Minister for business, innovation and skills, Pat McFadden, announced the deal yesterday (February 17).

It will see UK and Indian researchers collaborate on health issues and the changing global water cycles.

Both of which Mr McFadden says present ‘huge challenges’ to our countries as we try and adapt to a changing climate.

Mr McFadden, who is visiting India, said: “These two agreements are vital, especially as they seek to address challenges that have major global implications for the future.

“They bring together leading researchers in the UK and India and strengthen the science and innovation relationship between our two countries.

“But at the heart of these ambitious collaborations is a mutual drive to bring positive benefits to the daily lives of millions of people in India, the UK and the rest of the world.”

The UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to encourage research on major global health issues.

Mr McFadden and Indian earth sciences minister Prithviraj Chavan a deal between the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) to collaborate on changing water cycles.

This work, he says, will improve predictions on future patterns of flood and drought, and help in the development of effective protection schemes.

For many regions, including the south of Britain and parts of India, there is no clear picture on whether climate change will mean more or less rain, according to the minister.

The deal also saw UK and Indian researchers pledge to collaborate on medical research into illness like diabetes.

Luke Walsh

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