Foto: Henrike Wilborn / Nansensenteret

Visit by the Indian Minister of Earth Sciences

Extensive collaboration between Norwegian and Indian research institutions has been going on for decades. On Friday, the Indian Minister of Earth Sciences, Hon’ble Kiren Rijiju and Ambassador of India HE Dr. B. Bala Bhaskar visited the Nansen Center and Bjerknes Centre and engaged in discussions on future bilateral collaboration on marine, polar and climate research.

India has become the World’s largest country in terms of population. Its economy is growing massively and a large part of that is based on coal energy, causing bad air quality: India has the most polluted cities in the world. The country’s CO2 emissions are also the third highest in the world, after China and the USA, with a strong upward trend. How India develops its society and economy in the future is incredibly important not only for India but for the entire world: Renewable instead of fossil fuel energy is a crucial factor in this process.

The country is a strong research nation, and their Ministry of Earth Sciences is focusing heavily on atmospheric, climate, ocean, land and polar research and technology. Several of these areas align with the Nansen Center’s own strategic goals and research fields. Through the Nansen Environmental Research Centre-India in Kerala, which the Nansen Center co-established in 1999, we have been collaborating with Indian research institutions and universities for over 25 years.

– The Nansen Centers in Bergen and India have been cooperating with several research institutions under the Ministry of Earth Sciences. We have organized summer schools, supervised, and trained students, and published joint research. This visit of Kiren Rijiju is expected to boost the Indo-Norwegian research cooperation, says Lasse Pettersson, research coordinator at the Nansen Center.

The Indian Minister of Earth Sciences was pleased with the ambitions we have here in Bergen and will take the steps needed for further cooperation.

– I am new in the Ministry, I just joined as the Minister of Earth Sciences four weeks back and I thought this is the most appropriate and most useful first visit aboard I could have made. Norway is one of those few countries for which I can say is a leading nation in terms of research and knowledgebase comprehensive work especially on climate, oceanography, the Arctic and deep ocean research, says Kiren Rijiju.

Image 1: Nansen Center director Tore Furevik (left) greeting the Indian Minister of Earth Sciences, Hon’ble Kiren Rijiju. Foto: Henrike Wilborn / Nansensenteret

Image 2: Lasse Pettersson (left), Roshin Raj, and Tarkeshwar Singh from the Nansen Center with the minister. Foto: Henrike Wilborn / Nansensenteret

During the visit in Bergen, the Indian delegation from both the Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences and the Embassy of India in Oslo were introduced to the research we conduct at the Nansen Center. The three other partners in the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research – University of Bergen, Institute for Marine Research, and NORCE – also introduced their respective research tied to the Bjerknes collaboration. A strong emphasis in the meeting has been put on ocean, polar and climate research, as we sit here in Bergen with unique expertise in these fields, ready to collaborate more with Indian research institutions.

– We are proud that the Indian Minister for Earth Sciences (MoES), Hon’ble Kiren Rijiju found it appropriate to choose Norway and Bergen for his first visit abroad. He showed great interest in our research and expressed his sincere interest in more collaboration. We hope to see this come through, says Tore Furevik, director of the Nansen Center.

Samarbeid mellom Nansensenteret og India

Gjennom «Nansen Environmental Research Centre-India» i Kerala, som Nansensenteret co-etablerte i 1999, har vi samarbeidet med indiske forskningsinstitusjoner og universiteter i over 25 år.