Focus on technology a must for post-pandemic world
COMSATS’ centres of excellence to help prepare member states
The post novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic world will be quite different to the pre-pandemic world with its overall socio-economic impact yet to be determined. However, it is expected that information technology will play an increasingly important role in our daily lives through e-learning, e-health, e-agriculture, artificial intelligence, etc.
In this regard, the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) has decided to facilitate its partner centres of excellence in 27 countries.
This was decided during the 23rd meeting of COMSATS’ Coordinating Council, which was held virtually.
The meeting included high-profile scientists, representatives of international and intergovernmental organisations and representatives of COMSATs’ 19 centres of excellence. Participants noted that once the pandemic ends, the world will be faced with even greater challenges in the form of rising food insecurity, unemployment, poverty, healthcare needs, and other issues. They added that sectors such as tourism, transport, education and agriculture sectors have been severely impacted by this enforced disruption.
COMSATS Coordinating Council Chairperson Professor Dr Ashraf Shaalan from Egypt hoped that through joint efforts, the world will soon rise above this challenge.
COMSATS Executive Director Dr SM Junaid Zaidi stated that the Covid-19 crisis has solidified their resolve to continue striving for the promotion of South-South and Triangular Cooperation in STI, through all possible means.
The council deliberated on ongoing programmes of COMSATS, including its Centre for Climate and Sustainability, postgraduate scholarships and post-doctoral fellowships at various centres of excellence, capacity-building activities, Telehealth programme, activities of International Thematic Research Groups, programmes for achieving SDGs, and publications.
They further deliberated upon collaborating and pool their expertise, human and technological resources to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic.
They also considered focusing their collective efforts on those fields which will be relevant in addressing the socio-economic needs and challenges of member states in a post-Covid-19 scenario. DNA
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2020.