Aizawl– The US is keen to collaborate with Mizoram on connectivity, solid waste management, cyber security, research and development in the military, Kolkata-based US Consul General Melinda Pavek said here.
According to a Mizoram government official on Wednesday, during the past two days, Melinda Pavek held separate meetings with state Health Minister R. Lalthanglian, Chief Secretary Renu Sharma and other leaders on various collaborative efforts.
Pavek said that apart from land and air connectivity, human mobility, visa issuance for students and businesses, collaborative efforts can be undertaken in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship to work with US industries, solid waste management, cyber security, research and development in the military, as per the official.
People to people, Government to Government and multilateral collaboration can also be undertaken, the Head of the US Consulate General in Kolkata said.
She expressed that the relationship between India and the United States would only get stronger in the future.
Consul General Melinda Pavek pointed out that collaboration in four areas would bring in more fields for collaboration and improve the relationship between them.
The Chief Secretary apprised the Consulate General of various initiatives and projects undertaken by the Mizoram government for peace, prosperity and development in the state.
He also spoke about the potential areas of collaboration particularly in the fields of connectivity, tourism, food processing, health care, business sector, bamboo development, innovation and entrepreneurship and expressed that collaboration in such sectors could result in improving the livelihood and living standards of the people of Mizoram.
In another meeting, Health Minister Lalthangliana highlighted the state’s strategic location with respect to its international borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh and added that peace and tranquility within the state can act as an avenue for International trade and investment.
He looked forward to having closer cooperation and coordination with the US Consulate General of Kolkata and requested the Consul General to facilitate exchange programmes for students and faculties and provide scholarship for the needy students of the state.
Lalthangliana mentioned that Mizoram has the lowest Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and has ranked first among small states in the recently released NITI Aayog’s Health Index.
He also stated that Mizoram has the second highest literacy rate in India (after Kerala) and applauded the effort of the Church, NGOs and local communities in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.
While mentioning certain developments and ongoing projects in the state such as JICA’s (Japan International Cooperation Agency) funded Cancer Superspeciality Hospital, installation of Oxygen plants in all districts, addition of ICU beds, World Bank funded Mizoram State Health System Strengthening Project.
The Minister also asserted the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, Cancer, Malaria, TB in the state and called for better cooperation to eradicate such diseases from the state.
India is a partner country, not an assistance country for the United States, the Consul General said and stressed the need for identifying, understanding and combating together the problems and struggles of the state like HIV/AIDS, Cancer etc.
The Consul General welcomed enthusiastic students and faculties to continue their education and research in the United States. She advocated both students and researchers to avail the help of US-India Education Foundation (USIEF), Education USA team, Fullbright scholarships and online access of American libraries.
She also visited Mizoram University and had an interaction with the students’ body, research scholars and representatives of all departments. She also highlighted bilateral ties between India and the United States and how to get a US Visa. Collaborations between the students of India and the US is one of the government’s priorities, she said.
Consul General Melinda Pavek also met Mizoram Governor Hari Babu Kambhampati at the Raj Bhawan in Aizawl on Tuesday night and discussed the above affairs. (IANS)