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Scientific collaboration between China and India is set to increase following the decision taken by the two countries today (17 November) to set up a Joint Steering Committee. The committee will guide collaboration in fields including pharmaceutical research, renewable energy, information technology (IT) and traditional medicine.

India's minister for science and technology, Kapil Sibal, proposed the formation of the committee during this week's meeting with a visiting Chinese delegation led by state councillor Chen Zhili. It is the first time such a senior Chinese representative responsible for science and technology has visited India.

Sibal highlighted the potential for India, which is making strides in the software sector, and China, doing the same in the hardware sector, to combine their efforts. Chen said that as well as IT, the two countries should cooperate in space research, biotechnology and nuclear energy.

Other areas with potential for collaboration identified by the ministers include nanotechnology, polar science and research on marine resources.

The Joint Steering Committee will be chaired by the Chinese and Indian ministers for science and technology. Its first meeting is expected to take place in Beijing, China, next year.

In a related development, Taiwan's National Science Council has announced plans to open a science and technology division in New Delhi, according to the Taipei Times. The newspaper's report says that staff from the council will collaborate with Indian researchers in fields including energy, aerospace, information technology and communications.

"Taiwan's experience in building technology clusters [science parks] might interest India," National Science Council deputy minister Shieh Ching-jyh told the Taipei Times.

Link to related news story in the Taipei Times

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