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    Science, technology important in UK-India ties: Modi

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    Stressing on the significance of science, technology and innovation in the India-UK bilateral engagement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said both countries should work together to define the knowledge economy of the 21st Century.

    Addressing the India-UK Tech Summit here, Modi thanked visiting British Prime Minister Theresa May for choosing India for her first bilateral visit outside Europe.

    He said the two countries have agreed to set up an India-UK Clean Energy R&D Centre on solar energy with joint investment of 10 million pounds. He said setting up of a new Anti-Microbial Resistance initiative with joint investment of 15 million pounds has also been agreed.

    “Today, the world is at an inflection point where technology advancement is transformational. It is vital that India and the United Kingdom work together to define the knowledge economy of the 21st century,” Modi said.

    “In the current global environment, our two countries face several economic challenges which directly affect trade and commerce.

    “But I am confident that together we can leverage our scientific strengths and technological prowess to create new opportunities,” he said.

    Modi said the two nations can partner in harnessing the vast traditional knowledge base in India coupled with modern scientific investigation to provide a holistic approach to preventive healthcare.

    “This can help address some of the modern lifestyle diseases that we face,” said Modi.

    Admitting that the quantum of bilateral trade has remained the same for the past five years, Modi said investments in both directions have been robust.

    “India is the third largest investor in the UK, and the UK is the largest G20 investor in India. Both countries support large numbers of jobs in each other’s economies,” he said.

    He also said the scientific communities from both the countries were working on new vaccines for infectious diseases, inventing new smart materials, providing solutions for clean energy and climate change mitigation, and improving crop productivity including agriculture and food security.

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