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Germany, France to collaborate with Anna varsity on eco-programmes

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI, FEB. 10. Engineering institutions and universities in Germany and France will continue to collaborate with the Anna University in research programmes on the environment, according to diplomats of the two countries.

The two countries are not only keen on raising the level of awareness about addressing environmental issues but also developing technologies that are applicable to the Indian conditions.

Marian Schuegraf, Science Counsellor in the German Embassy, said German institutions were now paying greater attention to the idea of "less theory, more application." She cited the example of involvement of German experts in rejuvenating "ooranies" (traditional water bodies used for drinking) in the State. "Our objective is to promote and strengthen indigenous technologies," Ms. Schuegraf said.

Pascal Chossat, Deputy Counsellor for Science and Technology in the French Embassy, said though his nation's collaboration with the Anna University was relatively recent, it had been a fruitful experience. "We do not believe in transfer of technology. Our idea is to share our expertise with India and vice versa," he said, adding that France and Germany had been working together in environmental issues for a longer period.

Since India and Germany were conducting joint research programmes in the same areas, his country too decided to associate with them, Dr. Chossat said.

The two diplomats were in the city on Wednesday to take part in the inauguration of a three-day conference on advances in industrial wastewater treatment at the Anna University.

K. Thanasekaran, Director of the Centre for Environmental Studies, Anna University, said the Western countries had rich experience in tackling the problem of industrial pollution. They were now concentrating on "low-cost technologies."

The Chairperson of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, Girija Vaidyanathan, inaugurated the conference, which was presided over by E. Balagurusamy, Vice-Chancellor of the Anna University.

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