7th BRICS Astronomy Working Group Meeting recommends networking of existing telescopes


India hosted the 7th meeting of the BRICS Astronomy Working Group (BAWG) as well as the astronomers from these countries in an online mode from May 19 and 20, 2021. The meeting took place under the science, technology, and innovation track of the BRICS-2021 calendar.

From India, the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics- IUCAA, Pune, and the Department of Science and Technology- DST coordinated the meeting.

Head of the International Cooperation Division of DST, S K Varshney presented India’s perspectives during the meeting. Lead scientific researchers from each BRICS country also presented their country report which highlighted the research activities and infrastructure that they have created.

India assumed the BRICS Presidency from January 2021. Around 100 events, including senior official meetings, ministerial-level meetings, and sectorial meetings/conferences, will also be organized as part of the BRICS 2021 calendar.

7th BAWG Meeting: Key Highlights

The meeting witnessed participation from all 5 countries- Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa- with more than 50 participants.

The delegates, during the meeting, agreed to develop a flagship project under this area.

The working group members indicated the future directions of research in this area such as building data network and network of intelligent telescopes, big data, a study of transient astronomical phenomena in-universe, artificial intelligence, machine learning application for processing the voluminous data generated because of the enhanced multi-wavelength telescope observatory.

The delegates, during the meeting, deliberated on the operational and strategic matters. They recommended the networking of existing telescopes in BRICS countries as well as creating a data network.

The 7th BAWG meeting recommended that the focal points in each country must present the scientific results of the work being carried out in each country. This will help seek funding support for the flagship project.

The delegates noted the significance of enhancing collaboration among astronomers from BRICS countries.

About BRICS Astronomy Working Group:

BRICS is the acronym that has been coined to associate the five significant emerging economies- Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The members of BRICS are known for their influence on regional affairs.

The BRICS Astronomy Working Group provides a platform for the BRICS member nations to collaborate and coordinate in the field of astronomy.

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