THE HINDU  dated 12.11.2008

 Indian, Belgian nuclear societies sign accord

 Cooperation for energy use in medical research, cancer therapy, applied sciences

Happy collaboration: Belgium King Albert II (left) being greeted by  Indian Nuclear Society
chairman Baldev Raj at a seminar in Chennai. Looking on is Madras University
Vice-Chancellor S. Ramachandran.

CHENNAI: The Indian Nuclear Society on Tuesday entered into an agreement of cooperation with the Belgian Nuclear Society to promote peaceful uses of nuclear energy in accordance with international obligations.

The five-year agreement was signed at the University of Madras by Indian Nuclear Society vice-president V. Venugopal and the Belgian society’s past president, Franc Deconinck, in the presence of the visiting King Albert II. It will be reviewed and extended after five years.

The two societies hope that the agreement will promote cooperation in nuclear science for use in medical research, cancer therapy, crop mutation and applied sciences.

Addressing scientists and delegates at a seminar on ‘Nuclear research towards sustainable development’ organised by the Indian Nuclear Society and the university, King Albert II said Belgium was happy to collaborate with India in several areas of science and technology, particularly in nuclear programme and water desalination. “You have developed thorium as fuel for nuclear reactor. I would be happy for more mutual exchange and collaborations in the coming years in some of these areas. Water desalination is another area we are interested in collaborating for common projects,” he said.

Call for common approach

Baldev Raj, chairman, Indian Nuclear Society, said it was working on nuclear energy and nuclear radiation for use in health care and agriculture. “Energy is not evenly distributed across the globe. In some countries, 60 per cent of people had access only to marginal energy. If there is a common approach among the developed countries, this energy shortage can be fulfilled,” he said.

“India is working on nuclear energy for a long horizon. Our nuclear energy programme is a broader one that is expected to generate sustained power for many years to come.”

Varsities sign MoUs

Indian and Belgian universities took advantage of King Albert’s presence to sign a slew of memoranda of understanding for cooperation in education and research.

The University of Madras signed an MoU with the Flemish Interuniversity Council, which represents seven Belgian universities. The MoU is expected to spur academic collaboration, student and faculty exchanges and joint research projects, according to Vice-Chancellor S. Ramachandran.

The Universite Catholique de Louvain signed MoUs with both the Chennai Mathematical Institute and the Society of Electronics Transactions and Security. Four universities from Karnataka – Bangalore University, Vishweshwarayya Technological University, Tumkur University and Gulbarga University – signed MoUs with Ghent University.

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