The International Centre for Training and Development (ICTD) was inaugurated at COMSATS Secretariat, Islamabad, on 20th December 2019. The Centre has been jointly established by COMSATS and American Institute of Pakistan Studies (AIPS) under an Agreement signed between the two Organizations in January 2018. The Centre has been established with an aim to provide trainings by foreign experts in areas including climate change, intellectual property rights, higher education and leadership, and energy policy.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, Executive Director COMSATS, emphasized the need for human resource development and capacity building of scientific community in the developing countries to bring them at par with the developed ones. He was of the view that lack of training and leadership causes setbacks in all sectors. Dr. Zaidi added that leadership and decision-making skills can be inculcated in the youth through expert trainings which can help achieve sustainable development in the South.
Dr. Farhat Haq, President of AIPS, in her inaugural remarks, considered establishment of the Centre important for networking between US-based experts and relevant actors in Pakistan. Dr. Haq highlighted the need for translating and aligning expertise from the North with local needs and challenges. She anticipated that the established Centre would benefit COMSATS network in the developing countries and would also help activate intellectual resources available in AIPS network of 44 universities and 28 research centers.
Country Director (Pakistan) of AIPS, Mr. Nadeem Akbar, introduced AIPS and highlighted the undertakings and programmes of the Institute that include research and travel grants, junior faculty trainings and exchanges, and fellowship. Mr. Akbar stated that the Centre will also conduct demand-driven trainings for the benefit of COMSATS member states. On the occasion, Dr. Khursheed Yousaf, Manager of ICTD, stated there is a dire need for human resource development.
Further modalities of the trainings and cooperation are being worked out which are expected to be initiated in January 2020.