How has India fared in the ‘New Normal’ in Corona-Era STI Diplomacy? How can India continue to maintain and strengthen bilateral, multilateral and regional diplomatic ties leveraging on being considered the “Pharmacy of the World”?
While we need to have more science counselors abroad, we need to ensure that the foreign representations of DST, DRDO, DAE, and ISRO are properly coordinated and optimised. The process of selection of replacements of science counselors should start at least 9 months in advance of expected joining date, so that no gaps in coverage emerge. But in many countries we will not be able to have dedicated science counselors in place. In such cases the Indian Mission should designate an officer ( perhaps the Economic officer) to perform the tasks of a Science Counsellor (the US model) and he/she maybe given special guidance and instructions on how to perform this role (similar to guidelines for Commercial Representaives from the Commerce Department) . Each Ministry should have a nodal Scientific Officer to engage on STI matters of relevance to that Ministry’s activities and programmes ( UK model) .