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New Delhi : Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary Department of Science and Technology and Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology (S&T), highlighted the importance of cooperation, collaboration, and connections for science to move forward at the BRICS Young Scientists Forum on September 14, 2021.

“We know exactly the role S&T innovation has played over the globe to fight the potent war against the pandemic and cooperation, collaboration, and connections have been important tools in the path,” she said during her inaugural address of the sixth edition of the BRICS Young Scientists Forum (BRICS YSF) organized by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), in collaboration with the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru.

Dr Swarup encouraged countries to have a science driven agenda and to focus on the importance of globally common themes of translation, generation, and application of knowledge. Focusing on the importance of data generation, data analysis and application, she encouraged the participation of youth in these areas and requested scientists to concentrate on precision medicine, genomic tools, and biomarkers to help  early detection of key diseases. DrSwarup appealed to the global community to engage through innovation and incubation hubs for data generation, analysis, and application, according to a PIB release.

Prof Shailesh Nayak, Director (NIAS), urged the participants to continue engaging in future interactions and networking to produce sustainable solutions and facilitate innovative transition into the future. Sanjeev K Varshney, Head, International Cooperation, DST, emphasised that BRICS conclave can function as a network building opportunity among the young scientists to solve common problems. To incentivise the collaborations, he also proposed fellowships supported by the sponsors of the BRICS YSF 2021.

The forum saw the participation of 125 scientists from the different countries. The delegations from Brazil, Russia, and India were headed by Carlos Matsumoto, Albina Kutuzova, and Dr Arvind Kumar respectively. The delegations from China and South Africa were headed by Ms  Li Wenjing, and Dr Stanley Maphosa.

The BRICS-YSF summits were first hosted by India in 2016, followed by China in 2017, South Africa in 2018, Brazil in 2019, and Russia in 2020. This year the four-day conclave started on September 13, 2021, and would end on September 16. The best young scientist with an idea on innovation would be awarded at the BRICS-YSF 2021. Young innovator prize has been one of the focuses of the BRICS-YSF and the award is supported by the DST, Government of India. The next conclave would be organised by China in 2022.