On 11th July 2017, the Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, paid a courtesy call to His Excellency Mr. Tarik Ahsan, High Commissioner, People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
During the meeting, discussions were held to enhance and further strengthen the existing cooperation between COMSATS and Bangladesh. Also present during the meeting were other officials of COMSATS, Advisor (Programmes), Mr. Tajammul Hussain; Manager Strategic Partnerships, Mr. Laeeq Hassan Jaswal; Sr. Assistant Director (Programmes), Ms. Huma Balouch; Senior Program Officer, Mr. Zubair Iqbal. Also present was the Counsellor (Political), High Commission of Bangladesh, Mr. Md. Najmul Huda.
The honourable High Commissioner welcomed and congratulated Dr. Zaidi on his appointment as the Executive Director COMSATS. Dr. Zaidi stated that COMSATS highly values its ties with Bangladesh as a founding member of the Commission and noted the active participation of its Centre of Excellence, Bangladesh Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, in the programmes and activities of the organization. His Excellency thanked COMSATS Secretariat for its support to Bangladesh as its member country.
The Executive Director COMSATS requested the honourable High Commissioner to encourage Bangladeshi students to avail the offers of postgraduate and post-doctoral scholarships offered by COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Pakistan, and other Centres of Excellence. His Excellency noted with appreciation the announcement of further scholarship opportunities for Bangladesh’s youth in several Centres of Excellence of COMSATS’ Network. The Executive Director COMSATS also informed His Excellency about a Bangladeshi student studying at the Islamabad campus of CIIT. Dr. Zaidi assured the High Commissioner of Commission’s continued assistance in strengthening the country’s S&T capacity. He noted with satisfaction the optimism and confidence of its collaborating partners in the Bangladesh.
In response to a query from the High Commissioner about COMSATS’ organizational/leadership role, the Executive Director COMSATS stated that the organization has an impressive record of institution-building, since one of its flagship projects in Pakistan, CIIT, is now well-established academic institution in the country. He informed that CIIT is one of the biggest institutions in Pakistan in terms of number of Ph.D faculty members and enrolled students and is exceptional in terms of quality education. Dr. Zaidi proposed that while several reputable academic institutions already exist in Bangladesh, it is significant that the first institute/university in partnership with COMSATS may be established based on the model of CIIT, Islamabad. Dr Zaidi apprised that the number of foreign faculty professors at CIIT has increased in recent years. CIIT’s 1100 young faculty members were sent to abroad for higher studies as part of faculty development programme.
Regarding the Annual Membership Contribution, the Executive Director COMSATS informed that AMC provides COMSATS with some financial freedom to suitably conduct technical activities and programmes in the contributing member countries in general, as well as to assist their researchers and scientists to actively participate in COMSATS’ international capacity building events and programmes. The Advisor (Programmes) informed that COMSATS adopts a number of other innovative approaches to optimally benefit Bangladesh in the absence of the membership contribution from the country, and has organized several international events in Bangladesh in collaboration with its Centre of Excellence and other academic institutions of Bangladesh.
He further apprised the honourable High Commissioner about the COMSATS’ efforts for initiating collaboration programmes between BCSIR and other members of the COMSATS’ Network of Centres of Excellence such as the upcoming visit of the Director General of Tanzania Industrial Research and Development Organization (TIRDO) to BCSIR.
At the end of the meeting, the Executive Director presented a set of COMSATS’ publications to the High Commissioner, who thanked Dr. Zaidi for visiting the High Commission and sharing useful information on the benefits of enhancing future cooperation between COMSATS and Bangladesh.