International webinar on ‘Academic Collaboration, Science Diplomacy and OIC: Challenges and Opportunities’ held on Monday

International webinar on ‘Academic Collaboration, Science Diplomacy and OIC: Challenges and Opportunities’ held on Monday brought stakeholders from academic management and diplomatic circles together to create opportunities for international academic collaboration through science diplomacy and address bottlenecks in this regard.

The webinar was organized jointly by COMSTECH and Department of International Relations, Islamia University Bahawalpur.

COMSTECH set up Consortium of Excellence (CCoE) comprising of the 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, Ministry of Science and Technology 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 it is our collective responsibility to collaborate and join hands for addressing challenges effectively, particularly in the current COVID-19 situation.

He said 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 the 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 the 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 cannot 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.

Dr Muhammad Ijaz Latif, Chairman, Department of International Relations concluded the session by vote of thanks.

Originally published at Urdu Point