President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said India is looking forward to accelerate its economic growth and development through a strong emphasis on technology and innovation and sought Russia's cooperation in this endeavour.
"Our educational and research institutions are making vigorous efforts to rise to these ambitious national goals and the aspirations of our people," he said addressing a meeting of Indian and Russian universities at Moscow State University.
The president said this includes a significant expansion in the reach of quality education, up-scaling research capacities, and linking more closely research output to industrial needs.
Pranab Mukherjee said India and Russia have benefited from bilateral programmes of scientific cooperation and these include Integrated Long Term Programme dating back to 1987, the establishment of joint centres of excellence as well as mutual research support programmes.
In recent years, India and Russia have launched new cooperation programmes in areas such as basic sciences and health research.
"I am glad that our Department of Science & Technology and Russian Science Foundation have finalised a cooperation agreement which will offer another platform for supporting joint research projects," he said.
Mukherjee said India and Russia have a long history of educational cooperation. In the late 1950s, the Soviet Union supported the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in its formative years. Tens of thousands of Indian students studied in Russia in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.
Though the numbers have dropped somewhat in recent years, even now, over 4,000 Indian students study at Russian universities. Some of India's institutions have active programmes of cooperation - exchange of students, researchers and faculty members, and sharing of research publications.