Science and technology diplomacy – some reflections

pokhran-1_660_022313011847Ashok Parthasarathi (former S&T Adviser to late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi) writes:

We came into S&T diplomacy rather late. Until 1972, the only S&T Minister or Counsellor was in our High Commission in London. Then, as part of the preparation in 1972, of the S&T Plan by the National Committee on S&T (NCST) during 1971–74, science counsellors
were posted to our embassies in Moscow, Washington, Bonn and Tokyo. This new breed of diplomats was not initially accepted by the other ‘normal’ diplomats in the embassies. It took some time to secure acceptance. Soon they made themselves useful to their ambassadors and indeed became assets to them as well. Tensions, however, soon built up between the science counsellors and the traditional Indian Foreign Service (IFS)
officers. Another issue was the relationship between science diplomats and the S&T communities back home. It took an able ambassador to get the best out of his S&T counsellors.

Read the full article in Current Science