A four-member delegation of the Sri Lankan High Commission in Pakistan, led by the Acting High Commissioner, H.E. U. L Niyas, visited COMSATS Secretariat on 11th March 2020, and held a meeting with Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, Executive Director, and other senior officials of COMSATS.
Dr. Zaidi apprised the Acting High Commissioner of the ongoing activities and future plans of COMSATS. In this regard, he acknowledged and appreciated the active involvement of the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI), Sri Lanka, in the international programmes and activities of the organization. Dr. Zaidi recalled his recent visits to Colombo and interactions with the Sri Lankan government officials aimed at enhancing collaboration in the areas of mutual interest.
Dr. Zaidi highlighted the S&T capacity of the COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI), and shared details regarding postgraduate scholarships offered by the University for COMSATS Member States. He informed that postgraduate scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships are also available for COMSATS’ Member States at other Centres of Excellence in Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Kazakhstan and Pakistan. He also shed light on the objectives and planned activities of the COMSATS Centre for Climate and Sustainability (CCCS), which has recently been established involving 20 Member States of COMSATS including Sri Lanka. While discussing the future plans of the organization, the Executive Director acquainted the delegates regarding the efforts being made to establish S&T universities and R&D Centres in the Member States. Reviewing the ongoing collaboration taking place between COMSATS and Sri Lanka, the Executive Director requested the Government of Sri Lanka to depute a suitable officer/expert to work at COMSATS Secretariat on secondment in order to initiate specific programmes aimed at addressing the socio-economic needs of Sri Lanka.
The Acting High Commissioner appreciated COMSATS’ activities and achievements in the domains of promoting cooperation in science and technology. Having already visited CUI, Mr. Niyas was full of appreciation for the human and technical resources available at the University for delivering quality education and conducting scientific research. He expressed his country’s interest in availing the scholarships and fellowships offered by COMSATS Centres of Excellence including CUI. While noting the cordial relations between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, the Acting High Commissioner appreciated the generous offer made by the Government of Pakistan to provide 1,000 scholarships to Sri Lankan students over the period of five years, and shared the efforts being made by the High Commission to take full advantage of this offer. He discussed in great detail the prospects of establishing COMSATS University on science and technology in Sri Lanka, in order to strengthen the higher education sector of the country. He also took keen interest in the activities of COMSATS’ Network and desired to expand cooperation in the areas of mutual interest. He also pledged active participation of Sri Lanka in the activities of COMSATS Centre for Climate and Sustainability.
The meeting concluded with a pledge to deepen cooperation in various fields of science and technology in order to promote science-led sustainable development in the South.