technology Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan also highlighted that the COVID 19 pandemic has come up as a test that demonstrates that multilateral cooperation is the key to overcome such global challenges. He further announced that, India has initiated an integrated response to overcome this pandemic. He highlighted that Indian Research and Development are working relentlessly to develop effective interventions for combating the pandemic starting from the development of indigenous vaccines to the novel point-of-care diagnostics and therapeutic formulations based on traditional knowledge. He said, more than 100 start-ups have developed innovative products to combat the COVID-19.
BRICS is the acronym for five major emerging national economies- Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Originally there was a grouping of four countries “BRIC”. In 2010, South Africa was added to it and the grouping became BRICS. The members are known for their significant influence on regional affairs. The BRICS members held formal summits annually since 2009. The most recent 11th BRICS summit was hosted on 13–14 November in 2019.
Recent developments in Science and technology
In the year 2015, communications ministers from the member states, under a Russian proposal, had a first summit for their ministries in Moscow. In the summit, Russia proposed an initiative to tighten their information technology sectors and challenge the monopoly of the United States in this field. Apart from that, BRICS group of countries have been planning for an optical fibre submarine communications cable system in order carry the telecommunications between the BRICS countries called as the BRICS Cable since 2012. Recently, In August 2019, the communications ministers of the BRICS countries signed a letter of intent so as to cooperate in the Information and Communication Technology sector.