India and the United States have signed a science and technology agreement aimed at boosting cooperation in areas ranging from health to space technology. The agreement was signed Monday at the state department by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and visiting Indian minister of state for science and technology Kapil Sibal. The agreement comes on the eve of Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns' departure for New Delhi for talks aimed at giving India-US relations a further boost. At the signing ceremony, Ms. Rice said Mr. Burns' talks in New Delhi will strengthen India-US relations. She said the two countries together aim to "promote democratic values, combat terrorism, support economic growth, expand bilateral activities and commerce, and achieve peace and stability in the region and beyond." Mr. Burns is seen as the main architect of U.S. policy toward India under President Bush.