Int’l Webinar On ‘Academic Collaboration, Science Diplomacy And OIC: Challenges And Opportunities’ Organized Jointly By COMSTECH.

International Webinar On ‘Academic Collaboration, Science Diplomacy And OIC: Challenges And Opportunities’ Organized Jointly By COMSTECH And Department Of International Relations, Islamia University Bahawalpur on March 22, 2021. The objective of the event was to bring stakeholders from academic management and diplomatic circles together to address bottlenecks and create opportunities for international academic collaboration through science diplomacy.

COMSTECH set up Consortium of Excellence (CCoE) comprising of leading science, technology, and engineering academic and research institutions of Pakistan, under the “Science Diplomacy Initiative” of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) last year. The Islamia University of Bahawalpur being the founding member of the CCoE, through its department of international relations offered to jointly organize this international webinar.

In his message, the chief guest, Dr. Arshad Mahmood, Federal Secretary, MoST appreciated the establishment of COMSTECH Consortium of Excellence (CCoE) and the Islamia University Bahawalpur, being the leading higher education institution of Southern Punjab, the founding member of the CCoE. Dr. Arshad said that it is our collective responsibility to collaborate and join hands for addressing challenges effectively, particularly in the current COVID-19 situation.

He said that academic institutions have a vital role to play in addressing various problems being faced by the Muslim Ummah. There is dire need to create collaborations and partnerships among the higher education institutions of the Islamic countries so that they may benefit from one another’s experience, expertise and knowledge. He assured utmost cooperation of Ministry of Science and Technology for CCoE and other collaborative initiatives of COMSTECH.

The Vice Chancellor IUB, Engr. Prof. Dr. Athar Mahboob, in his introductory remarks highlighted the challenges faced by the Muslim world. He stressed the need of mutual cooperation and joint research projects. He reminded the glorious past of Ummah and stressed to capture that again by establishing diplomatic ties through science diplomacy.

Coordinator General COMSTECH Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary, stressed the need of developing linkages in his welcome address. Dr. Choudhary mentioned that there are some good research institutions in the OIC member states. He pointed out that there is a deep south and deep north in the OIC member states. He emphasized the development of academic collaboration and funding mechanism for joint science projects.

Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation Prof. Dr. Shahid Mahmood Baig said in his keynote address that everything can’t be made available under one roof for science research. There are many good institutions, research groups and labs working in OIC countries. We just need to identify and collaborate with them. Dr. Baig offered full support from his institution both technically and financially to joint activities.