India and Belgium on Wednesday resolved to further enhance cooperation in renewable energy, ports and information technology among others.Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel welcomed the progress under the Memorandum of understanding (MoU) on renewable energy between the Belgian authorities at the federal and regional levels and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and the inaugural meeting of the Joint Working Group on March 14 identifying smart cities, waste to energy, small wind turbines, water purification technologies involving renewable energy and zero emission buildings as priority areas for joint collaboration.
They took positive note of the active cooperation in Science and Technology under the inter-governmental agreement between India’s Department of Science and Technology and the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office, and looked forward to continued cooperation in this regard.They welcomed the technical activation of an optical infrared telescope in Devasthal in India, jointly developed by Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) of India and the Belgian company Advanced Mechanical and Optical Systems (AMOS) as a concrete demonstration of successful collaboration.The two leaders also welcomed the upcoming signature of the finalised Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Biotechnology of India and the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) for cooperation in the field of biotechnology.
Noting the long-standing cooperation between the two countries in the Ports sector, they welcomed the imminent extension of the agreement between the Government of Flanders and the Ministry of Shipping for another two years, as well as the ongoing collaboration between the Port of Antwerp and the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust to develop a Joint Training Center under the MoU signed in February 2015.They also welcomed the ongoing negotiations to cooperate in the area of Information Communication Technology and Electronics (ICT&E) across a broad spectrum of domains including e-Governance/mobile Governance, cyber security, institutional framework between major research institutions, education and training in ICT and looked forward to early conclusion of an agreement.
Affirming the importance of cooperation in the field of education, PM Modi and his Belgian counterpart welcomed numerous projects in collaborative research, student mobility and exchange of faculty between higher educational institutions of Belgium and India.They looked forward to further strengthening of the academic engagement between institutions on both sides.Noting that 40,000 Belgian tourists visit India every year and Belgium receives about 60,000 Indian tourists every year, the two Prime Ministers welcomed the e-Tourist visa facility extended by India to Belgian nationals to promote tourism.Prime Minister Modi is in the Belgian Capital in the first leg of his three-nation four-day tour, which will take him to the US and Saudi Arabia.
Source:New Indian Express