Science and Technology Cooperation Blueprint
Science and technology (S&T) cooperation has always been one of the main pillars of ASEAN-India partnership. The Plan of Action proposals (2004-10 and 2010-15) most concretely lays down the terms of reference and the agenda for ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity. The most significant development in the area of S&T cooperation during this period was the setting up of the ASEAN-India S&T Fund (AISTDF) in 2006 by India towards R&D projects and S&T collaborations. S&T capacity building in some of the ASEAN countries have also been receiving support from the earlier ASEAN-India Fund as well. India has extended significant unilateral support for S&T cooperation with ASEAN countries through the ASEAN-India partnership channel as well as through other multilateral/bilateral arrangements that directly benefit ASEAN member states (AMS). The vision statement, emerging out of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in 2012, placed S&T cooperation in the ambit of sociocultural and development cooperation. Although ASEANIndia engagement in S&T has been mature in terms of identifying complementarities and the areas of cooperation; the channels are limited and thin. The potential of appropriate partnership and participation for a robust ASEAN-India S&T Cooperation still remains by and large untapped.