12:00-12:30 South-South Cooperation for Collective Self-Reliance of Developing Countries and Science Diplomacy

Presenter: Prof Arun Kulshreshtha, NAM S&T Centre


The increasing disparity between the developed and developing countries in their S&T capability has encouraged the developing nations to cooperate with each other instead of solely depending on the industrially advanced nations. Through South-South cooperation in Science & Technology, the relatively S&T-strong countries in the developing world cooperate with other countries less endowed with S&T, research and education through multilateral cooperation and regional networks in order to catalyse strengthening of S&T capacities, stimulate interdisciplinary research and establish links between research and industry for technological innovation.

In this context, Science Diplomacy has emerged as an important tool for South-South cooperation that may be used to facilitate the acquisition of S&T knowledge, resources and expertise from other countries; promote international collaboration among scientists and person-to-person dialogue in various nations, including the ones with restricted or strained official diplomatic relations; persuade countries to invest in human resources and infrastructure; explore ways to find partnerships and initiate joint projects and programmes; as well as help the diplomatic community in negotiations on issues with strategic foreign policy implications.

Since its inception in 1989, the Centre for Science and Technology of the Non-aligned and Other Developing Countries (NAM S&T Centre) has been engaged in the promotion of South-South Cooperation in science, technology and innovation. It has organised a large number of programmes and implemented collaborative projects in various areas including Science Diplomacy with the involvement and participation of scientists and researchers of ~120 countries. The Centre has successfully evolved and implemented scientific activities to provide opportunity for scientist-to-scientist and institution-to-institution contacts in developing countries, capacity building on various facets of STI and sharing of experiences and best practices in harnessing S&T for development.

Prof Arun Kulshreshtha, NAM S&T Centre

Prof. Arun Kulshreshtha (b. Agra, India, 1941) is the Director General of the Centre for Science and Technology of the Non-Aligned and other Developing Countries (NAM S&T Centre), an inter-governmental organisation, since 2002.

He was awarded M.Sc. (Physics) from Agra University, India in 1959 and Ph.D. in Semiconductor Physics from Moscow State University, USSR in 1965. He was a Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi; Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey and Lancaster University, UK. As a researcher, he was affiliated with the National Physical Laboratory, Delhi; NASA Marshall Space Flight Centre, Huntsville, USA; Solid State Physics Laboratory, Delhi; and ISRO Satellite Centre of the Space Department in Bangalore. As a diplomat, he served for 4 years as the Science Counsellor at the Indian Embassy, Moscow. As a scientific manager, he headed the International Division in the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India for ~15 years.

Whether as academician or researcher or diplomat or bureaucrat, Prof. Kulshreshtha always took new initiatives, viz. developing silicon solar cells flown in panels on Indian satellites; establishing International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials, Bharat Immunologicals & Biologicals Corporation Ltd. and Indo-US Science & Technology Forum; and formulating Integrated Long Term Program of Cooperation between India and Russia and India-British S&T Partnership Initiative.