India, France sign pacts on three science projects

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    Bangalore, (IANS) India and France will soon jointly work on three international science projects in the field of mathematics, informatics and immunology to strengthen cooperation between their research institutions.

    “We have signed agreements with the Indian counterparts to set up a joint unit in mathematics in Bangalore and two international associated labs in informatics and immunology to strengthen scientific collaboration between the two countries,” France’s state-run National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS) director-general Joel Bertrand told reporters here Tuesday.

    The three projects will be funded equally by the Paris-based CNRS and the Indian departments of science and technology and biotechnology in association with the premier Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI) and the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai.

    “Our contribution will be 185,000 euros ($236,668) with an equivalent amount (Rs.12.24 million) from the Indian counterparts over the next four years to fund research projects in mathematical sciences, exchange visits and Fields Medals for outstanding discoveries in the subject,” Bertrand said.

    The prestigious Fields Medals are described as a “Nobel Prize of Mathematics” and awarded every four years at international congress of the International Mathematics Union

    Top 30 Indian and 30 French mathematicians will jointly work on the research projects over the next four years at IISc in Bangalore and at CNRS centres in Paris and Toulouse in France.

    Funding for labs in informatics and immunology will soon be decided mutually by CNRS and its Indian counterparts.

    “To coordinate and supervise the joint research projects, we have set up our Indian office in New Delhi with branches in Bangalore and Chennai,” Bertrand added.

    The 72-year-old CNRS is one of the world’s largest state-funded organisation under the French ministry of research and higher education, with a budget of 3.3 billion euros ($4.2 billion/Rs.218 billion) in 2012.

    With about 1,100 research units, including joint research labs with universities and industries worldwide, CNRS employs 35,200 people, including 11,400 researchers and 15,200 engineers and technicians.