China-Pakistan science foundations to launch joint  exchange programme

By Khalid Aziz | Gwadar Pro Jun 14, 2022

ISLAMABAD, June 13 (Gwadar Pro) - The National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) will soon launch the first batch of joint exchange programmes for 2022, a source told Gwadar Pro on Monday.

The programme aims at funding up to 15 pairs of researchers from both nations to undertake a joint  research project, the source added, requesting anonymity. The priority areas include Computer Science, Internet of Things, Blockchain, Biometrics, Big Data, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and 3D Printing as well as Climate Change and water, food and ecosystem security etc.

PSF will provide a Rs4 million grant to each Pakistani researcher, while NSFC will fund the Chinese researchers, the source disclosed.

Under the programme, the Chinese and Pakistani researchers are required to submit joint research proposals with NSFC and PSF.

The two organisations do not facilitate the matchmaking but researchers from both sides establish connections on their own. This will give a boost to collaboration among Chinese and Pakistani researchers and will further deepen scientific cooperation between the two nations, the source said.

The programme has a two-year tenure during which researchers from China can visit Pakistan and vice versa to train their collaborators or attend scientific seminars or workshops.

The source said that the process to evaluate the joint research proposals was already underway, adding that the programme will be launched after approval of the federal government’s budget for the fiscal year 2022-23, starting July 1st, 2022. “The budget will determine our capacity to sponsor how many researchers but tentatively the number will be up to 15,” the source added.

In Pakistan, scholars and researchers from the universities duly chartered by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) as well as public-sector research centres and institutes are eligible to participate in the programme.

The program will open a new window for Pakistani students and researchers to step into the world of advanced technologies and learn about emerging concepts of modern science and high tech together with their Chinese collaborators, the source said.

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