New Delhi : A day after the BRICS summit, India and Brazil Friday decided to step up efforts to push the UN reforms and signed half a dozen pacts in areas ranging from science and biotechnology to cultural exchanges.

Reinforcing the BRICS’ position on Syria and Iran, the two countries also called for resolving the festering crisis in West Asia through dialogue.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday held wide-ranging talks with Rousseff, the first woman Brazilian president who began her state visit to India Friday after the conclusion of the BRICS summit.

After the talks, the two sides signed six pacts in areas ranging from closer cooperation in science and biotechnology to cultural exchanges. Under a signature Brazilian initiative Science Without Borders, the two sides inked a pact that envisages placement of Brazilian students and young researchers in India. It will be funded by Brazil.

Reinforcing key points stressed at the BRICS summit, Manmohan Singh said India and Brazil, Latin America’s economic powerhouse, have agreed to enhance consultations on reform of global governance system, particularly in the context of the reforms of the United Nations and in the G-20 process.

“We have agreed to step up our efforts, particularly towards the reform of the United Nations Security Council as G-4 partners,” he said. India, Brazil, Japan and Germany are part of the G-4 grouping that’s pitching for a permanent seat in a reformed UN Security Council.

“We are convinced that a resolution to the crisis in West Asia can only be achieved through dialogue and consultations,” Manmohan Singh told reporters at a joint media appearance with Rousseff.

On Thursday, the BRICS grouping including Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa called for dialogue to resolve the Iranian nuclear standoff and the Syria crisis.

Underlining a high degree of convergence between India and Brazil on global issues, Manmohan Singh said the two countries shared “common perspectives on environmental issues” and wished Brazil success in hosting Rio+20 Conference on sustainable development in June this year.

The two leaders directed their officials to launch an action plan to exploit the full potential in areas such as trade, education, science and technology, environment, defence, space and nuclear energy.

Source: IANS