June 12, 2024

General Studies Paper 2

Context: In the recent India-UK Science & Innovation Council meeting, India and the United Kingdom announced the establishment of a ‘NET Zero’ Innovation Virtual Centre aimed at addressing climate change and environmental targets.

What is the NET Zero Innovation Virtual Centre?

  • It is a joint initiative of India and the UK to enhance their cooperation on science and technology, especially on climate change and environmental issues.
  • It will provide a platform to bring stakeholders from both countries together to work on some of the focus areas such as the decarbonization of manufacturing process and transport systems, and green hydrogen as a renewable source.
  • It will support the goal of achieving net zero emissions balancing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted and removed from the atmosphere.
  • It will also facilitate knowledge exchange, innovation, research and development, capacity building, and policy dialogue between the two countries.

What are the Key Highlights from the Meeting?

India-UK Science and Technology Cooperation:

  • The UK has emerged as India’s 2nd largest international research and innovation partner.
  • The joint research program between India and the UK has grown from almost zero to close to £300-400 million.

India’s Economic and Technological Capabilities:

  • India is fast moving to become an economic powerhouse driven by its extraordinary technological and innovative capabilities, especially after the Covid vaccine success story.
  • Energy efficiency and renewable energy are central pillars where India has already taken the lead through various initiatives like the India Solar Alliance and Clean Energy Mission.
  • India is committed to achieving ambitious net-zero targets through consistent efforts towards developing mitigation and monitoring solutions for environmental pollution and techno-based pathways for reducing carbon emissions.

Industry-Academia Collaboration:

The cooperation will provide an opportunity for Indian and UK academia and industry to develop newer products/processes together for the economic growth of both nations.

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