Boosting R&D allocation: MoUs signed between OIC states, says minister
ISLAMABAD: Some memoranda of understanding (MoUs) were signed between a number of OIC member states and all participants agreed upon the need for increasing the research and development (R&D) budget, Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanveer Hussian told media persons on Wednesday.
Hussain was addressing a press conference after the concluding session of the two-day-long session held in Islamabad.
Earlier, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar announced 100 scholarships for students from least-developed countries in the field of S&T.
Hussain said that a few resolutions were tabled during the session and MoUs were inked for promoting S&T between OIC member states.
“The plan of action will soon be finalised and presented in the first Islamic Summit on Science and Technology which is going to be held in Kazakhstan,” he said.
COMSTECH, OIC’s Ministerial Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, also endorsed the second 10-year Science and Technology Plan of Action for 2016-2025 period, amounting to $2.1 billion, he said.
“The Islamic Development Bank showed interest for extending financial assistance to the COMSTECH for implementing the 10-year Plan of Action in OIC member states,” Hussian said.
He said participants made recommendations for improving the Plan of Action, adding that these suggestions would soon be incorporated.
Hussian informed the media that the participants agreed upon the need for increasing the budget for research and development, which was crucial for achieving progress in the field of science and technology.
Coordinator-General COMSTECH Dr Shaukat Hameed Khan said: “Science and technology will play a critical role in addressing contemporary challenges of development, including poverty alleviation, better health, preservation of environment and ensuring food, water and energy security today and in the future too.”
The 15th session of the COMSTECH General Assembly of the OIC was attended by 20 ministers from 57 Muslim member states, along with the president of Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Secretary-General of OIC and delegates from other member countries, including Yemen.
The Plan of Action was formulated by COMSTECH in consultation with 157 leading scientists from 20 OIC countries as well as those from the EU and North America.