Steps to progress: Advanced studies centres to be set up in universities

Published: April 14, 2012

Federal Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, US Ambassador Cameron Munter and USAID Administrator Dr Rajiv Shah discuss a picture at the exhibition on Friday. PHOTO: INP

ISLAMABAD: 

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) would create three centres for advanced studies at Pakistani universities for development of water, energy and agriculture sectors in the country.

In this connection, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by USAID Administrator Dr Rajiv Shah and Higher Education Commission Chairman Dr Javaid Laghari. Worth $127 million, the five-year programme will be sponsored by the USAID.

These centres will promote the development of Pakistan’s water, energy, and agriculture sectors through applied research, training for specialists, university linkages and contributions towards policy formulation.

The Centre for Advanced Studies in Agriculture and Food Security will be established at the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad and the Centre for Advanced Studies in Water will be set up at the Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Jamshoro.

Meanwhile, the National University of Science and Technology, Islamabad will open the Centre for Advanced Studies in Energy. A satellite centre for energy will be established at the University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar.

A key component of the programme is linking Pakistani universities to universities in the US. These linkages will help engender, support and fund joint applied research, student and faculty exchanges, pedagogical improvement, and development of new courses according to the needs of industry.

The ceremony was attended by the vice chancellors from the four participating universities, representatives from the HEC, members of the Ministry of Science and Technology, other officials, and student.

Capturing the ‘cooperation’ through pictures   

Meanwhile, a photo exhibition celebrating more than six decades of cooperation between the US and Pakistan was launched at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts on Friday.

Federal Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Dr Rajiv Shah inaugrated the event, while US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter was also among the small gathering of US and Pakistani officials.

“United States has been working with Pakistan to further its development priorities since the 1950s,” said Dr Shah, adding that, “ultimately our work is about helping the people of Pakistan chart their own future.”

“To this day, the United States continues to support Pakistan with extensive programs in the education, healthcare, economic and energy sectors,” he added.

The exhibition will remain open through April 17.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th, 2012.

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