ISLAMABAD (May 24, 2017): The COMSATS Coordinating Council has expanded to reach a total of 21 institutions after it has approved the Al-Quds University of Palestine as its new member by giving the status of centre of excellence.

The Coordinating Council is the most dynamic technical cooperation forum of the South under the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS).

According to a statement issued here by the COMSATS Secretariat, Islamabad, the approval of the Al-Quds University membership has been accorded at the Council’s 20th annual meeting held in Cairo, Egypt.

The induction was welcomed by the Council’s Chairperson, Prof. Ashraf Shaalan, President of National Research Centre (NRC), Egypt; COMSATS Executive Director Dr. S.M. Junaid Zaidi, who is also the Secretary to the Council, and observers of the meeting. The observers included Executive Director of the World Academy of Sciences, Italy, Dr. M.H.A. Hassan, and Sr. Programme Specialist, Science Unit, UNESCO Office in Cairo, Nazar Hassan.

Prof. Khaled Kassem, Senior Assistant Minister for Strategic Plans and Supporting Systems, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Egypt, inaugurated the Council meeting. The ceremony was attended by senior officials of the diplomatic missions of Jordan, Pakistan and Kazakhstan in Cairo; as well as universities, R&D institutions, ministries and government departments of the country.

The heads or representatives of 15 research centers, universities participating in the meeting came from BCSIR-Bangladesh, ICCES-China, NRC-Egypt, CSIR-Ghana, KazNU-Kazakhstan, NMC-Nigeria, ICCBS-Pakistan, CIIT-Pakistan, Al-Quds University-Palestine, ITI-Sri Lanka, IRCC-Sudan, UCAD-Senegal, TIRDO-Tanzania, CERTE-Tunisia and TUBITAK MAM-Turkey.

Dr. Zaidi emphasized that the developing countries must pay attention to devising effective national policies and action plans for the development of adequate infrastructure and facilities for productive research and development”, and assured the participants of the meeting of COMSATS’ due role in this regard.

The technical sessions steered by Prof. Shaalan deliberated on a 13-point agenda.

Possible placement of representatives of Member States/Centres of Excellence at COMSATS Headquarters for enhancing the efficacy and impact of its programmes and activities will also be explored as a follow-up of the meeting discussions.

The meeting also announced post-doctoral fellowships to COMSATS’ member states, including ICCBS-Pakistan and CIIT-Pakistan. The Council agreed to emulate the successful model of COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) for similar institution-building in other member states.

The communique issued by the meeting encourages the Centers of Excellence to enhance cooperation with other Network members for launching new projects and programmes for the benefit of member states; and become creators of knowledge in addition to being users of the same.

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