Said Nazir 

ISLAMABAD: The first batch of eighteen civil servants selected under Human Resource Development Scholarship Program from various departments of Pakistan are set to study at Japanese universities for two years.

A pre departure orientation ceremony was held on Friday in Islamabad at the residence of Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan.

This program was launched in Pakistan in 2018 with the main objective to strengthen the administrative capacities of government of Pakistan for social and economic development. This program targets young government officials, who are expected to play a leadership role in the development of their country.

This year, eighteen competent civil servants from thirteen different departments enrolled in six different universities will study in Japan. They get benefit from this program to achieve the key objectives of acquiring expert knowledge, conduct research, and build human networks. These will help the trainees to take an active role in solving practical problems of the social and economic development issues in Pakistan.

Five fellows are enrolled in Public Administration and Finance; four fellows for Energy Policy and Implementation; Six fellows in Industrial Promotion, Investment Climate and Trade; two fellows in Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Development and One fellow enrolled in Disaster Management Capacity.

Ms Aatka Jamil, who is scientific office at Ministry of Food Security and Research, has been enrolled in Ritsumeikan University to study MS in biotechnology. “Alongside of classes, I am interested to learn Japanese language and learn about the local culture and know the secret of development of Japan. I will replicate the new learning in biotechnology back in Pakistan for agriculture development”.

Kuninori Matsuda, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan said: “We expect them not only to make their maximum effort to successfully complete their respective degree but also to understand Japan, its people, its unique culture and tradition. We hope that after completing their studies in Japan they utilize their experience in Japan and will work for the development of Pakistan.”

He added that he is proud of the over 50 years of Japan cooperation with Pakistan as it is the most important partner of Japan in the region and hoped that this program will build the capacity of young Pakistani civil servants to lean that how they can build sustainable social and economic structure in Pakistan.

The ambassador to Japan Kuninori Matsuda addressing a pre departure orientation ceremony arranged for 18 civil servants selected for higher study in Japan.

Muhammad Asif Khan is from Mohmand district and currently serving as deputy director in Board of Investment Islamabad. He thanked Japan and JICA for his selection under the scholarship program. He is pursuing master degree in public economics at International Christian University in Tokyo. “My objective is to learn during my study in Japan that how we can improve investment climate in Pakistan” he vowed.

Noor Ahmad secretary of Economic division Islamabad while addressing the ceremony said that government institutions are in pretty bad shape rather to collapse and the way forward is to build those intuitions, build those capacities within the government. He said that public policy is not very simple stuff anymore rather it is very complex thing with multiple perspective and challenges.

To meet these challenges, capacities in public institutions are most of the time missing, he said adding this is great opportunity the government of Japan is providing to young officers to acquire new knowledge and come back and serve the country.

Mr Ali Faisal is also among the 18 fellows. Hailing from Lahore, he is section officer at ministry of climate change and very excited over his selection as JDS fellow. He has been enrolled in Hiroshima University to study disaster management.

He said that Pakistan is the most vulnerable country to different disasters, therefore, he chose the subject to learn from the disaster management experience of the government of Japan. “I would propose to the government to introduce disaster management at district level after further learning about the concept in Japan” he remarked.

Mr. Shigeki Furuta, Chief Representative of JICA while speaking at the event said with his expectation to the JDS fellows, “I would like to congratulate all of you for your next adventure and will be pleased to see you accomplishing great things to solidify foundations to further bilateral relation not only on country basis but also personal basis with Japan. You can do this by utilizing human network development through academic and social activities which will become precious asset for both the countries”.