BRICS Foreign Ministers mull India-proposed Consortium

BRICS Foreign Ministers mull India-proposed Consortium

New Delhi: Foreign Ministers of five BRICS countries will meet online tomorrow (Tuesday) and discuss advancing intra-BRICS cooperation, especially on key areas of healthcare, energy and science and technology, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

India currently holds the BRICS presidency and last week it held the second BRICS Sherpas’ and Sous Sherpas’ meeting which, according to the Ministry of External Affairs, "negotiated key deliverables for India’s BRICS 2021 Chairship, including outcome documents for the Foreign Ministers’ meeting."

India has proposed a BRICS consortium to address post-Covid challenges and tackling non-communicable diseases as a flagship programme during a meeting of scientists, officials and academicians from the member countries, the Department of Science and Technology said on Thursday.

Coming close on External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's talks in the US, the Foreign Ministers' meeting may also see discussion on the India-South Africa proposal at the World Trade Organisation for a patent waiver for coronavirus vaccines.

India and Russia have established a partnership with the production Sputnik V vaccines in India. China, this month, voiced its support for the WTO proposal that has already gathered backing of 60 countries. India has also been pushing for traditional medicine and cooperation on disaster resilience. Also, during this month, member countries agreed in-principle on India’s proposal for updated version of report on BRICS energy sector.

India has proposed to prepare a BRICS Energy Technology Report with few additional priority areas and a BRICS Energy Research Directory. During the meeting this month, energy officials discussed possible coordination among BRICS representatives or delegates to UN High Level Dialogue on Energy and fora like G20,, Energy Efficiency Hub and Clean Energy Ministers meet.

India will be hosting the 13th BRICS summit later this year, an opportunity to celebrate its 15th anniversary in 2021. India has announced its priorities for the BRICS@15 summit, with the motto "Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus".

A BRICS working group a meeting last week discussed future directions of research collaboration among the countries in the areas such as High Performance Computing (HPC) and it's application in precision medicine and public health, particularly for fighting pandemics as well as geoinformatics, weather-climate-environment applications; application of supercomputers to drug design, artificial intelligence, and sustainable development, said the DST.

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