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BRICS Young Scientists Forum in the year 2016. Image: Instagram

By Pallavi Kanungo,

The 6th BRICS Young Scientists Conclave happened recently from 13th to 16th September 2021 at Bengaluru, India. BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – and is a collaborative effort by these nations to build a better world through scientific and technological innovations. This year the BRICS summit was jointly overseen and organised by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Institute of Advanced Sciences, Bengaluru (NIAS), where our very own Indian scientists focussed on the contemporary aspects of healthcare, energy, digital revolution and innovation in general. 

This year’s BRICS Young Scientists Conclave consisted of three parallel sessions that focused on the three themes, Healthcare, Energy Solutions and Cyber Physical System (CPS). It also had an award-offering session called BRICS Young Innovator Prize covering all the above project areas. Additionally, there was an interactive panel called the Networking Café young participants discussed activities based on science and networking in general. The entire meet was hosted online via Zoom platform. 

Agenda of BRICS Young Scientists Conclave 2021 
BRICS India officials have stated that this year’s agenda was to go back to normalcy after undergoing a pandemic. They wanted this forum to recover the capacity to promote resilience, innovation, sustainability and above all credibility.  

The 2021 summit also focussed on how nations can come together to facilitate the supply of COVID vaccines and their raw materials. In fact, several agencies from all the BRICS countries have come forward to allocate funds for this noble initiative, like our very own Department of Science and Technology and Department of Biotechnology who are jointly investing $10 Millions to support this cause. This money will be used to study projects including vaccines, drugs, diagnostic kits, epidemiological studies, genome sequencing and above all using AI to treat and prevent novel coronavirus. As a matter of fact, a virtual vaccine network called the BRICS Vaccine Research and Development Center has already been introduced and will soon be operational.  

Through this conclave, India has also expressed its goal of meeting the target of 450 GW clean, efficient and renewable energy resources by 2030.  

Issues like cyber security and data science and how the nations can collaborate to bring about significant differences in the world by advancing in these fields were also discussed at the BRICS Young Scientists Conclave. 

Origin and history 
The idea of organising BRICS Young Scientists Forum originated in 2016 at the second BRICS STI (Science, Technology and Innovation) Ministerial Meeting. The first conclave was held from 26th to 30th September that year in the then Bangalore. It focussed on computational intelligence, affordable healthcare and energy solutions. Since then, every year, the BRICS Young Scientists Conclave has been organised in all the concerned countries.  

The second meet happened in Hangzhou, China, in 2017, followed by the third meet in Durban, South Africa in 2018, the fourth one in Brasilia, Brazil in 2019 and fifth one in Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2020.  

Why was this forum formed? 
The objective behind this forum is to encourage young scientists to address social issues through their research, exchange academic and social policies and plan strategies to create futuristic technology. It also aims to promote friendship and cooperation among the nations concerned and resolve common differences through the knowledge of science, technology and innovation.  

Students from all fields of science, engineering and mathematics are welcome every year to join this venture. BRICS Young Scientists Forum further aims at inculcating leadership and entrepreneurship qualities among today’s youth, encourage creativity and facilitate a mindset to implement changes around them.  

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