Pune Hosts Inaugural Seminar for G20 Education Meetings: Fostering Collaboration for Accessible Science

G20 in Pune
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Pune/Mumbai, 16th June 2023: The city of Pune became the hub of educational discussions as it hosted the precursor events of the 4th G20 Education Working Group Meeting and G20 Education Ministers Meeting. The Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, in collaboration with ELSEVIER, organized a seminar titled “Accessible Science: Fostering Collaboration” to kick start the series of meetings.

The seminar witnessed the presence of esteemed dignitaries, including Union Minister of State for Education Dr. Subhas Sarkar, Secretary Higher Education Shri K Sanjay Murthy, Shri Sunil S Bhagwat, Director of IISER Pune, Dr. Nick Fowler, Chair of The International Association of STM Publishers and Chief Academic Officer at Elsevier, Mr. Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz, Senior VP of Research Networks at Elsevier, and Professor Emeritus of Campinas, Unicamp, Brazil, among others. These distinguished personalities engaged in productive discussions on promoting accessible science in global development and provided a clear vision for G20 countries to follow.

During the seminar, MoS (Education) Dr. Subhas Sarkar launched a significant report titled “The status and relevance of research collaborations for development, considering G20 nations.” In his address, Dr. Subhas Sarkar emphasized the need to eliminate barriers to knowledge, encourage transparency, and foster multidisciplinary collaborations. He highlighted successful collaborative initiatives undertaken by the Government of India, such as the Vaccine Maitri program, Genome India Project, BHUVAN by the Indian Space Research Organisation, e-Shodhganga, SWAYAM, and SWAYAM-NPTEL platforms, which have led to meaningful change and sustainable development. Dr. Subhas Sarkar also emphasized the potential for collaborative efforts to explore various dimensions of Indian Knowledge Systems, including Ganita and Jyamiti (Indian system of Mathematics and Geometry) and Vastu Vidya (Indian System of Architecture).

Nick Fowler, Chief Academic Officer at Elsevier, praised India’s remarkable achievements in scientific research. He highlighted India’s steady increase in scholarly output, surpassing the UK to become the 3rd largest producer of scientific research in 2022. Furthermore, India’s academic quality has also seen substantial growth, with the Field Weighted Citation Impact rising from 0.85 in 2019 to 1.05 in 2021, placing India above the global average for publication citations. Mr. Fowler applauded the Indian government’s focus on driving qualitative research to enhance the country’s competitiveness in global research and innovation, resulting in India climbing to the 40th rank in WIPO’s Global Innovation Index 2022.

Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz, Senior VP at Elsevier, presented key highlights from the report, emphasizing India’s surge in the global scientific community. He noted that India is set to become the 2nd largest publisher in AI-related topics, with the oldest AI article authored by Indians dating back to August 1968.

Expressing gratitude to IISER Pune and ELSEVIER for organizing the event, K. Sanjay Murthy, Secretary of the Department of Higher Education, Government of India, highlighted the National Education Policy 2020’s focus on improving research output by reaching out to institutions within and outside the country. He expressed hope that the discussions and the report launched during the seminar would pave the way for further research collaboration and enhance the regulatory framework to address global challenges.

The seminar is an integral part of the ongoing 4th and final Education Working Group (EDWG) meeting, scheduled to be held in Pune, Maharashtra, from June 19th to 21st, 2023. The primary focus of this meeting is to ensure foundation literacy and numeracy, particularly in the context of blended learning. The EDWG meeting consists of various precursor events, seminars, exhibitions, and heritage excursions, ultimately culminating in the Education Ministerial meeting on June 22nd, 2023. Throughout the 4th Education Working Group meeting, participants will actively participate in dynamic seminars and immersive workshops, aiming to envision innovation in the field of education.